Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Golf Tournament Planning Timeline

Golf Tournament Planning Timeline

9 Months in Advance:
-select a tournament director
-select a tournament committee
-determine goals and objectives for the tournament
-create a budget
-select a tournament date and time
-visit course facility and meet with the course tournament director or event planner
-select a course and sign a contract
-discuss pre-tournament events
-determine marketing and publicity strategies
-identify potential sponsors and donors
-select a tournament format
-select tournament contests and food & beverage possibilities
-determine if celebrities and/or athletes are to be included in the event

6 Months in  Advance:
- hold meeting with tournament director and tournament committee
- sign up volunteers
- design tournament invitation/entry form
-finalize the budget
- finalize food and beverage functions
- sign agreements with celebrities and athletes
- sign agreements with sponsors or donors
- design logo
- prepare media release

4 Months in Advance:
- hold meeting with tournament director, tournament committee and volunteers
- decide on awards and prizes
- decide on player goodie bags
- print invitation/entry forms
- create list of possible player participants
- receive bids from awards, prizes and hole in one companies

3 Months in Advance:
- hold meeting with tournament director, tournament committee and volunteers
- discuss volunteer assignments
- order awards and prizes and secure hole in one insurance
- order player goodie bag prizes or secure goodie bag donations
- issue media release
- distribute invitations/ entry forms
- order signs and banners

2  Months in Advance:
- hold meeting with tournament director, tournament committee and volunteers
- order logo shirts or tee shirts for staff (optional)
- issue media release
- monitor entry form response
- re-confirm celebrity or athlete participation
- finalize all tournament activities - food & beverages, course contests, etc.

1 Months in Advance:
- hold meeting with tournament director, tournament committee and volunteers
- plan positioning of signs and banners
- confirm tee time with golf course
- confirm food and beverage
- examine proofs for any logo product
- confirm awards and prizes are scheduled to arrive on time
- make a push for last minute participants (if necessary)
15 Days in Advance:
- hold meeting with tournament director, tournament committee and volunteers
- hand out staff  shirts or tee shirts (if necessary)
- assemble goodie bags for players
- confirm celebrity or athlete appearances

3 Days in Advance:
- hold meeting with tournament director, tournament committee and volunteers
- check on awards and prizes
- confirm final number of players and pairings

Day of the Event:
- put up signs and banners
- set up registration table
- display awards and prizes
-set up scoreboard

After the Event:
- post scores
- awards ceremony
- clean up site area

Post Event:
- write thank you notes to all sponsors, volunteers and players
- evaluate the event

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Successful Committee Meetings

Committee meetings and keeping everyone on task is an important part of a successful golf event.  You want to make sure that the meetings are productive and not a waste of anyon'es time.
Here are some tips:

1.  Schedule the meetings for the same day & time each month.

2.  Send out email reminders with date, time and location of the next upcoming meeting and ask for an RSVP so that you know who is attending the meeting and if you need information from those not attending to have available at the upcoming meeting.

3.  Have an agenda and point to each meeting - not just  a social gathering (which is good too but not for planning purposes).

4.  Hand out the agenda at each meeting.

5.  Assign each committee member a specific job and/or responsibility.

6.  Set goals and deadlines for each job/responsibility.

7.  Make sure each member is committed.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How to Get 144 Golfers in Your Next Golf Event

How To Get 144 Golfers In Your Next Golf Event.

One of the  most common questions that I get is how can I fill up the course.  The simple question is to use the 9-4-4 rule.

The 9-4-4 rule works on the idea that you have 9 people on the committee who each find (4) foursomes.  9x4x4 = 144 golfers.  By breaking up the responsibility in this way you have now reduced everyone's work load and have greatly narrowed each committee member's focus.  Thus it makes a large task much less daunting.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why will golfers play in your golf outing? Is it the Cause, Course or Incentive?

