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How to Make Your Golf Outing Successful

Golf outings are a great way to raise money for organizations and charities. With all the competition today, good planning is essential. A golf outing consists of three parts: Registration, the golfing itself and the award banquet.

If this is your first golf outing, you should allow at least 9 months to a year for planning. It's great to have a positive attitude but golf outings require a lot of work. The less efficient your committee is, the more money you need to spend out of the profits to run the outing. Not only should you be looking for golfers and sponsors, but the more prizes and food you get donated, more profit goes to your organization.

One of the first things you want to do is form a committee. If this is your first outing, your committee should consist of 5 or 6 members. You'll want to have members who are effective and will get the work done. It is helpful if some of your committee members are golfers.

For the outing that continues each year, keep in mind that all too often committees have the same members. Having the same members year after year can cause your organization to be stuck in a rut. Adding new members can bring fresh ideas and energize your committee.

Don't be afraid to try new ideas. When presented with new ideas, ask yourself "why not" instead of "why". Committee Responsibilities: *Determine the format for the outing *Set up a budget *Select a course and negotiation pricing *Set up a schedule *Create and distribute your flyers, application, sponsor letters and donation requests *Solicit for participants, donations and sponsorship *Track the progress of the event *Finalize the set up and implementation of the outing It takes a lot of planning to create a good golfing experience.

Registration will be your first contact with the golfers. Making a good first impression will require you to be well organized and ready. Have your committee members play the course beforehand. This will be a great way to evaluate the movement of the course.

Talk with the course management for their input on which holes are better for the skilled games, which holes run slower than others, etc. One of the biggest complaints from golfers in outings is poor organization. Make sure your volunteers know their duties before the day of the event. Have a dry run set up to go over the procedures.

You want to make sure your event starts as scheduled. With that said, there will be no time to teach volunteers their roles the day of the event. Make the day fun for golfers.

If your golfers are happy, they tend to stay around for the awards banquet which in turn can generate more money for your organization. Be sure to let your golfers know the rules as they are checking in. You can also post a rule sheet in each cart but be sure to announce the rules just before the start of play. A great way to thank the golfers attending your golf outing is with a golf goody bag.

These bags are given out at registration. You want to include a gift of appreciation for their support to your organization. Some of the common items are golf shirts, golf towels, golf tees and golf balls.

Although tees and balls can be useful, most golfers don't want a golf shirt with a logo on the chest. Try to be creative with your gift. From articles I read on golfer's reactions to giveaways, here are a few ideas that were well received: a divot tool with switch blade action, a beverage cooler shaped like a golf bag, golf tee bag, a folding beach chair with carry strap, golf umbrella, for the outside of your golf bag or logo golf balls. A golf event I'm planning now for a Boy Scout troop will be giving out pocket knives. It's a gift that fits that organization. Along with the gift, you can also solicit businesses for promotional products, coupons, snacks, etc.

to include in the goody bags. If a golfer pays a hefty registration fee to support you organization, make sure the gift is not junk. A good gift can be a big reason the golfer will return the following year. If you need assistance in looking for that perfect gift ideas, visit our website GolfStuffCheape r.com.

Once the golf has begun, make sure you offer ample food and drinks for your guests. Your golfers won't complain about the amount of time they are spending with you that day and will more than likely stay around for the banquet with plenty of food and beverage. By budgeting a few more dollars for food and beverages will more than likely guarantee your golfers to be happy. And remember, happy golfers spend more money. If your outing is in the morning, a suggestion of a breakfast snack, coffee and juice is recommended at registration along with a hot dog, chips and drink after the 9th hole.

For an afternoon outing, offer a luncheon snack with drink at registration. Make it something easy that they can take with them so it doesn't hold up the golf starting time. (Box lunches are good but through research, a lot of golfers don¡¦t prefer them.) If you don¡¦t want to do hot dogs, some suggestions could be taco in a bag or finger foods. You can set up beverage stations throughout the course or have carts drive around offering beverages.

This is especially important if you have a hot day. If there is a hole that is generally slow and can cause backup of players, have some sort of station set up, whether it be entertainment of some sort or a food and beverage station. If you can cut 45 minutes off a 6 hour round of golf, you not only increase banquet attendance, but everybody¡¦s in a good mood.

Having skilled contests such as Closest to the Pin, Hole in One, Longest Drive, etc, gives golfers a chance to win prizes. Finding companies to sponsor the skilled prizes could save a lot of money for your organization. Example: See if a travel agency or cruise line will donate a trip in return for advertisement at your event.

That would be a great prize for a Hole in One contest. Some fundraisers will sell mulligans. This is pure profit for the organization and golfers like to have a do-over when in trouble. If you want to try something different, sell a mulligan and a throw. Keep your pricing reasonable or you will create a bad impression.

As golfers finish and return to the banquet site, have your raffles and/or Chinese auctions running. Put names on the tickets for a quicker call back of winning prizes. Be careful not to "Nickel and Dime" your guests. That could create a negative lasting impression. Once the last foursome has finished, have the luncheon or dinner ready. Start into your award ceremony as your guests are eating.

Avoid having too many speakers. Everyone has been away from their families for most of the day now and the last thing they need is a prolonged ending program. You¡¦ll want to give awards to the foursome in 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place.

Remember to have enough awards for all 12 individuals. I remember the feeling of joy I had when I won a first place trophy. It has been almost a year now and the trophy still sits out on my shelf. A good gesture is to also offer some sort of prize for the foursome who came in last place. Make sure you also have door prizes as these little things golfers remember. A nice ending touch is to thank the families for allowing their golfer to spend the day with you supporting a good cause.

Have them take a flower as they are leaving for their significant other. What will that golfer remember when the outing you held is over? What will make the golfer decide to return the following year? In short, golfers want: *a well-organized check-in that in turn produces the golf to start on time *A nice goody bag without a lot of junk *A representative from the organization available for their needs *Fast golf *Ample food and drinks *Accurate honest scorekeeping *A brief and rewarding awards banquet If this is what you give them, then the answers to the above questions will be positive. With this, I wish you a successful outing! .

By: Cheryl Manzella



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