Hosting a chamber golf tournament is a lot of fun but you want it to be lucrative too. In order for it to be a solid source of non-dues revenue for the chamber, you want to incorporate several things. Fundraising golf tournament ideas include:
- fun golf games with non-traditional rules and creative golf tournament ideas
- unique golf tournament names and social media marketing
- tested golf tournament tips
In this article, we’ve compiled a host of golf tournament ideas. Keep reading to find out how to make your next chamber golf tournament your most successful ever.
Ideas for Fun Golf Games and Creative Fundraising Golf Tournament Ideas
While it’s tempting to placate the purists in your golfing crowd with a very basic tournament, those are very common and there are probably several in your community already.
But that’s not the only reason you want to mix it up by introducing some non-traditional rules to your tourney.
If you use traditional “Masters” style rules, only avid golfers will want to be a part of the festivities. Non-serious and novice golfers may feel intimidated and shy away from participating.
This is where it’s important to know your audience and have a goal.
Do you have (mainly) serious golfers in your community or are you looking to draw a larger crowd?
Hosting a golf tournament with creative side golf games or fun golfing tournament rules will mean everyone will want to participate.
Fun Golf Games and Rules
- Play night golf. Glow sticks and glow in the dark balls and flags can give a completely different feel to a traditional game of golf.
- Host a mini-golf tournament. Everyone can play mini-golf. You can even make it a family event.
- Drop the ball (some events use helicopters) to see where the team tees off.
- Switch to an indoor location and use a golf simulator instead of a traditional game. Weather won’t be a concern.
- Whose score counts? You don’t need to take every person’s score at every hole. You can use one score per team for each hole by rotating a red ball (or color of your choosing) among team members. Whoever has the red ball in that hole is the score that is recorded.
- Host it at a driving range for greater networking opportunities.
Additional Revenue Ideas
Here are a few side games to increase your fundraising tournament revenue:
- A big ticket giveaway. Don’t mess around with the little stuff. If you have a sponsor, or member, who is willing to donate a large item sell raffle tickets for it. Provide a discounted ticket price for those who buy in multiples to drive purchase. The Gladwin County Chamber of Commerce sold raffle tickets for a 25-person BBQ event and it was wildly successful.
- Wine raffle. Another fun activity is a wine “grab bag” raffle. Mary Sperr shared, “We have a variety of red and white wines in wine bags. Red (wines) tied with red ribbon and white tied with white. Advertised and included in some of the bags are gift certificates or store cards. We sell them for $20 a piece with a minimum value of at least $20.”
- Poker holes. How about a fun activity that ties directly into their golfing? Brenda Guddex said her chamber used poker holes. She explains that teams try to get the best poker hand throughout the course of the chamber golf outing. At registration, teams that want to enter pay for a set number of playing cards. Then at the predetermined poker holes, teams receive additional cards. The value of the card is based on if they golfed a birdie, par or bogey, etc. The goal is to get the best hand at the conclusion of the golf tournament.
- “Get Out of Jail Free” cards. Golf is an impossible game to do perfectly. Even the best golfer occasionally finds themselves in the rough. Some chambers sell “mulligan” packages that can be applied to unavoidables like landing in a sand trap. Annie Woods explained her chamber, “…typically had three packages to choose from. The $50 one was basic with one free mulligan, free sand trap, etc. The $75 offered a little bit more, and then the $100 one was super deluxe that not many people would get, but it was an option and made it easier for them to drop the $50 or $75 since they felt like they were getting a deal. You just need to set the rules ahead of time whether it counts towards team scores only or personal, etc. They were given a special color card for each package, so they could cash it in with the scorekeepers. Brings in a few thousand extra with no money needed up front other than the cards and a sign.”
- Let the ED do it. For $20, one chamber offered golfers on the 18th hole the ability to have the chamber’s executive director (and occasionally a board member) hit the ball for the golfers from half-way down the fairway. This gives the golfer an opportunity to connect with the ED (hopefully it’s a good shot) and not spend as many strokes on a hole.
- Use a potty shot. One chamber asked their local plumbing supply business to bring a commode to the course. For a small fee, the golfers could drive from the “potty” as long as some part of the golfer’s body was touching it. If they got on the green from that shot, they were entered into a drawing. The winner received half the pot. Very entertaining and it produced some Instagram-worthy shots.
- Make the ducks fly. Another chamber sold little rubber ducks for $5. The golfer had to hit one off of the tee. Whoever was able to hit it the farthest won a prize. Most people were surprised how difficult it was to make the ducks go the distance. This caused several golfers to try more than once to hit it. The United Regional Chamber of Commerce reports it is a big money maker for them and provides a lot of good laughs.
Speaking of laughs, if you’re planning a fun golf tournament, you need a fun name.
Using Unique Golf Tournament Names and Social Media Marketing to Get More Attendees
If you use a boring, run-of-the-mill golf tournament name, potential attendees will assume your event isn’t unique. Don’t spend all your time coming up with inventive ideas for fun additions and themes and then use the name “Chamber Golf Tournament.” If your event is unique, give it a fun name as well. You can use themes, puns, or plays on words. Or simply give it a goofy or over-the-top name like “Best Darn Chamber Golf Tournament Ever.”
If naming rights is one of the sponsorship opportunities you use, see if your sponsor is open to having a little fun with the title. It benefits both of you to do so.
Next, once you have a great name, you need to get your social media marketing going. Use targeted ads (to people in your area who have mentioned golfing or mini-golf, if you select that format), share videos of teams trash talking or challenging the community, and post interesting stats about the contests you’re running. If you take a humorous approach to your golf tournament fundraiser, you can create your own stats like “4.5/5 members polled prefer our golf tournament to getting audited.” Create a whimsical infographic for your “stats.”
Carry this same whimsy into other areas of your fundraising golf tournament.
Tested Golf Tournament Tips to Draw a Crowd
If you want more attendees at your golf fundraiser make sure you’re not hosting the same old event. The following ideas will help your event stand out. Be creative with the:
- Day of the week. Hosting on a weekday versus weekend may change who’s able to come.
- Emcee. Golf announcers are notoriously quiet in order to allow for better concentration. Don’t be afraid to make it loud if you’re hosting a non-traditional event but advise golfers ahead of time that it will be more circus, less serious golf.
- Transportation. Ditch the golf carts for golf boards. You can incorporate races or decoration contests for additional laughs (and revenue).
- Way teams are assigned/picked. This improves networking opportunities as well.
- Prizes. Traditionally those with the lowest score win but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can award a prize for coming in last or getting closest to a designated score.
- Attire. Who says you have to play in traditional golfer “uniforms?” A golf costume party can liven things up.
- Sponsorships. More about that in the next section.
Lucrative Fundraising Golf Tournament Sponsorship Ideas
There are plenty of ways to increase your revenue at your next golf tournament but one of the best is through sponsorships. Sure, there are the traditional ones that cover costs but why not make them a little more fun for all?
- Naming holes. Sponsoring companies can name them but they need to give each one a theme.
- Golf carts. Sponsoring companies are charged with decorating the carts. Best one wins.
- Drinks. They can provide them and name them.
- Caddies. Sponsors can provide caddies (or drivers) for the golf teams. Just remind them to be helpful not overly salesy. No one wants to spend the afternoon being sold to.
- Hole in one prizes.
A lot of organizations use charity golf outings. If you want your chamber fundraising golf tournament to stand out and become a big revenue source for your chamber, use these ideas to help you stand out and provide a very different experience than all the rest. To do this, create a focus of fun and market it accordingly.
A must read for all Chamber Professionals...