Of all your tournament costs, beverages can be the most difficult to control. Other expenses can be negotiated or are charged per player; beverage charges are typically for each drink consumed.

It's tough to estimate how many drinks will be consumed — or to budget for it — unless you take control of the consumption. One way to do so is to ask the facility to pre-set the amount of beverages available on the course. If beverage tickets are used, each golfer gets a set number of tickets to be redeemed for a soft drink or beer.

Five beverage tickets is a reasonable number of tickets if a pre-tournament lunch is not served. If tickets are not issued and a set quantity of beverages are to be distributed, assume each player will consume between seven and nine drinks, with a 50/50 split between soft drinks and beer.

For budgetary purposes, use the five-drink ticket method and estimate that each person at the tournament will drink three beers and two soft drinks. Assuming 144 golfers, with beer costing $2 and soft drinks $1.25, plus a tax rate of 8.25 percent, your beverage cost estimate is $1,324.98:

  • Beer: 144 people @ $2/drink @ 3 drinks plus tax = $935.28

  • Soft drinks: 144 people @ $1.25/drink @ 2 drinks plus tax = $389.70

  • Total beverage cost: $935.28 + $389.70 = $1,324.98.

Using the formula without controls, and assuming four soft drinks and four beers per person, the total cost is $2,026.44. So it's easy to see why limiting drinks is a must.

SOURCE: Mike Mucci, All About Golf Tournament Planning, Cleveland, www.golftp1.com