Golf Event Planning Tips: Finding the Right Golf Course

Golf Event Planning Tips: Finding the Right Golf Course

One of the most important golf event planning tips for your tournament is finding the right golf course. There are some things to keep in mind when looking for a course to host your event.  Look for a place with a helpful staff, reasonable fees for your budget, and a fair tournament contract agreement. Just as a heads up, a great golf course should include the following services for your tournament:

1) greens fees
2) golf carts with your golfers’ names on them
3) range balls
4) rules sheets
5) scoreboard with assistance when necessary
6) a PGA professional to host the start of the tournament
7) proximity markers for contests
8) a giveaway for your players

When you are ready to begin looking for a golf course, you will want to try to get at least three proposals based on your needs, and then pick the course that works best for you. Beginning your golf search early and negotiating your deal at least six months in advance will ensure that you find the best deal and have enough time to weigh your options.

So where do you begin? Well, one of the first things you will have to decide is if you want to play on a public course or a private course. There are many benefits to both options. Public courses are open to anyone and will accept tournaments from most organizations. You do not have to be a member to set up your tournament at a public golf course, you can simply call the course and speak to the person who coordinates golf tournament sales for more information. The accessibility and laid back atmosphere of public courses often put both you and your guests at ease, and it can be a great option for a fun-filled event.

Private courses also have a lot to offer. Because Private clubs are reserved for members only, they can be effective for fundraising events because your guests will be excited to get a chance to play at an exclusive course. Keep in mind that most private courses will require an introduction from a current member, so look to your board, volunteers or friends to provide you with the proper introduction. You can check out the course’s website to see if their tournament procedures are posted.

Once you decide what kind of golf course you are looking for, it’s time to start calling and meeting with the Golf Course representative. Below is information you should have prepared and questions you should ask when meeting with the representative of any golf course:

Things to have prepared:

1) Dates in mind/Days of the week that will work/not work for your golf event.
2) The minimum number of players you can expect at your tournament. (Courses may not accept your event unless you make a minimum commitment to the number of golfers you expect.)
3) Your budget for green fees, reservation fees, food fees, and any other fees that the club might charge you.
4) What signage you expect to be hanging on the course.
5) How far will your guests will have to travel to attend the event at this location.
6)The average skill level of your golfers.
7) Any ties to a golf course owner or manager that will help you negotiate a good price.

Things to ask:

1) What are the green fees and other fees associated with renting the course? Does it correlate with the price you are charging as an entry fee? Does the cost per player include food and beverage?
2) Is there a discounted price for non-profit organizations?
3) Will the staff be on hand to help? If not, are tournament volunteers allowed in the kitchens, ect?
4) What days of the week are the course closed? Are tournaments usually held on those days?
5) How much for catering services? Are outside food vendors permitted?
6) What is the procedure for rain/cancellation?
7) What is the procedure for parking and registration?
8) How many tournaments have they held in the past? Do they feel comfortable hosting a tournament of your size?
9) Does the golf course offer adequate space for a dinner/awards ceremony after?
10) What is the deposit and payment schedule?

These questions will help the meeting get going. The next thing to discuss with the course representative is the tournament contract. When you meet with the golf course, ask for a tournament contract and review it carefully. Do not depend on verbal agreements, it is essential to make sure everything is in writing. The tournament contract should contain details about all of the information listed above.

After you have chosen a golf course, make sure to meet several times with them to go over your plans for the event day. Be sure they understand your agenda, your planned contests and events, and your plans for functions such as the award ceremony. Also clarify the directions for activities that they need to be directly involved in, like a hole-in-one contest. (Some contests require that a PGA Pro be present.)

Following these golf event planning tips will help you find a golf course that will complement your event and support you on tournament day. Stay organized, weigh your options carefully, and remember: golf courses are looking for you. Events and tournaments are a major portion of their business, and they depend on these events to raise revenues and profits. It’s a win-win for both parties, don’t be shy– call your local golf course and ask what they have to offer!