It’s that time of year again, when the trees are in full bloom, the sun is shining high in the sky and the community is in full swing with golf tournaments. That’s right, golf tournaments (and we know golf!). There are so many in the busy summer months and they can all feel like the same tournament. That is why we’re here with fun golf tournament ideas to take your event from drab and boring to fun and successful.
Summertime is the perfect time to host golf tournaments in the short months that make up the season of summer. Whether you live in Texas, California or New York, golf tournaments are a tremendous way to raise vital funds for your nonprofit organization.
Whether you have a participant joining your tournament for the first time, or the fifteenth, by making your event stand out from the rest is a great way to ensure that participants will be back for more in the years to come, which means more funds raised for the important work that you do each and every day.
Let’s dive into these seven fun golf tournament ideas that will not only raise a tremendous amount of money for your organization, but will set your tournament apart from all the rest.
1) Create a Golf Tournament Theme & Carry It Throughout – Have fun with a golf tournament theme! Start from the beginning, with the tournament invitation and carry your theme through the day of the event. If your non-profit organization works with kids, create a theme around the kids. Or if you’re raising money for a school’s sports program, theme the tournament around different types of sports. Charity golf tournaments are held for many causes. This is an opportunity for you to have fun with your theme, while highlighting the reason why you’re raising funds for your mission. Even corporate golf tournaments can be enhanced with a tournament theme.
Have the theme start with the invitations (both paper and online), carrying through to the signage at the tournament, to the centerpieces on the table at lunch or dinner. By ensuring that your theme is consistent and present throughout the entire event process, you are making an impact on your donors and golfers and driving home your fundraising purpose and need.
2) Shake Up the Way They Play! – Yes, you can have the teams head out onto the golf course and play their round of golf just like any ordinary day on the course, or you can have them shake it up a bit. Vary the scramble format with golf tournament contests – ‘Longest Drive’, ‘Closest to the Pin’ or ‘Beat the Pro’ contests add style to your golfing so that there’s an element of surprise, competition and out of the ordinary playing that makes your golf tournament a little more entertaining. These contests can be included in the entry fee, or tickets to participate can be sold separately for additional revenue.
Selling mulligans is another great way to add fun and funds. Mulligans offer golfers an extra chance at a shot – and cost your organization nothing! Create mulligan packages for sale on your golf tournament website and at check-in.
3) Contest Before Even Teeing Off – Before your players even place a ball on a tee, let’s have a contest. Set up a putting contest on the practice putting green for prizes. Even if someone has the best short game, yet not the strongest long game, they will be up for prizes and a little healthy competition before they even head out onto the course. Another contest to start with can be Best Dressed or similar, depending again on your tournament theme. We have one tournament that happens on or around July 4th every year where all of the players wear fun Red, White and Blue outfits to show their love of country and have fun.
4) Host a Flamingo Hole – Catch your golfers by surprise and pick a hole on the front and back nine with a flamingo at the tee. That’s right, a pink plastic flamingo at the tee indicating that they have to tee off standing like a flamingo. It’s a fun way to see how well they do and adds an element of surprise when they least expect it!
5) Encourage Sponsor Surprises – Having amazing sponsors support your golf tournament is a great way to increase the financial support of your mission. But why not think of ways to engage the sponsor themselves at the golf event? This will keep your sponsors coming back from year to year, as they are able to promote their business while having fun.
Hole sponsors are a great way to add revenue by placing a sponsor’s flag on each of the 18 holes. Rather than just having a hole sponsor for every hole, have a sponsor surprise participants randomly on certain holes with prizes and incentives for top play. As you create your sponsorship opportunities, and track your success using the right software, this may be a perfect opportunity for a Board Member or volunteer that is also a sponsor. It allows them the opportunity to engage with the tournament participants while showcasing their business and sponsorship in a unique way.
6) Post-Party FUN! – When the golfing is done, you have a group of tired and hungry players on your hands. This is the perfect opportunity to shake things up and have a little fun. Instead of the usual plated chicken dinner or lunch, why not create an atmosphere of fun and celebration? Hire a DJ or a band to entertain your participants. (Of course, you’ll need to organize all of this with the golf club.) Create a menu with flair and fun like a taco stand or food stations from around the world. Just because you’ve always had the same menu for years doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Nothing says ‘fun golf tournament’ like a DJ and a taco bar! Don’t forget to host a silent auction and fundraising raffle and sell raffle tickets online and at the event. Purchasing unique travel packages for these events can add to the excitement.
7) Bring the Mission to Life in the Follow-Up – Your successful tournament has come to an end and you’ve raised a tremendous amount of money for your life changing mission. With a story like this, there’s magic in the follow up. If you’ve tracked all of your participants, donors and sponsors with golf tournament management software, the follow up will be seamless.
Create a thank you card that not only brings the theme of your event full circle, but also brings your mission to life. Share a story from a program which you run or have a handwritten note from an individual who has been touched by your work. By creating an environment of gratitude and stewardship, your golf tournament participants will not only know exactly where the funds raised are going but you’ll also set yourself apart from the other golf tournaments with a mission-centered thank you note.
These are just a few fun golf tournament ideas that you can not only make this year’s golf tournament new, but mission centered. If you’re looking to raise more money with your tournament (and who isn’t?), be sure to see our golf fundraising ideas.
To set yourself up for success year after year, GolfRegistrations software can be just the element that sets your golf outing apart from the rest. Heading into your tournament this year, give it a try with our free trial and you can see just how seamless the process from registration to thank you can be.