Golf Tournament Planning: The Official Guide [2024]

Golf Tournament Planning

Are you interested in organizing a successful golf tournament? Planning a fundraising or charity golf tournament can certainly seem like a daunting task. If this is your first time around, don’t fret! We’ve been providing golf tournament services since 2003 and are here to help. In this golf tournament planning guide, we cover a variety of steps that will provide your group with the tools you need to host a great golf tournament and maximize your income.

Golf tournament planning follows the same process as most charity fundraisers. Start with a solid team and always end by wrapping up the event and thanking everyone involved. Below, we detail ten steps to make your fundraising golf tournaments a success. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Step 1: Selecting Your Planning Committee

Selecting Your Golf Planning Committee

A strong golf tournament planning committee with the right balance of dedication, special events experience, and communication skills is key to your tournament’s success. 

Here is a list of members or sub-committees that are typically part of a golf tournament planning committee:

  • Event Planner: This is the primary tournament manager who heads up the committee and handles important logistics of the golf event. The event planner is responsible for being the venue and vendor liaison, managing the day of event logistics, approving the golf tournament software, and volunteer management.
  • Treasurer: The tournament treasurer should have a knack for numbers. They work with the committee to project tournament costs and fundraising goals, then assist with bookkeeping, reconciling throughout the event, and reporting the final numbers after the event.
  • Secretary: The secretary is responsible for recording and distributing the minutes of each meeting, along with tasks and assignments. 
  • Sponsorship Recruitment: Sponsorship recruitment includes obtaining corporate and business sponsorships, monetary donations from individuals, and procuring in-kind donations for prizes or services. 
  • Marketing: Marketing is an overarching umbrella of several efforts to raise awareness and garner attention for the fundraising event. Marketing Committee members are tasked with media/public relations, social media, and graphic design responsibilities.

Step 2: Determining Tournament Logistics

The logistics of the golf tournament involve establishing the basic details revolving around the event – the what, when, and where. Here are some things to discuss with the golf committee and the golf course staff:

  • Event Date and Time – Having a fine golf course in excellent condition during your tournament is one of the critical appeals for your golf event.
  • Course Location – If you have the budget, private and exclusive clubs can bring in serious golfers.
  • Deciding on the Golf Tournament Format – While the scramble is undoubtedly the most common, you can consider golf marathons and other golf tournament formats.
Determining Golf Tournament Logistics

Step 3: Golf Tournament Budgeting

Golf Tournament Budgeting

How much money do you want to raise? A reasonable, optimistic financial goal is key to successful golf tournament planning. A successful golf tournament ensures the budget has been discussed and planned to cover your costs and raise the funds needed for your charitable cause.

Knowing your costs is the first step in budgeting. This will also help determine your golf entry fees and awards banquet pricing and set the threshold for monetary sponsorship objectives.  Your goal should be to fill your field with golfers and make enough money from registration fees to cover most expenses.

We make it easy! Use our free Download.

Golf Tournament Budget

Step 4: Creating a User-Friendly Golf Tournament Website

Your golf tournament website is the central hub for distributing information about your tournament. Don’t skip this step, as it will save your team the hassle of manually managing registrations and sales, handling cash payments, and completing foursomes. DoJiggy powers the industry-leading platform for fundraising golf tournaments.

With our golf tournament platform, your organization’s mobile-responsive website will be administered and managed via the administration area. Tournament administrators can:

  • Register players and teams with the ability to ask handicap and custom questions.
  • Manage foursome pairings and invited participants.
  • Sell golf tournament products to increase revenue – including dinner only, bar tickets, mulligan packages, and raffles. 
  • Configure custom sponsorship packages and promote sponsors online.
  • Easily integrate with Stripe or PayPal for secure credit card processing.

Our Golf Tournament Software Makes Charity Golf Tournament Planning Simple and Effective

Whether your organization is planning a small golf outing or a large corporate fundraiser, DoJiggy has the platform to administer golf tournament details, allowing you to focus on a more successful event.

DoJiggy Golf Tournament Software

Step 5: Finding Golf Tournament Sponsors

Finding Tournament Sponsors

Corporate and community sponsors are critical in any successful golf tournament fundraiser. These corporations and local businesses help increase awareness of an event by promoting it to their employees and customers via social media, which is helpful when it is time to attract the attention of local media and recruit golfers. Most importantly, sponsors create a financial backbone by helping to offset tournament costs, which are generally quite high. 

