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10 Steps to a Winning Charity Golf Tournament

10 Steps to a Winning Charity Golf Tournament

Looking to host a charity golf tournament? Golf tournaments can be highly effective fundraisers when well-planned and executed.

This guide covers everything from forming a dedicated golf tournament committee, selecting the perfect course, recruiting participants and sponsors, to implementing online registration. We’ll show you how to enhance your event by incorporating contests and revenue boosters, as well as the best way to wrap up the tournament to keep supporters coming back year after year.

Benefits of Charity Golf Tournaments as Fundraising Events

Charity golf tournaments are traditional fundraising events that offer a unique blend of fun, competition, and philanthropy, making them highly effective in raising funds for charitable causes. Here are some of the top benefits of charity golf tournaments:

  • A Winning Combination: Charity golf tournaments bring together the best of both worlds – the excitement of a golf competition and the satisfaction of supporting a worthy cause.
  • Attracting a Diverse Crowd: These events draw in a wide range of participants, including golfers, business people, and community members, creating a dynamic atmosphere.
  • Networking Opportunities: The diverse mix of attendees provides an excellent platform for sponsors and participants to forge new connections, fostering valuable networking opportunities.
  • Camaraderie and Teamwork: The tournaments cultivate a sense of camaraderie and teamwork among participants, generating a positive and enjoyable atmosphere for all.
  • Making a Meaningful Difference: By participating in a charity golf event, individuals and teams can significantly impact their community while engaging in a beloved sport.
10-Step Guide to Running a Successful Charity Golf Tournament

10-Step Guide to Running a Successful Charity Golf Tournament

Now, let’s dive into the steps to running a successful and memorable charity golf tournament.

1. Assemble Your Charity Golf Tournament Planning Committee

Successful golf tournament fundraisers hinge on the recruitment and action of a strong leadership team. Ideally, your team should comprise individuals with diverse skills and talents who share a common interest in the organization’s success. It’s a great idea to find a knowledgeable golfer and invite them to join your event planning committee. They can offer essential insights into golf rules and etiquette since many charity tournament organizers are unfamiliar with this.

Consider assigning a person (or team of people) to the following tournament areas:

Assemble Your Charity Golf Tournament Planning Committee
  • Sponsorship and Corporate Donations: Creating sponsorship packages with benefits and seeking local sponsorship.
  • Marketing and Public Relations: Promoting the tournament in local and social media. Creating print and website materials.
  • Hospitality and Day of Event Operations: Organizing event logistics, including table or tent rentals, cash boxes, golf cart rentals, event signage, and more. This group also plans breakfast and post-tournament meals and activities and coordinates entertainment.
  • Volunteer Manager or Committee: This group will organize staff and volunteers for tournament day activities, including the Welcome Committee. Friendly, outgoing individuals to welcome guests, set up registration tables, prize tables, distribute goody bags, snacks, drink tickets, and sell raffle tickets.
  • Prize Committee: This group is responsible for finding items for goody bags, such as golf balls, tees, and other promotional items. They work with the sponsorship coordinator to obtain donated items for golf tournament contests, fundraising raffles, and charity auctions.

2. Setting Golf Tournament Goals and Objectives

Establishing your tournament goals is an essential step in organizing a charity golf event. Determine how much money you need to raise and estimate costs, as these will influence your tournament planning. Create a written golf tournament budget and detailed project plan that spells out goals and outlines roles and responsibilities.

Choose a tournament format that aligns with your objectives, such as a scramble, golf marathon, or best ball tournament.

3. Selecting and Negotiating with the Golf Course

Selecting the right golf course is crucial in planning charity golf events. Choosing an exclusive and highly rated course establishes credibility with sponsors and players, so avoid selecting a local community course solely based on convenience or budget constraints.

Selecting and Negotiating with the Golf Course

If you’re considering a private course or country club, you must consider the costs associated with elite courses. Some courses will be willing to support your organization and fill up their course during the week or off-season.

Ensure you are prepared with a list of questions before you start negotiations with a preferred golf course. You may want to compare costs and services between a few courses to ensure you get the best deal. Make sure you feel comfortable with the courses’ terms and staff. You want to ensure the course will treat your guests to a great day of hospitality.

Once you’ve identified a course that meets your needs, you’ll want to confirm specific rules and details with the staff. (Are golf balls, carts, scorecards, gratuities, and service fees included?) Putting everything into writing and signing an agreement can alleviate confusion on tournament day.

4. Securing Tournament Sponsors

Corporate and business sponsors play a crucial role in the success of charity golf events. Sponsorships set a solid financial foundation and enable early fundraising during the event planning phase. Here are some ideas for finding tournament sponsors:

Tournament Sponsors
  • Start with Current Supporters: Reach out to your nonprofit’s current supporters, including board members, staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries, and ask if their companies or social networks may be interested in sponsoring your fundraiser.
  • Engage Local Businesses: Approach local businesses to support your community event and gain exposure among the local audience.
  • Tap into Vendor Relationships: Explore sponsorship opportunities with your existing vendors, leveraging the established relationship.
  • Philanthropy and Brand Building: Emphasize to potential sponsors that charity events offer a chance to attract new customers and build their brand while giving back to the community.
  • A Mutually Beneficial Relationship: Communicate the benefits and promotional opportunities sponsors can expect, such as logo placement, social media mentions, and recognition at the fundraiser.

