Planning Your Company’s First Golf Fundraising Event

By: Marquee Event Rentals

Planning your first corporate golf event? Check out these tips from our event planning experts. We share helpful information about charity golf tournaments, determining your planning committee, costs, and even fun event ideas. Marquee Event rentals is here to help you get started off on the right foot with tent rentals, staging, and much more.

Start Planning Your Golf Fundraiser

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Pick a Charity
Choose a realistic goal and define a compelling story to use when promoting your event. For example, your local Habitat for Humanity may be working on a home for a local family. Share the family’s story and describe how a $10,000 donation would impact their lives.

Create a Golf Tournament Planning Committee
Choose committee members with a variety of skill sets to help plan and promote the event to the local golfing community. Establish a clear expectation that each committee member must sign up a certain number of participants. When hosting a first time event, a guaranteed number of participants can help ensure success.

Decide How Much to Charge
As a starting place, research the cost to play a round of golf at local public course and double it. Websites such as Eventbrite can help you manage fundraising and payments.

Reserve the Golf Tournament Location
Public or private? Public golf courses cost less, but players may pay more to play a private course they couldn’t otherwise access. In either case:

  • Book as far in advance as possible
  • Visit the location in person and speak with the pro shop manager
  • Save money by scheduling the event on a weekday when rates are typically lower
  • Consider renting a tent for hospitality, participant registration, etc.

Choose a Charity Golf Tournament Format
The most popular golf tournament formats include: alternate shot, best ball, golf-a-thon, pro-ams/celeb-ams, and scrambles. That said, some formats work better for fundraisers than others. According to a study of the most successful golfing events conducted by The Golf Tournament Association of America (GTAA), the top revenue-generating formats are celeb-ams/pro-ams and golf-a-thons:

  • Celeb or Pro-Ams: pair a local celebrity (athlete, golf pro, politician, radio DJ, TV personality, etc.) with each foursome.
  • Golf-A-Thons: Challenge passionate golfers to play 40 holes in one day, or up to 100 holes in two days. Participants ask friends and family to pledge money, then play for “free” once a certain fundraising threshold is met (usually $500 - $1000).

Put the “Fun” in Fundraising

Here are a few fun ways to make your event memorable while raising additional money.

Creative Putting Challenge
Offer a special prize for the lowest score when putting from the green with a non-traditional golf club. Allow players to choose from a selection of non-golf equipment such as a baseball bat, croquet mallet, hockey stick, tennis racket, etc. Schedule a staff member to video the attempts; you’ll get great fodder for social media.

Mulligans
Give players the chance for a “do over” by selling mulligans prior to the event and out on the course.

Goody Bags and Prizes
Award prizes for longest drive, lowest team score, and/or best adjusted score. Consider a high-end prize such as a car for hitting a hole-in-one on a select hole. According to Golf Week, the cost for hole-in-one insurance for a top prize valued at $60,000 costs about $1,500. Coverage for grand prizes $10,000 or less may cost as little as $200.

Hand out goody bags with company-branded promotional items such as a golf towels, a water bottle and sunscreen. Also include information about the charity your event supports. For limited budgets, forgo the goodie bags and spend money on a few exceptional prizes instead.

To ensure your corporate golf event is a success, work with an event planning professional. Marquee Event Rentals has local experts who are familiar with your local links and have experience hosting golf tournaments. Consultations are complimentary.

Additionally, we can provide tents or semi-permanent structures, tables, chairs, outdoor climate control, and help ensure nothing is overlooked. No event is too large or too small. Let us help you plan your first corporate golf event in greater Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Austin, Dallas, or San Antonio.