When it comes to celebrity golf pros, bigger is not always better.
The right pro will make it an event to remember.
So, it's up to you to find a professional golfer for your company golf outing. At first, dealing with agents and management companies and choosing from all the possible names can seem like a daunting task. Here's a quick guide.
Tiger Woods doesn't do corporate golf outings. This is a common question. Tiger has huge demands on his time from tournaments, sponsors, his foundation, and his desire to be the best player in the world. As a result, he has told his manager that he simply will not do any special events.
The best-known players aren't always the best entertainers. Many companies have paid $75,000 for last year's Ryder Cup hero, and he ends up being a huge disappointment. The smart alternative: Go with a player who can work with a group — and will likely cost you less money.
Consider an LPGA or Senior PGA Player. With the proliferation of prize money on the PGA Tour (a.k.a. “the Tiger Woods effect”), many PGA Tour players are not as motivated to give up their Mondays off to participate in a corporate event. A great alternative is an LPGA player or Senior PGA Tour player. You will find that they enjoy interacting with your customers and, more importantly, that your customers enjoy them.
Get references. Most management companies will provide you with a list of suggested pros based on the information you provide. After you have narrowed down the list to one or two players, ask your contact to provide you with references.
Plan your event for a Monday. Most Tour pros play theirpractice rounds on Tuesday, Pro-Ams on Wednesday, and the actual tournament from Thursday through Sunday, making Monday the most logical day to participate in outings. You can save yourself a lot of headaches by scheduling your event on Monday. (Tuesday is the next-best alternative.)
Maximize attendees' time with the pro. A common mistake is for companies to leave too many gaps in the event schedule, making the pro's day much longer than necessary. A long day can be tiring for anyone. Also, the pro's biggest concern is making the last flight out to his or her next destination. Consider scheduling a clinic, immediately followed by lunch, then golf followed by your awards reception.
Pat Leahy is an account executive in the Golf Division at Cleveland-based IMG, the world's largest sports management company. IMG's list of clients includes Tiger Woods, Joe Montana, and the Williams sisters. Reach him at (216) 436-3248 or email@example.com.