Bill Hogan, director of international golf sales at Premier Golf LLC, offers some
suggestions for planning successful and memorable golf events.
TIP 1: Get a golf planner, tour operator or tournament manager—someone who knows the language and operations of a golf tournament or event. A pro shop’s staff will offer some assistance, but you need someone from inside your organization or that you hire from outside to help plan the event. A core golfer will notice in a minute if a tournament or golf event is being run without experienced guidance.
TIP 2: Impress a small group with high quality. Quality impresses, quantity does not. You will get a much bigger return on investment if you take 12 golfers to Pebble Beach for a stay-and-play package than if you take 120 players to a local municipal course for a scramble and barbecue. Focus on the key decision makers you want to impress, gauge their desires and then do something that leaves a lasting impression.
TIP 3: Don’t skimp on tee prizes. Buying cheap golf balls or budget golf shirts says, “We don’t know what we are doing.” I would rather get a good pen set or something unique than another golf towel or hat that I would never wear. Gift cards for prizes from a major manufacturer or even the pro shop are best.
TIP 4: Don’t default to a scramble. Core golfers want to play their own ball and play a real round of golf. At the very least run a shamble, because more shots are played by the players, and players can pick up if they have a bad hole. (And if this tip is Greek to you, take it as a sign that you need to heed the advice in Tip 1.)
TIP 5: Get an expert opinion on venue and value. Every course is an “18-hole championship golf course.” That phrase does not mean anything anymore. All courses are not created equal. Often, a course offering a $50 round is not a very good course. Spend the extra dollars to make sure you have a good venue, and ask local golfers where they recommend you spend your promotional dollars. Generally, the more expensive the course the better it is, but not always. So, get good advice.
Bill Hogan is director of international golf sales for Premier Golf LLC. He has been working on small group events for more than 25 years in more than 50 countries around the world. premiergolf.com