By Paul Courter, COO, Perfect Golf Event
Do you wait for that call from a non-profit or charity looking to hold a fundraising golf event? Or do you create opportunities? In today’s environment, golf is a safe and effective option for non-profits and charities looking to raise money. I believe you can move your golf course to the front of the revenue line with two unique approaches.
The first approach is education. If you do the following, you move into the top 5% of all golf courses operating today. There are over 1.5 million registered non-profits in the U.S., so the potential market is massive. Top courses will take the initiative to reach out to non-profits in their area and invite them to educational events on how to organize, manage and promote a golf event to raise more money.
Set up a breakfast or lunch session to cover the topic and reach out to non-profits in your area. A good start is contacting the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and have them communicate the offer to their members. Tap into your database for prospects and do a simple web search for non-profits in your area. Reach out and invite them to a session at your golf course. Smart course operators will combine the educational session with a tour and offer to play a round before or after the session. (One session we did at a Cleveland area golf course attracted 225 event organizers. And organizers book more than golf events so you could generate additional revenue with meetings and special events. If you need help with content on the education session, reach out to us for more information.)
The second approach is innovation. And one way to innovate is to offer unique formats. The popular 4-person scramble is declining in interest. The rounds take too long, the better golfers dominate, and the groups spend a lot of time running around chasing stray shots. And let us not forget the team that comes in 7 shots better than the rest of the field! We call that being “pencil-whipped”.
I have seen a trend in events adding more Par 3 holes to their event. One event at the Gasparilla Golf Club in Boca Grande, Florida introduced a new format with all Par 3 holes. Each hole has a Hole in One contest and the golfer closest to the pin (all 18 of them) during the event, participate in a $1 Million Shootout. The advantages of this type of format is the speed of play (the round is typically completed in 3 ½ hours), networking (the event has 6-player teams) and the fun of finishing the event with a Shootout. This takes away the monotony of one team dominating in the scramble. Our Boca Grande event sold out in 2020 and is already sold out for 2021.
The Folds of Honor hosted a new event at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, North Carolina (site of the PGA Tour Champions SAS Championship) using the same format. As a new event in a competitive market, they wanted to have their event stand out as totally unique. They successfully sold out the event with another sold out field already set for November 2020. There are also variations on these formats that work. Some events are doing 9 Par 3 holes and 9 regulation holes, so golfers get to use all the clubs in their bag.
As a golf course operator, organizers will look to you for ideas on how to have a successful event. By combining education with innovation, you can distinguish your golf course, help your client to be successful and watch your revenues grow in 2021.
Many events use PerfectGolfEvent.com for format ideas, to set up their website for online registration, to process entry fees and feature sponsors on the event website, simplifying the entire event. If you have questions on any of the above, contact Paul Courter, COO of PerfectGolfevent.com. His direct line is 248-640-0212 and his e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.