Guide to Planning a Company Golf Event
Spring and Summer is the perfect time of the year to get your team together out of the office for a company event, and what better way to accomplish that than by organizing a company golf outing?
Bringing your co-workers or clients together for a golf outing isn’t just a great way to get out of the office, it’s also a great opportunity to build rapport and relationships! But where do you start? Putting together a successful golf event for your coworkers and colleagues may seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry - we’ve got your back.
Lay the Groundwork
The first step in planning a golf event is, well, planning. Without proper organization events like this can go off the rails quick. Before you get moving, you’re going to want to assemble your team and assign roles and responsibilities. This should include a coworker or two but will later expand to include contacts from the golf course and any other third party you chose to include, like catering services. Once you have formed your team, determining a date and time for your event is a good place to start!
Determine the Size of Your Golf Event
Now that you’ve got a date planned and you’ve assembled your event planning dream-team, locking down at least an estimated headcount is a smart next step. One thing to consider here is tee-off and finishing times. A shotgun start is the best way to ensure that everyone in your group starts and finishes their round around the same time.
A shotgun start means that all groups tee off on a different hole at the same time. To book a complete shotgun start, you will need 72 golfers – that’s a foursome starting on each hole. Courses will often accommodate 2 groups starting on each hole as well, which pushes your limit to 144 golfers.
If you have a smaller group, then this becomes much less complicated and you can simply book individual tee-times for your group.
Establish the Budget for your Golf Event
Once you have your team in place and you know how many people will be attending your event you can start crunching the numbers for your budget. This will help in determining how much money you can put into things like contests, prizes, food, drinks and more.
Potential Golfing Expenses
- Green Fees – this is the charge from the course for a round. Green fees are typically around $20 on the low end and upwards of $200 on the high end. Ask for a group rate!
- Carts – Will you be providing your guests with carts? Courses typically charge extra for this if you don’t prearrange a deal. Alternatives could include volunteer caddies or push carts.
- Staff – Additional staff for your event could include caddies, officials, catering and clean up staff. Many golf courses have staff available for events as well.
- Food and drink – It is common to give out free food and beverages either at the beginning of the round or halfway through the round at the turn. Also, a great way to wrap up a golf outing is with a banquet or dinner. This is also a good time to announce tournament and competition winners!
- Gear – Setting up your golfers with custom golf gear prior to the event ensures that everyone has something to wear and gives your event a sense of professionalism and swagger. Deck out your group in custom embroidered golf polos and golf hats from the top brands in golf to make your attendees feel like they’re one of the pros!
- Equipment and Accessories – it is likely that not all of your attendees will have their own set of clubs to use, so contact the course ahead of time to set up club rental for those in need. In addition to clubs, make sure that your golfers are equipped with the right tools. Check out our custom golf accessories for custom logo golf balls, towels, ball markers and divot tools!
- Entertainment and photography – live music or activities at your after-golf banquet is a great touch and capturing the whole event on film is priceless!
- Marketing Materials – this is only necessary if you want to promote your event, in which case it would include things like flyers, marketing campaigns and signage.
- Awards and prizes – your big winners are going to expect a prize for their hard work! Check out our customizable corporate gifts and accessories for some ideas for prizes and tee gifts.
There are also so unique ways to raise money for your event, including sponsorship, merchandise sales, auctions or selling mulligans!
Selecting a Golf Course
This might just be the most important step in the planning process. Whiffing on golf course selection can tank your event in a hurry. Here are a few things to consider when picking out the perfect host course:
- Location – Unless you are providing everyone with transportation and accommodations, it is wise to select a course that is close to your office.
- Price – Selecting an overly expensive course can tighten your event budget and limit what you can do in terms of additional activities or prizes.
- Difficulty – All courses are not created equal. Some courses are especially long or difficult, so be sure to have a general idea of the skill level of your team.
- Accommodations – Will you need the golf course to provide meeting space, dining space or food service? Make sure the course you choose fits your needs!
