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Organize a Successful Golf Tournament

Basics of Golf Tournament Scheduling

Timing and organization are crucial when it comes to running a golf tournament, so avoid missed deadlines or a last minute rush by establishing your agenda early.

To simplify the process, we've created a tournament timeline, encompassing all of the necessary steps and when to begin them. If you follow this guide over the course of planning, we are confident you will turn out a fun, thought-through and complete golf tournament extravaganza!

Early Stages of Planning

During the beginning stages of the process, it's most important to get organized. We suggest starting 8 to 12 months before the scheduled date to ensure plenty of time for planning. Initial steps should include distributing responsibilities, identifying tournament needs, and establishing goals. Consider the items in the following list to determine what needs to get done early and how to do it. For a more detailed explanation of these beginning stages, check out our Golf Tournament Planning Guide.

8-12 Month Before:

  • Establish the tournament's goals (raise money, foster team-building, etc.)
  • Determine revenue and expense budget
  • Choose planning committee and plan monthly or weekly committee meetings
  • Select a target year/date to host the event
  • Estimate the number of participants to choose the best golf tournament format
  • Research golf courses & check availability
  • Select and finalize golf course with a contract
  • Create sponsorship packages and begin sponsor requests
  • Establish online registration (if appropriate)
  • Invite any special guests
  • Finalize event fees and the registration process
  • Obtain event insurance (if your course does not cover it)
  • Research catering or food/beverage suppliers
  • Solicit prizes for any auctions or raffle

Once the foundational work has begun, it's important to monitor the ongoing progress. Whether using pen and paper or an online calendar, tracking the completion of tasks will ensure everything is completed in a timely manner.

Middle Stages of Planning

As the day of the golf tournament nears, it'll be time to start ramping up marketing efforts. We recommend starting 4 months before the event to avoid the possibility of invitees forgetting.

4-6 Months Before:

  • Follow up with potential sponsors that did not respond
  • Send invoices to confirmed sponsors
  • Gather logos from sponsors, and order signs, banners, t-shirts, etc.
  • Send confirmation emails to special guests
  • Finalize all food/beverage vendors
  • Create marketing plan (email list, PR strategy, etc.)
  • Create social media channels/events
  • Begin posting on social media for event advertisement
  • Finalize branding and theme of the golf tournament
  • Review budget and expenses to stay on track
  • Finalize, order, and confirm auction/raffle items and items for "welcome" gift bags
  • Design event day program, but do not print until everything is complete
  • Book a photographer for your event

Final Steps of Planning

As the golf tournament date approaches, it's time to finalize plans and tie up loose ends with the planning committee. During this process, be sure to continue posting and sharing about the golf tournament via social media and email.

1-3 Months Before:

  • Finalize pairings or player roster, and send to course
  • Finalize any speeches and programs
  • Have all gift, auction, and raffle items delivered and assembled
  • Print banners and signs, purchase decorations, and finalize layout
  • Confirm menu and timeline for caterer or food/beverage vendors
  • Confirm final payments from sponsors are made
  • Print finalized event-day programs, based on estimated turnout
  • Send out email reminders to players, sponsors, and volunteers
  • Hang flyers around the area advertising the event
  • Promote the golf tournament , prizes & special guests

1-2 Days Prior:

  • Deliver all necessary supplies (gifts, awards, banners, speakers, etc.) to the course
  • Send out social media reminders to participants
  • Post again about tournament on social media to remind guests
  • Host volunteer meeting to assign tasks and go over the day's agenda

Day of the Event:

  • Set up banners, signs, course directions, and any decorations
  • Set up registration and raffle ticket sale areas
  • Assign locations for food vendors/caterers and photographers
  • Set up scoreboards
  • Confirm sponsor signs in correct locations and awards organized
  • Check contest holes
  • Enjoy the golf tournament!

Summary: Scheduling a Golf Tournament

Golf tournaments have many moving parts, but planning can be simplified with just a little organization. Breaking your golf tournament planning timeline into three parts - Early Planning, Middle Stages, and Final Steps - is a proven approach to make scheduling your tourney easier, more organized and even fun.

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