Finding corporate sponsorships can be one of the most challenging aspects of planning a fundraising event. Create a list of sponsorship opportunities with clear marketing and golf benefits. Proactive planning, a strong and communicative team, and consistent follow-up are the keys to obtaining adequate sponsors to make your annual golf tournament successful.

Read more on attracting golf tournament sponsors for your tournaments.

Step 6: Recruiting Golfers

Once the tournament date and location have been finalized, prepare the event collateral, including a personalized letter and/or email to potential golfers. This should be sent to your organization’s mailing list of supporters, local golfers, past event participants, and local businesses. This is a great opportunity to educate community members on the importance of their support and the cause that their contributions will be helping.

Make sure to begin again with the planning committee, having members reach out to their networks for anyone who might like to participate in the golf outing. Then, begin outreach to local businesses, golf associations, and community outlets to reach out to new people. Also, contact local media outlets to pique interest in those who have not heard of your organization or the event.

Send potential golfers to your golf tournament website to easily and securely register and pay online.

Recruiting Golfers

Step 7: Managing Volunteers for Tournament Day

Managing Volunteers

Strong volunteers are the backbone of your golf tournament. While the golf course is often the main attraction, the event is enjoyable because a strong volunteer team ensures that every attendee is given attention. While these are some tasks to remember when finding volunteers to help with the event, the volunteer leader is the glue of the team. This may be a tournament committee member or another trusted volunteer with experience, calm composure, and a solution-oriented attitude. 

You’ll need volunteers to help with the tournament setup and take down, registration and welcome, the awards ceremony and presentations, raffle tickets, and silent auction sales. It’s always wise to have a runner that can do anything that comes up, too.

Step 8: Implementing Contests to Increase Fundraising Potential

Golf contests and activities can add more variety and fun to a golf tournament and are another way to earn significant funds for the event. Best of all, they are easy to run. Hole-in-One contests, Beat the Pro, and putting contests are some of the most popular options to add to your tournament. Tee prizes can really make a golf event.

Fundraising raffles are a great way to raise money and engage reception attendees. The success of your giveaway relies on finding great raffle prizes. If impressive prizes are lacking, you should consider purchasing prizes. We offer amazing and one-of-a-kind vacation packages for sale.

Read more on implementing FUN golf tournament ideas.

Implementing Contests to Increase Fundraising Potential

Step 9: Organizing the Awards Banquet

Organizing the Awards Banquet

Hosting a golf tournament awards banquet allows you to thank attendees and sponsors for participating and offer recognition for your event’s best players or fundraisers. The banquet can be a full sit-down dinner reception or something less formal – such as a BBQ or taco line.

The awards banquet is a great chance to share your cause and achievements and increase the funds raised at your outing. Individual tickets or tables can be sold to those not golfing, giving partners and non-golfers a chance to enjoy the fundraising event. 

Hosting live and silent auctions can dramatically increase the funds raised at your awards banquet. Selecting or procuring appealing auction items is critical to your success. Live auction items should be limited in number and should be high-value items. Silent auctions are great for smaller items you have received via in-kind donations.

Step 10: Wrapping Up the Tournament

Be sure to have a full committee meeting within seven days of the tournament when everyone’s memories are fresh. At this meeting, everything is discussed, evaluated (what was successful and what wasn’t?), and documented for next year. Remember that even key volunteers and nonprofit staff members often change from year to year, so you cannot rely on people’s memories. Document everything in a file that can be handed over to next year’s golf tournament planning committee to take advantage of the lessons learned and build on your success.

Write a great thank you letter that describes your success, including how much you raised and what you plan to do with the money. Send it to your golfers, sponsors, volunteers, and supporters. Thank everyone for their contributions, and highlight your key sponsors. Add this to your golf tournament website’s home page, along with photos from the tournament.

Wrapping Up the Tournament
Golf Tournament Planning - Project Checklist

Run Successful Golf Tournaments with our Free Golf Tournament Planning Resources

Many tournament planners need access to event planning tools, budgets, templates, and golf-focused services to help make their tournaments more successful. Our free tournament planning resources and industry-leading golf software are part of our commitment to helping organizations run profitable golf tournaments. The set of tournament planning resources below includes:

  • A comprehensive tournament planner and checklist – start here!
  • A golf tournament budget with proposed income and expenses
  • Golf tournament flyer templates
  • A set of five standard tournament letter templates

Golf Tournament Planner 

Sometimes, the most difficult tasks of planning a golf tournament lie in the initial organizing and planning stages. Choosing a golf course, deciding on food and beverage options, activities, contests, and prizes, finding sponsors, and promoting the tournament. This tournament planner includes a timeline and project checklist, helping give event planners a starting point. Fill in your due dates based on the date of your tournament. We’ve assigned responsibilities to three people: the Chairperson (Tournament director), the marketing or advertising manager (Marketing), and a Planning Director to help delegate to tournament volunteers.

