How to Plan a Golf Tournament: 10 Quick Tips for Success

Are you in charge of planning a golf tournament? Then you probably have questions about the best way to go about it. Many people who get put in charge of a company's or charity's golf tournament outing have no prior experience doing so. So the single best tip is to talk to the staff at the golf course you've chosen to host the tournament and ask lots of questions.

One of those questions you can ask is for the contact information of individuals who've planned tournaments at that course previously. Make some calls and talk to people who've planned a golf tournament — ask questions about the things they feel they did right, and the things they wish they had done differently.

And start early! Beyond that general advice, here are 10 more quick tips for how to plan a golf tournament:

1. Choose the Right Course/Facility
Choose a golf course and facility that will suit your needs and be sure its staff is accommodating. Meet with the staff and be sure to communicate what you want to accomplish, especially if you are doing a luncheon or awards gathering after play. Also, now is the time to consider how many golfers you will allow. Check with the course on their recommendations. However, for smoother play, try not to book more than 128 golfers per course.

2. Promotion
"Promotional flyers" used to refer to a print product that you could hang on a physial bulletin board or pass out. Today, there are many more formats for people to receive such information, such as websites, mobile apps (if your company or organization has one), text messages, e-vites and so on. Regardless of the format, produce the electronic equivalent of an old-fashioned flyer (and maybe some physical copies, too) that explains and advertises the golf tournament in a concise and easy to read format. Include a registration form in the brochure, or instructions on how to submit a registration online or on one's phone. Include contact info for questions. Search local golf organizations and websites for tournament calendars and submit your information.

3. Start Early on Sponsors/Signage
Don't forget to get golf tournament sponsors and order course signage early. It can take some time to get all your logos in proper format for your sign printer. Be sure your tournament sponsors approve their logos before the signs are printed. Most companies are very specific about their logo and expect everyone to follow their guidelines. Will you be holding proxy contests (closest to the pin, etc.)? You might need to find sponsors for those events, too.

4. Goodie Bags & Giveaways
Give some thought to your goodie bags or tournament giveaways. Embroidered golf shirts, hats, tees, balls, etc. Also, consider bottled water and sunscreen packets. Order your golf tournament awards early.

5. Think About Registration Process
Design (or purchase) a database on your computer for your registration process to help you track your players and pair the teams. (There are many golf tournament planning software packages and apps out there now.) Be sure the pro of the club has this information at least two days prior to the event.

6. Make Your Staff Easy to Spot
Be sure your golf staff is easily recognized with a special color golf shirt or hat on tournament day.

7. Delegate Tournament-Day Responsibilities
Make a checklist of everything that has to be done on tournament day and delegate out each part of the list. Get an early start.

8. Make Check-In Easy
Provide the players, the day of the golf tournament, an easy check-in system and be sure they have the necessary tools for play (tees, balls, scorecards, etc.).

9. On-Course Food and Drink
Be sure to provide proper nourishment on the course. A variety of snacks and drinks should be readily available at various points on and around the golf course. You must check course regulations. Some courses do not allow outside food and drink.

10. Expect the Unexpected
Last but not least, don't forget to plan for the unexpected, such as weather issues, course problems, staffing shortages, injuries, etc. And it's always smart to remind your entrants to practice good golf etiquette and golf safety.

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