Your Brief Guide to Planning a Golf Tournament

  • Jul 9, 2019

Planning a large golf tournament isn't easy on your first try, and we completely understand the difficulties you as an event planner may encounter.  With over 10 years of experience in planning golf outings, our goal is to share some of this knowledge with you.  This golf planning guide is a brief summary to help even the novice golf tournament planner make their first golf outing successful.  It is by no means a complete guide for all situations, but a general outline to help you plan your outing for the best results.

Setting Expectations

Golfers attending a golf tournament already have expectations of enjoying themselves while supporting a cause they believe in.  A cause they believe in?  Yes, almost all corporate golf tournaments are held for a cause.  Sometimes the cause is simply camaraderie among members of a professional group, but most golf tournaments are held as fundraisers to benefit a charitable cause, such as a free care fund for a hospital, an educational fund for underprivileged students, or a larger community benefit such as a park or an historical landmark.  There are thousands of reasons for golf tournaments, but most of them are to benefit a specific group of people who otherwise would be without assistance when they need it most.  We at recommend publicizing the purpose of your golf tournament fundraiser.  It will help bring more people out who otherwise might not be as inclined to take the day for the golf tournament.  When there's a positive purpose behind the event, it brings out the best in people. 

Selecting a Golf Course

Reserving a golf course is necessary often a year in advance for specific dates to ensure the golf course you desire is available.  Once the golf course you want is reserved by another group, it will require your organization to change the date of your tournament.  Sometimes golf courses are large enough to accommodate two tournaments simultaneously depending on the size of the tournaments and the number of holes available.  However most golf courses only allow one event per day, or per time window to ensure 100% of the golf course staff attention is devoted to your tournament.     

Creating a Sign-Up Page / Website

Once you have the course selected and reserved, it's time to advertise your golf tournament to the public.  If it's a private golf tournament, then promote it only to your list of contacts in the group who is invited to attend.  We suggest having a form on a web page or a website dedicated to the golf tournament if it is to be marketed well.  The website or page should include a quality logo for the organization it benefits, as well as a sign-up form for people to fill out.  The cost of playing in the tournament should be clearly outlined in the form so people know what they will be paying to play golf.  It is highly recommended to collect payment from each player upon sign-up, as costs are being incurred long before the tournament takes place.  These costs include the deposit for reserving the golf course, as well as any food & beverage service deposit required.  Also golf tournament gifts are expected by players as a sign of your organization's appreciation.  Also the tournament gifts can advertise the corporate sponsor or the organization the golf game will benefit. 

Selecting a Golf Tournament Promotional Gift

Sponsors may be sought for one golfer's promotional gift to be given to each player, or you may provide multiple gifts at a tournament.  When you have more than one gift sponsor, you can order more than one gift per player.  Since custom golf gifts require a lead time to be manufactured or printed and then shipped to the golf course or a business office in advance, we recommend selecting a custom golf gift at least 1 to 2 months in advance of the tournament date.  Most golf tournament organizers limit the number of players to the capacity for the golf course based on 4-somes.  During the warmer months of the year, stock of many golf gifts is often limited due to high demand.  Therefore it is necessary to plan the promotional golf gifts well in advance of the tournament.  Most products require 2 weeks production time plus a week for shipping, while custom golf head covers require 5 weeks total production and shipping time.  Budgeting golf gifts can be done by looking at the total cost charged per player to play the tournament.  The total cost of the tournament reservation, plus the food & beverage service, plus any other services added to the event should be added up.  If golf gifts are going to be given out without a sponsor, then the cost of the gift you desire should be considered as part of the total cost of the golf outing.  Divide the total costs by the number of players you are capping the event at.  Then add the margin of profit for the fundraiser.  Sometimes the total cost per player is doubled to find the price charged per player to play in the tournament.   Should golf tournament gifts be skipped over to save cost?  Never!  When people pay to support your organization's golf tournament, the first thing you should do is thank them with an appropriate custom golf gift.  If you've been running your tournament for a number of years, and have given out a number of the promotional golf gifts, then we recommend expanding your gift selection to avoid repeating the same gift to your tournament players.  No golfer really needs 3 embroidered golf towels, or 5 custom divot tools.  For that reason, we've created an unique golf gifts category that covers such gifts as promotional printed headphones, custom printed logo lawn chairs, and more!  Unique golf tournament gifts are a must-have when your tournament has already given out the golf towels, divot tools, golf headcovers, and other custom golf merchandise.  Make sure to order all custom golf gifts at least 1 month in advance of when you want the gifts delivered.  It's best to order even 2 months in advance to ensure stock of the product you want is available, and also to avoid any unforeseen delays in manufacturing or shipping.  Since tournament sign-ups will still be received in that time period, we suggest ordering about 10 to 20% more gifts than you expect to need.  If you've capped out the golf tournament at a specific number of players, then we suggest ordering enough to cover that number of players plus a few extras for event helpers or staff members.

Golf Tournament Day

If you reserved the date and time for the golf course well in advance, that date and time should be kept in your digital calendar so it syncs with your phone and any other device where you keep your schedule.  Make sure to visit the golf course at least two weeks before the event after you make the initial reservation just to make sure everything is still on their schedule and any arrangements for equipment rental or food & beverage service are setup as expected in your agreement contract. 

On the day of the golf tournament, make sure to arrive at least 1 or 2 hours early before start time to ensure any setup of printed golf banners and other advertising material for your sponsors is placed where you want the golfers to see.  When you've taken advertising sponsor dollars from companies for a golf outing, it's important to make sure that their advertising banners are on display before the first guest arrives!  

Make sure the food and beverages are setup by the company providing those services.  Usually this is the golf course if the club has a restaurant.  However it could also be a catering company coming onsite to setup the services.  Either way, make sure they're prepared so everyone can stay hydrated during the game!  Since most people will need a snack during a long golf game, we suggest providing snacks in each person's custom logo golf cooler.  These can be purchased when you are buying your custom logo golf gifts, and can even be sponsored! 

There's really not too much more to plan for a successful golf outing.  The key is to plan your tournament early, and plan it thoroughly.  Make sure sponsorship solicitations are made 6 months in advance for any sponsored golf outing gifts.  This 6 month planning window will allow you time to find an alternative sponsor, or find multiple sponsors in case one falls through.  

Next Steps

The next step is to start planning your golf outing sponsor gifts with Keystone Specialties.  Shop our thousands of custom printed logo golf gifts on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Plan early, and with our help, you can have the most successful golf outing possible!










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  • Tags: golf tournament planner, golf promotions, golf swag, custom golf gifts, promotional golf items, logo golf swag
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