Event Goals and Strategies

  • What is the goal of the event/tournament? Is it a form of client appreciation, an incentive, or an opportunity for a group to socialize?

  • What is the desired outcome?

The Event

  • What is your budget?

  • Have you looked into sponsorships or partnership options?

  • How many days do you have to work with? How many courses do you need?

  • In what country or region would you prefer to hold the event?

  • What activities relate to the event? Is your event associated with a meeting, training, a conference, or a social function?

  • Do you want to hire a golf professional?

  • What other entertainment options are you considering?

  • What's the level of your players? Are they low-handicap, high-handicap, or mixed? Is the group all male, female, or mixed?

  • What format options do you plan to use?

Course Selection

  • Consider the type of course, the size of its professional staff, its distance to a hotel/conference facility (if applicable), driving time for participants, and bus parking capacity (if applicable).

  • How many tournaments are being held the two weeks before, during, and after your time at the course?

  • Do you want a fairway or a green? What are the typical slope and greens readings for the course?

  • Are any maintenance efforts going on during your tournament?

  • What selection and price range are offered at the golf pro shop?

  • What are the locker rooms like? Are there separate facilities for men and women? How many lockers and shower stalls are available?

  • What's the bag drop and bag storage capacity?

  • How many golf carts are available, and how old is the fleet? Do you want caddies; if so, will they be available?

  • What special features does the course offer? (Is it a PGA stop, for example, or a place where USGA tournaments are played?)

  • What's included in the price? Is there a rain policy? What about food & beverage facilities (including beverage carts)?

  • What's the tee-time spacing? How many starters and rangers are available?

  • Are tournament services available? What are the rules on bringing in sponsor items, beverages, etc.?

  • Is there a driving range/practice area (including clinics)?

  • What's the policy on signage on the course and in the clubhouse?

  • Is the staff willing to work with outside professionals?

Event Planning

  • Send invitations to participants.

  • Get tee bags.

  • Order signage and golf-related gifts.

  • Plan for distributing gifts (if multiple days).

  • Make pairing arrangements and pairing parties.

  • Develop tournament rules sheet.

  • Create specialty holes.

  • Get event insurance.

  • Decide on alternatives for weather problems.

  • Plan transportation.

  • Process the verification of handicaps (if required).

Bob Hatheway is president of RJH Associates, located in Windsor Locks, Conn. He can be reached at (860) 623-6735; or by e-mail at mtgsplus@aol.com.