Choose the Format of your Golf Event
As if golf wasn’t already confusing enough, there are a whole bunch of ways to play it! If you want to deviate from standard individual stroke play to spice up your event, there are a few different team competition formats to pick from.
Scramble Tournament Format
Each golfer tees off and the best drive is chosen. Then all team members hit their next shot from that spot and continue to play the best shot until the ball goes in the cup. This is an especially popular format for larger events because it increases the rate of play.
Best Ball/ Four Ball Tournament Format
Each golfer hits their own ball, but only the lowest score from the team is recorded as the official score for each hole. In this format each golfer plays their own full round, but the team scorecard looks much better in the end. Win-win!
Odd & Even Tournament Format
There are two golfers per team who take turns hitting the same ball. One golfer hits odd numbered shots and one hits even. Easy enough, right? This format also greatly speeds up matches for large groups.
Low Gross Net Score Tournament Format
This one requires some basic arithmetic at the end of your round. Just as the name suggests, the team with the lowest total combined score at the end of the event wins.
More Golf Tournament Formats
There are a lot of ways to play golf! Some more advanced formats include stableford, shamble, and blind hole match.
Setup Competitions throughout the Event
There are a ton of fun competitions you can station throughout the course to energize your event. On different holes throughout the course set up competitions for longest drive, longest putt and closest to the pin. After everyone completes their rounds you can announce the winners and award prizes.
Prizes and Awards
The most common prizes for these on-course type events are typically custom logo electronics, golf gear, or outdoor products. Want prizes that people will actually want? Putting your corporate logo or the logo for your golf tournament on anything from speakers to coolers is a perfect way to commemorate your event. Or how about a custom embroidered golf bag for under 100 bucks?! For smaller prizes, check out our custom logo golf accessories for items like golf towels, ball markers, golf gloves and more.
Plan for After Golf
Your attendees will be hungry and thirsty after their round, so a banquet or dinner is a perfect way to wrap up your event. The nineteenth hole is an age-old tradition in golf, so plan a half hour for golfers to enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres as they trickle in from the course. Once everyone is back from their rounds you can finish they day with dinner and an awards ceremony to distribute prizes to your big winners!
Cover all your bases
Make sure to have a back-up plan in place in case it rains. Providing golfers with custom rain gear in advance is a great way to hedge your bets against mother nature. Think of it as hitting a provisional ball!
Additionally, if you are planning a corporate event make sure that there are alternate activities planned for those you do not want to or are not able to golf. Reserving a room in the club house for other team building activities is never a bad call.
Leading Up to the Golf Event
In the weeks leading up to your golf outing there are a few tasks you’ll want to tackle to make sure all your ducks are in a row.
Schedule Tee Times
Tee times need to be determined in advance of the event. If you are doing a shotgun start, make sure that everyone knows what hole they are teeing off at. If you’re not doing a shotgun start, be sure that all golfers know what time they are teeing off.
Verify Food and Beverage Plans
Touch base with the golf course or the catering company to confirm that everyone is on the same page here. Hungry and thirsty golfers will turn on you quick!
Order Materials for the Golf Event
Equipment – contact the course to make sure there are enough rental clubs and golf carts to meet your group’s needs.
Prizes – it would be awfully awkward if you had to send your winners home empty handed!
Print your Itinerary
A good itinerary or program for your event should include the following information:
- Schedule of events and tee times
- Preview of contests and prizes
- Information on the course, clubhouse and locker rooms.
- Club provided or custom scorecards
On Day of Your Golf Event
The day is finally here! It’s almost time to kick back and enjoy your event, but there are a few more things you should do to make sure you ace your golf outing. You’ll want to get to the course early to do a walk through and meet the event staff. Once you’ve got the lay of the land it’s time to set up any signage for the event and your registration booth. At your registration booth you should also distribute the itinerary for the event along with the tee gifts if you are doing a shotgun start. Once golfers are on the course you can either focus on setting up the after-golf events or get out there and play yourself. Hit ‘em straight!