Designed to help plan a golf tournament from start to finish, our Golf Tournament Planner will take the guesswork out of managing your next charity tournament.

Golf Tournament Games & Contents

Golf Tournament Games and Contents

Many supporters who participate in charity events are not serious golfers and want to enjoy themselves and relax on the course. That’s why games, fundraising raffles and giveaways, and contests are a big part of a successful fundraising golf tournament. They serve two purposes – adding to the fun and ensuring a golfer will return next year while adding significantly to your bottom line. Here are some ideas to incorporate into your charity tournaments:

  • Sell Mulligans – Mulligans cost your organization nothing and offer a golfer a re-do on a bad shot. Many organizations sell mulligans on their golf tournament websites and on the event day.
  • Hole-in-One Contests – A popular contest to offer during a charity golf tournament is a grand prize for a “Hole-in-One.” Your organization can advertise an extravagant grand prize such as $10,000 or a new car and entice some more serious golfers to come and play for your cause and a chance to win big. In the rare instance that someone does hit a hole-in-one, be sure to use hole-in-one insurance. Get a hole in one insurance quote.
  • Longest Drive and Other Contests – Many golfers will pay a special entry fee to be included in golf contests and be eligible to win a variety of great prizes such as rounds of golf, specialized golf balls, gift certificates, golf shirts, and items donated by your tournament sponsors.
  • Putting Contests: There are generally two kinds of putting contests: a single or one-putt contest and a combination or three-putt contest. Golf pros will love this!
  • Silent and Live Auctions – Hosting a charity auction is a great way to raise money for your organization and community. Procuring desirable auction items is key to your success, so DoJiggy offers one-of-a-kind travel packages for your silent and live auction fundraisers.
  • Sponsor Tees – If your golfers are playing 18 holes, you have 18 opportunities to sell tee sponsorships. Many of these sponsors would love to do more than display their sponsor sign at their hole. Why not allow them to set up a table with information and free samples of their products for your golfers to enjoy? Some sponsors may wish to provide free drinks to draw golfers to their tables.

Golf Tournament Templates

Golf Tournament Budget - Excel Spreadsheet

Golf Tournament Budget

Financial tracking and planning are key ingredients to your golf tournament’s success. This golf event budget comprises all major golf outing income (golf registrations, sponsorships, auction, raffle tickets) and expense categories (facility, decorations, marketing, and publicity expenses) and includes a profit/loss summary for both estimated and actual expenses. You may not have thought of these items yet, but you must! This budget will help predict and estimate costs and assist in monitoring income and expenses throughout the tournament planning. Further, the budget can later be reviewed with your golf tournament planning committee to help you with product ordering, fundraising, and profitability goals.

Golf Tournament Budget
Golf Tournament Flyers

Golf Tournament Flyers

Advertising your tournament and recruiting golfers is key to any successful golf tournament. Though your golf tournament website and online social media channels are likely your go-to marketing venue, posting tournament flyers in your community and at the golf club where the tournament will be held are important ways to get the word out. Include the golf club, entry fee, date, and a short promotional for your organization on the flyers. These golf tournament template flyers may be customized to suit your event and are available in two formats: a one-page flyer and a flyer with tear-away tabs. We hope these flyer templates will offer a great opportunity to boost your event’s visibility.

Golf Tournament Document Templates

Golf Tournament Document Templates

Charity golf tournaments must recruit and thank sponsors and players and maintain professional communication with the golf course where the tournament will be held. Our Golf Tournament Document Templates are a tournament communication letter set, including sample sponsor solicitation, sponsor confirmation, player confirmation, participant thank you, and golf course confirmation letters. Using these templates, you’ll assemble professional communications and sponsor recruitment materials with minimal time and effort. 

Golf Course Confirmation Letter Player Registration Confirmation Potential Donor Letter Sponsor Solicitation Letter Sponsor Thank You Letter