A charitable tournament can take months to plan, and the day of the tournament arrives faster than you think. Will you be ready? We share our top pieces of advice to make the day of your golf tournament go smoothly and reduce your stress.
Start an hour by hour schedule
A good place to start before the big day is to create a detailed timeline or schedule along with important contacts so it is easier to coordinate volunteers and speak with your Golf Pro about an urgent issue. Once the tournament starts, staff and golfers will be spread out on the course. That’s why having those contact numbers will make it easier to find the staff, such as your Golf Pro and catering staff when you need their help. Adding to the schedule bit by bit will also help you see what volunteer opportunities you might have and any logistics you need to take care of before the event starts. Keep in mind that that a typical round of golf is 5 to 5-1/2 hours long, so factor that in to your schedule.
Set up registration
Based on the start-time, you’ll want to start checking players in for the tournament about 2 hours before tee time. Several volunteers will make this process easier and free you up to welcome golfers and answer questions. The items you’ll need at registration include the following:
- An alpha listing of players (with handicaps)
- Starting hole assignments
- Where golf carts are located
- Tee gifts (any sponsor swag, golf shirts, towels, etc.)
- Scorecards and rule sheets (if not already set on the cart)
- Information about mulligans or extra competitions (i.e., hole-in-one, etc.)
Once golfers check in, they can spend some time warming up on the practice range. About 10-15 minutes before the tournament’s start, the golf carts will be loaded with golfers and their gear and any shuffling to address no-shows can be taken care of. Before the players head to their holes, the tournament director in partnership with the Golf Pro should welcome everyone, make announcements, and go over the rules of play.
Set up signs and recognize sponsors
Be sure you arrive early enough to set up signage for the tournament so players know where to go. If you’ve promised specific recognition to sponsors, you might have banners or prominent signage thanking them near check-in. If signage needs to be placed at each hole, make sure you allocate time to set those out and remove them at the conclusion of the tournament. Ask your Golf Pro about what they might recommend. They may be able to help you with setting out some of the signs and any extra competitions you may have planned. It’s best to know that in advance.
Get ready for the banquet
After the shotgun start begins, it’s time to break down the registration area and move on to the dining hall if you’re planning on a cocktail reception or banquet afterwards. You can move your sponsor signs right in and set out the prizes so they are ready to go. If you are having a raffle or silent auction, you can work with the catering manager to find the perfect spot that will ensure the golfers coming off the field have a chance to peruse all of the giftcards, gift baskets, sports memorabilia and goodies you’ve been collecting. A 50/50 raffle (where half the pot goes to the winner, and the other half to the charity) is another fun possibility. Also be sure to set up and test out your speaker’s podium and microphone.
Once golfers come off the field, the race to tabulate the scores will begin. Many times a Golf Pro or staff person may be able to help with that process so scores can be posted for golfers to review. Once the scoring is finished, your dinner and program should begin. Make sure to allot not more than 2 hours for dinner and the program. A written script for the speakers can be prepared that thanks everyone for attending, recognizes the sponsors, and shares how much money was raised and a little bit about the charity who will receive the money. Announce the winners and give out the prizes at the very end to hold your audience’s attention through your entire program. Congratulations! You just made it through your first tournament!
We can help
The Courses at Andrews offers three championship 18-hole golf courses for our players, which means we have space for many sizes of tournaments. Let us help you plan a golf tournament, order unique prizes from our Golf Pro Shop, set out a delicious buffet at our SmokeHouse 54 Restaurant, and handle any detail you might need to make your tournament a memorable affair people will be talking about for days to come.