Why will golfers play in your golf outing?  Is it the Cause, Course or Incentive?
     As long as you get a full field, more than likely you don’t care and moreover, never even bothered to find out the reason why. You are too busy counting money and thanking heaven that the whole thing is over for another year.
     But it really isn’t. This day, you have unlimited face to face access of every single “customer” in your field and you need repeat customers. Take advantage of this precious time. Ask questions, shake hands, thank everyone personally and invite them back verbally next year!
     Golf outings are like the three corners of a triangle. None are more important than the other, but each are absolutely critical to the structure itself. Your goal is to make sure that your particular “triangle” remains intact and strong. Allow me to explain.
     Triangle Point #1 – Golf outing committee members oftentimes organize golf outings under the assumptions that the golfers they hope to entice to play actually care about “the cause” as much or more than they personally do. More often than not, they would be wrong. “The cause” merely gives you a reason to hold an event, a reason to get together. It will bring out some loyal fans, some fanatics and some that are simply out there because they were asked by influential committee members and couldn’t refuse because their invitation will be coming later in the summer for their cause.
     Triangle Point #2 – Golf outing committee members oftentimes make golf course decisions based upon cost, which ends up a very real part of their bottom line for the day. Sometimes they vote to sacrifice quality or location for price. They are almost always wrong in doing so, for this point of the triangle is critical to the strength of the other two. Bottom line dollars are based off green fees and players will balk at paying 3 times the standard rate for a course they can play at their leisure but still choose not to because there are nicer places and summer is short, so why would they play this place because you are having an event there? Regardless of “the cause” people weigh the value or perceived value of the course when filling out the registration form. Pick a beautiful or exclusive facility and you can command both a higher price and secure players who simply want to play a more elite property. The way to measure this is to ask each person on the committee if they would stop in the pro shop to buy a logo shirt or logo cap from this place as they probably will never get back there to play it and they would be kind of proud to show people that they had been there. If more than 50% say “yes they would” , that is a course that satisfies this point of the triangle.
     Triangle Point #3 – The average golf outing has 20% of the field participating based on value, PERSONAL value. In other words… What’s in it for them? These are also the very same people that are more than likely guests of Point #1 above or friends of the player that loves to play ritzy courses as in Point #2. Ironically these 20% are guests and really don’t care about any of the above. They are often getting a free round of golf compliments of their host or are asked to fill the spot on the team by a sponsor who was awarded a couple of foursomes and oddly these are the same 20% that will be talking the loudest about your golf outing long after the event has ended, good or bad. Golf outing committee members oftentimes put far less thought into player incentive gifts or “goody bags” than they should. They opt for the easy route by asking for donations of items from local businesses to stuff into plastic bags. Sunscreen, a pack of tees, a hand towel, a sleeve of logo balls from the local bank and a logo visor from the local insurance agent that nobody would wear fishing or gardening let alone around town ( if you notice, the same insurance guy is even wearing a Nike logo cap and not his own giveaway visor ). There is a reason, and it is because nobody wants this stuff. I have heard it referred to as “give it away or throw it away merchandise”.
     Of course I am not saying that everyone should get the keys to a new car in their goody bag, but I am saying that people remember their participation gift long after they forget their score.
     Please know that I am not saying that you need to spend any money either! In fact, by utilizing current sponsors and coupling your sponsors into group packages ( goody bag, beverage cart, tee signs ) as I have talked about in other blogs, you can give away AMAZING participation or “goody bag” gifts, actually make money for your event doing it, and bring your sponsors an actual return on their investment instead of having an unsightly logo of the local bank on the left chest of the rain jacket donated..
     I am not advocating going straight to the most elite club in town, ordering steak dinners for all and giving away silver goblets to three generations of people that play in your event. I am saying that things can indeed be too cheap and that people will pay for VALUE. Keep your Golf Outing Triangle strong.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

There are some “Sponsors” you can’t afford to have.

So the guy putting on the outing goes out and gets the local Big-Box home improvement store to donate a brand new lawnmower for his golf outing. A $349 retail red colored beauty. It looked great all set up at the registration table, and the sponsor’s logo was all over the thing.
     I noticed the registration table girls selling the typical stuff that you would expect at any event. But I also noticed that each player was handed one little blue raffle ticket as a kind of afterthought. I didn’t think too much about it and proceeded to get ready to perform for the group as I normally would.
     After the event was over, we literally poured three big bunches of cash on a table for the group and after I was asked “how it went”, I commented that only one group didn’t participate and it was the foursome from the home improvement superstore which kind of surprised me. The chairman of the outing was also surprised and commented that he thought they would be more willing to spend a few bucks as they were out there all day as his guests as part of their sponsorship/donation of the lawnmower we all saw at registration.
     I was shocked as I was the one that worked the price for the group with the course and knew full well that they paid $79 per player for the round, plus lunch and dinner which brought the per person total fees to $110.
     Now I knew I was hot, sweaty, tired and perhaps a bit confused but he was out of pocket $440 for this group on this day and their only “sponsorship donation” was a $349 lawnmower. I shook my head a bit in disbelief, but figured that my guy had a plan to recoup some of his money either through his raffle ticket sales or similar.
     The microphone was tested, everyone was thanked for their participation and there was actually quite a fuss made over the big-box superstore that donated the big red grass cutter. The applause quieted down and then came the shocker….
     Those little blue tickets that each person received upon arrival were freebie tickets for a door prize to be given away at dinner. “And the winner of our beautiful door prize donated by _______ is blue ticket number _______, come on up and get your lawnmower and if you want to break it in, stop by my house”
     Even though most were laughing, I was questioning why the outing promoter had put on a golf outing that day. Clearly it was not to make money.
      In his excitement to claim the biggest employer in this town as a “sponsor” he lost money doing it! At the very least he should have sold raffle tickets to cover the cost of the $440 in greens fees that he paid to have these guys out there. He even could have simply purchased the lawnmower outright and as he was doing so, showing this retailer that he was a good customer, made a pitch to have them field a foursome in support of his cause.
     You pretty much have one day to make your money from a golf outing. Don’t give it away. There are some sponsors that you cannot afford to have.