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Let's Take This Outside
By Jon Levy – Director, Business Development & Travel
Running a Corporate or Charity Golf Event? Color Outside the Lines with GolfTEC Events!
Well, that sure escalated quickly.
All you did was raise your hand to volunteer as “Golf” chairperson, and now here you are, realizing the gravity of hosting what suddenly seems like the Super Bowl, World Series and (INSERT GIANT EVENT NAME HERE) combined; wondering how in the world you’re going to pull it off, all the while creating a truly memorable, lasting positive experience for participants that leaves you and your organization heroes for the effort.
Oh, sorry, is this adding to your stress?
Not to fret, we’re here this month to give you the ABCs of running an event like this, and why GolfTEC Events is the perfect partner to not only help put you at ease in this facilitation process, but to give your event an incredible shot in the arm with memorable, brand-focused instructional elements driven by the foundation that’s helped GolfTEC become the world leader in helping people play better golf.
Step One - Pinpoint The Event's Goals and Ideal Outcome
Is this a charity outing meant to raise money? A corporate outing meant for entertainment reasons, networking, or client or employee appreciation? Or all of the above!?
Understanding your audience, why they’re participating and what the event’s ideal outcome is, is crucial to finding the necessary tools to help maximize its value.
It’s also important to understand these participants will be your captive audience for the duration of the event, so once you have broken down the above elements, it’s time to figure out how best to maximize this invaluable time with you.
To begin, choose an event format that best suits the style of tournament and player. Here are a few commonly used formats for a variety of audiences:
This format works well when you have a wide range of players. If you collect handicaps/skill level prior to the event, you can assign each playing ability with a letter (e.g. A, B, C and D) and equalize stronger players with less experienced players, so each team has one player at each level. Scrambles are commonly used for this reason and also maintain a quick pace of play, ideal for many larger events.
Modified Four-Person Scramble or “Shamble”
These work well when you have an overall mix of better players, as all competitors play a ball from the tee. The team then chooses a preferred tee shot from which to play their second shots. Players then play their own ball for the remainder of the hole. The team score is the sum of the two low scores for each hole, and can be scored through either a Gross Competition (no handicap allocations) or Net Competition (where handicaps are applied and deducted from the Gross Scores). In any case, the max score is a bogey to keep pace of play moving.
Modified Stableford Formats
Another enjoyable format often modified to allow for the higher-handicapped golfer, the Stableford system awards points for scoring, instead of using stroke totals. For example, scoring a par on a hole may be worth 1 point, a birdie worth 3 and so on, and in taking the best three of four point totals in the group per hole (varies by event), points are summed up after 18 holes for a total team score. Highest score wins.
Perhaps your event is a little more serious and a Ryder Cup-style format works well, or some other kind of combined scoring between teammates’ individual efforts. This kind of format encourages teamwork and focus, and may be just the ticket if the competitive spirit of your event carries more weight than not.
Step Two - Address Event Goals Head-On with Creative and Effective Value-Adds
If you've played enough tournaments, you've likely seen it all: Long drive contests, closest-to-the-pins, poker games, Beat the Pro, marshmallow driving – the list goes on and on.
But the question begs, which one(s) should you institute? And how can you make your activities truly different and memorable? What takes your event from, “Yeah, it was a fun day out there,” to, “WOW! That was totally unexpected and something I’ll remember for a long time to come!”?
At GolfTEC Events, we offer memorable, outside-of-the-box value-adds that will leave guests singing your praise:
Tournament Swing Capture
Blow everyone away by giving personalized, branded WebLessons, merely from players taking their normal shot on a designated hole. View the Swing Capture information sheet.
• 85% of these participants access their post-event-emailed WebLessons!
• Once they do, they view the branded lesson for an average of 16 MINUTES!
• They then return to view an average of 2.6 times!
• Also maintains normal pace of play, as the Swing Capture takes less than a minute
Make your event all-inclusive by welcoming new or non-golfers to participate.
View the Beginner Clinic information sheet.
• Clinic fits seamlessly with event timing, allowing attendees to participate in all other event functions
• Allows an added draw to the event, welcoming those who may not have otherwise participated
Use GolfTEC’s technology to your advantage before players tee off!
• Get accurate launch characteristics like spin rates, club and ball speeds, launch angles, etc.
• GolfTEC Certified PGA Professionals help participants understand this information and how they can use it to improve
Step Three - Get into the Nitty Gritty ASAP
Now that you have an idea of what this event’s all about and a plan of attack make it stand out, it’s a good practice to immediately delve into those pesky details to confirm you’ve got all angles covered, making it easier to handle bumps in the road later.
Make sure your event registration site/page/flyer contains clear information regarding:
• Recommended arrival time
• Availability and accessibility to food and type of food served
• Expected length of play
• Post-event activities and timing
• Information about the golf course
• Course tips and strategies
• Information for non-playing participants
Know how will you handle the arrival of your guests:
• Are there clear directions to the course, parking, etc.?
• Do you have an adequately staffed welcome desk?
Make sure you have communicated to the golf course staff how to:
• Assist guests with bags
• Direct guests to your welcome/registration area
• Will the facility staff assist in setting up carts?
Will you offer Beginner Clinics for new or inexperienced players so they can participate as well?
Would your event benefit from offering Tournament Capture?
You can even use this service to add more groups to the course. Add an “extra hole” and set up the capture station on the driving range or adjacent to that course’s signature hole. For example, groups can visit this station on their way from hole 18 to 1.
Will you offer live scoring for guests with mobile devices?
• Have you ordered gifts you would like to provide with enough lead time?
• Are you going to place them on the carts or hand out at registration?
Do you have any celebrity or event additions to incorporate within your event?
Are you mindful of timing and efficiency?
Plan to be on the golf course and drive around and meet up with groups
Do you have marshals? One slow group can make the day miserable for many of your guests, so it is important to help any teams that fall behind the expected pace of play.
Do you need team photos?
Have you assigned the task of capturing action photos throughout the event?
Plan for rain!
* If it rains, do you have a space and alternate activities planned?
Step Four - Put Your Plan Into Action!
At this point, since you’ve done all the hard work and covered every angle incessantly, it’s time to live out why you volunteered in the first place and execute your event!
With GolfTEC Events and perhaps a little coffee at your side, however, you can finally rest easy and let everything play out as it should. Because, as GolfTEC’s Director of Events, Geoff Hiland, explains:
“This is where we shine – it’s event day. Our experience hosting hundreds of events means we’ve thought through every aspect of the logistics, event design and contingencies. We know how to use the best technology out there to enhance the player experience. We’re ready to engage players regardless of player ability. We can offer personalized instruction for beginners either informally or formally to make them feel at ease. We know which game format works best for various types of events and player ability, and we know how to engage the players and rise the competitive spirit in a fun way,”
Step Five - Follow Up with Participants After the Event
Congratulations, “Golf” Chairperson! You kicked butt and took names (lots of them), but you’ve got one final step to complete the sheer dominance of your event: Follow up to remind everyone just how great of a time they had.
Whether that’s with GolfTEC’s aforementioned WebLessons, which naturally create a permanent and positive post-event connection, or purely a “thank you” note to participants with the day’s recap and some cool action photos, a solid follow-up will give closure to your event and leave participants itching to come back again.
And … that’s it! By using the above steps, you’ve flipped all of that stress and confusion into unheralded praise for both you and your organization, exceeding everyone’s expectations 100 times over.
Enough so, that when it comes to a show of hands to volunteer again next time around?
Bring it on.
Ready to put our brand-building expertise to work during your next event? Contact us for more information.
7am - 6pm MST, M-F