How to Plan a Successful Tournament
Kathy Gazda
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How to Plan a Successful Tournament

Jacaranda Tournament Director Joe D'Angeli says there's more to it than you might think!

As the Tournament Director here at Jacaranda Golf Club, I have coordinated and worked with hundreds of tournaments and have seen clients use a host of strategies, hoping to create the “perfect outing”. While every tournament is unique, there are some things that most successful events have in common. So, I thought I would share some of those best practices that will help maximize profits AND provide a top-notch experience for everyone who participates.

Forming a committee
Once you’ve chosen the venue for your golf outing, (hopefully it’s Jacaranda 😊) you’ll want to set up a team or committee to be responsible for all the aspects of the planning/execution of your event. The list is longer than you might think: registering golfers, securing sponsorships, creating/ordering signage, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Ideally, you’ll want several committee members so you can distribute the workload evenly. Putting all the responsibility on one person can overwhelm them and potentially sink your event early on.

Securing sponsorships
Next, you want to set up sponsorship opportunities. The opportunities are nearly endless, from beverage cart sponsorships to hole sponsorships, so be creative! You can sponsor almost any aspect of the event. It’s completely up to you, as the organization, to determine not only how many opportunities you’d like to offer, but also at what price point. This part of the planning process should take the most work and require the most attention. Securing sponsorships will generate most of the revenue for the event, so start planning this ASAP!

On-Course games/contests
After setting up your sponsorship structure, you’ll want to start thinking about what will make your event fun and memorable. As much as your golfers want to contribute to your charitable organization, they also expect to have fun on the links! Picking a format that is enjoyable for all types of golfers is very important. That’s probably why 99.9% of the tournaments we host at Jacaranda are a scramble format. This format allows each golfer in the foursome to tee-off on each hole, the group determines the best drive and then they all play their shots from that location. It’s the same process for each shot until the ball is holed. Not only does this format keep things fun and exciting, it also speeds up pace of play. This is a win-win for both the golfers and the golf club.
Along with choosing the right format for the event, you’ll want to pick the right contests. The standard contests are “Closest to the Pin” and “Longest Drive”. These contests bring a ton of added excitement to all the golfers.

Honestly, we’ve only scratched the service here. There are a lot of things to consider when you’re planning a golf outing. Try reaching out to a local club, (like Jacaranda) that has a strong reputation for hosting successful golf outings. They may hold the keys to success for you and your event. Remember I’m just a phone call or email away to help with all of your tournament needs and inquiries.

Joe D’Angeli
Tournament Director
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