After the Masters, you may have golf on the brain, and so do we! Just in time for the spring season, we have a NEW Corporate Golf Collection at Merchology, complete with golf balls, polos, hats, bags, and accessories. We know so many of our customers plan golf events on behalf of their organizations, and it is NO easy undertaking. We’ll be the first to admit that it’s a lot more complicated than just buying the swag. So, we wanted to create a “how to” guide for planning a flawless golf event.
Before we dive into our tips and tricks on planning a golf event, here are five fun facts about golf, for your next trivia night:
- Around half of the world’s golf courses and players are estimated to be in America – experts estimate that 25M people played golf in America in 2014, and there are over 15,000 golf courses in the US!
- Golf will be included in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics
- The chances of making two holes-in-one in a round of golf are one in 67 million
- Golf is the only sport that has been played on the moon – on February 6, 1971, Alan Shepard hit a golf ball
- In 2015, at 21 years, 9 months and 17 days, Jordan Spieth became the second-youngest player to win the Masters. He is only behind only Tiger Woods, who was 21 years, 3 months and 14 days when he won his first Masters in 1997
Now, for the fun part – planning that golf event! Where to begin? Right here, of course!
- There’s no “I” in “Team”. Let’s face it – this is going to be REALLY tough (and less fun) to pull off alone. You should try to recruit a team of people at your organization with different skills but who are all committed to the event’s and organization’s success. If you can, you should also recruit some committee members who are knowledgeable golfers who have participated in similar events in the past – they will know what is “standard” and how these events tend to flow.
- Establish clear goals and a budget for the event. What outcome will make you call this day a “success”? Are you trying to raise a certain amount of money for a non-profit? Are you trying to engage your employees in a team building event, within a certain budget? Make sure these goals are clearly outlined, as well as the budget you have to execute the event. If appropriate for your event (particularly for charity events), consider attracting sponsors to help with costs of the event. Sponsors can be companies or individuals who donate money or goods to your event. In exchange, the sponsor name would be advertised on a banner or marker at one of the golf holes.
- Pick a golf course partner and date. The date of your event will likely be driven by the availability of the golf course(s) at which you want to host the event. Usually the more exclusive the course, the more excited the potential participants, but also the longer the lead time to find a date. Generally speaking, plan on 6 to 9 months lead time ahead of an event. Sometimes courses offer discounts for off-season or mid-week golf dates, so those can be good dates for events for employees. We recommend chatting with more than one golf course to become educated on event, cost, and contract norms. Knowledge is power!
- What if it rains? Work with the golf course to identify rain date or alternative start time. It’s possible to play in light rain, but nobody likes to play in a steady downpour! And lightning is a big no-no.
- Don’t forget the contests and prizes! Add some fun to the day by creating contests, such as “longest drive”, “shortest drive”, or putting contests. Putting contests are very popular because anyone (even if they aren’t participating in the full tournament) can participate at a pre-determined hole. For prizes, take a look at some of the products under our Corporate Golf Events page for ideas, particularly bags, gifts, accessories that are one size fits all. Trophies can be fun but will likely become dust collectors in someone’s basement. Select prizes that participants will actually use! Use the cocktail hour or dinner time to announce contest winners and award prizes.
Hopefully these tips will give you a solid start. Just remember – on the day of the event, do everything you can to make sure your players have a great time (while staying within budget!). They have fun, you look like a rockstar, and the organization meets its objectives. Wins all around. You’ve got this! And of course – Merchology is here if you need any help with prizes and swag. GOOD LUCK!