With the weather finally fair but ground still vibrant and green, there’s no time like the present to plan golf events. From attending a golf expo to hosting your own golf tournament, golf club social events can appeal to men and women alike. (Don’t think golf events will attract only men: nearly a quarter of professional golfers are female.) Here’s are the three first steps to take when planning a group golf event:
- Let your audience decide your event type
Your anticipated attendees will help you determine the right type of event to host. If you’ll have only avid golf enthusiasts, a golf tournament or visit to a golf expo may be a good choice. If there will be experienced and inexperienced golfers alike, you could still opt for a tournament, but may want to choose an easier course or provide a pre-event clinic so those unfamiliar to the sport can learn to play golf before hitting the course.
- Determining your budget
If you attend a golf expo, the budget is relatively simple: tickets for each attendee plus any food or drink you choose to provide. Hosting a golf course event, on the other hand, can require a bit more planning.
Most golf courses charge on a per-player basis. Included in the cost will be the greens fee and golf cart fee. You can generally leave it to your guests to supply their own clubs. No more than 14 golf clubs are allowed in a golfer’s bag at one time during a round of play.
When planning your budget, decide what amenities will be needed for your players. Will they want access to a driving range for warm-up? Most traditional golf events include some form of refreshment either before or after the event, or both. Beverage service is important on hot days. It can be nice to provide a full meal before and/or after 4.5 hours of play, just know you’ll usually have to calculate food and drink separately from the per-person basic fee.
If you host a tournament, other budget items may include brochures or invitations, a photographer, a pre-event clinic, and prizes. Popular prizes range from trophies to golf balls or other equipment. You could offer tickets to other golf events such as an upcoming golf expo or gift certificates to other popular golf venues. It can be fun to include commemorative items such as t-shirts or gift bag items as well. Once you have an idea of your budget items, you can turn to choosing a golf course to host your event.
- Choosing your golf course
Over 1000 golf clubs were already in existence in the U.S. by 1900. Today, there are over 15,000 golf courses in the U.S. If you’ve opted for a golf course event, that leaves quite a few to choose from. When planning a golf event, the first question to ask yourself is if you want to play on a public or private course. The benefits to public courses is they’re open to everyone so you don’t have to be a member to gain access. Planning a tournament on a public golf course can be as easy as calling the course tournament coordinator. Private courses, on the other hand, often require a current member to introduce you first. Depending on your network, this may or may not be an issue.
Whether you choose private or public, you’ll ideally want to find a course close enough to make for an easy commute for your guests. For instance, if you’re located in Delaware you may want to limit your search to golf courses in Delaware. Once you’ve found a possible course, take a tour of the grounds. As you tour the course, keep in mind the level of golf experience of your anticipated guests. The experience level of your guests will help determine the length and layout of the golf course you choose. Likewise, consider your players mobility and fitness level. As a reference, a nine-hole course will often require walking up to 2.5 miles. If a 175-pound man carries his clubs during play, he can expect to burn 460 calories per hour.