5. Tournament Marketing and Promotion

Marketing your golf tournament is the next important step to success. Marketers can write press releases and pitch story ideas to the media. They also create print and digital promotional materials to help spread the word about the event.

You’ll want to advertise your event via flyers, print ads, event posters, and on your organization’s website and social media platforms.

Tournament Marketing and Promotion

6. Recruiting Golfers and Foursomes for the Tournament

Now that you have the ideal course, it’s time to find some golfers. There are several reasons why golfers will want to participate in your charity tournament, so focus on these areas in your marketing efforts:

Golfers and Foursomes
  • Your Cause – The best place to start recruiting is with the people who already support your organization and cause. They love or have been personally affected by your cause. Even if they don’t golf, they may find golfer friends or attend the celebration and banquet.
  • The Event – This is where you can draw new people into your circle. There are many golf enthusiasts for whom a charity tournament is a chance to enjoy some fun with friends and feel good about doing it. Fundraising contests and games will add to the allure, as will the after-party with a silent auction and more fun.
  • The Course – Hosting a charity golf tournament at a private golf course or country club can be a big draw. Many people who wouldn’t usually be able to golf here would love the opportunity to come for the day. Remember this and advertise the course widely on your event website and flyers.
  • People – Golf fundraisers are social events. Look for committee members who know lots of people, love to play golf and are good at networking. Another way to attract participants is by recruiting a local celebrity to golf or emcee for the awards dinner.

7. Managing the Golf Tournament with Online Registration

Making it easy for interested people to get information and register will certainly help make your fundraiser a success. DoJiggy powers the industry-leading golf tournament platform, including key functions to:

  • Manage player and team registrations
  • Ask for golf handicaps and any custom questions
  • Organize pre-event promotions and email communication
  • Publish golf course maps and photos to highlight your chosen course or country club
  • Sell sponsorship packages and promote sponsors online
  • Sell golf products (raffle tickets, mulligan packages, dinner-only tickets, golf shirts, and more)
  • Process secure credit card payments
DoJiggy Golf Tournament Software

8. Adding Revenue Boosters to the Tournament

When organizing a golf fundraising event, one of the most important considerations will be to look at ways to bring in additional revenue. Even many corporate golf events include a charitable component and include fundraising ideas and contests. Below are some fundraising ideas to consider when organizing a fundraising golf tournament:


Elevate your golf tournament by selling golf merchandise that can significantly boost revenue. Your group can sell custom-branded merchandise, such as t-shirts, caps, and golf towels. This is also a great way to spread awareness and extend your outreach. 

Raffles and auctions


Many organizations host fundraising raffles with donated prizes from sponsors to raise essential funds for your mission. This is a fun and exciting add-on to your charity golf tournament and can be highly lucrative. Try to procure a diverse range of desirable prizes such as special trips, one-of-a-kind experiences, and unique items to make it all the more popular.

Check out our list of The Best Golf Tournament Prizes and Award Ideas.

Golf Tournament Contests

Incorporating on-course activities and contests adds fun with a little friendly competition. Set up putting contests, a longest drive competition, and a Hole-in-One contest. Participants pay a fee to compete, with the chance to win money and prizes. Make sure to publicize these activities on your tournament or event website to generate excitement and encourage participation.


Auctions are a fantastic way to generate additional revenue for charity golf tournaments. Depending on the event’s format and logistics, you can organize an online silent auction or a live auction. Contact local businesses and sponsors to procure exciting items and experiences for the auction. Popular auction items include sports memorabilia, vacation packages, exclusive dining and spa experiences, golf equipment, and curated gift baskets.

9. On Tournament Day

Be sure to arrive at the course early on tournament day, giving your group time to set up the event venue and signage before your participants arrive. You’ll need plenty of volunteers and staff on hand to assist with the following:

On the Day of the Tournament
  • Managing player registration and check-in tables
  • Coordinating tournament activities and logistics
  • Providing exceptional on-course experiences and managing contests
  • Hosting the awards ceremony and clubhouse or post-tournament activities
  • Selling raffle tickets and additional merchandise

10. Post-Tournament Evaluation and Follow-up

Once the tournament wraps up, you’ll likely feel like crashing. But not before you have a final committee meeting to assess the tournament’s success and make notes on lessons learned for next year. Other tasks include:

  • Collecting feedback from participants and sponsors
  • Sending post-event thank-you messages and acknowledgments
  • Updating the event website with pictures and statistics
  • Reviewing financials, paying final invoices, and finalizing fundraising results

More Tools for Running a Charity Golf Tournament

Get started with our donor-friendly tournament websites to help your organization save time and raise more money than ever before.

Lisa Bennett

About Lisa Bennett

Lisa is the Sales Director at DoJiggy. She joined DoJiggy in 2006 and loves her job. Prior to working with DoJiggy, she worked at several non-profits and managed special event fundraising.

See other posts from Lisa Bennett