Golf Outing Gifts and Ideas
So, you’ve accepted the task to organize a golf outing among your friends or even taken on a charity golf tournament. No matter the size of the endeavor, there are an accepted set of pre-tourney steps that need to be followed, much like checking the grip, stance, and alignment in a pre-shot routine before your opening drive.
Pick the Course
Selecting a golf course a critical first step. You are planning a special day, try not to worry too much about the price if you can help it. Long after the outing is complete, golfers will remember the venue more than how much they paid that day. Keep in mind that if you are approaching a private club as a non-member it is likely that your choice of dates will be restricted to a Monday when such courses are typically closed.
It is important when selecting a golf course to know the general skill level of the players involved in your outing. If there are participants who are only occasional golfers at best, you do not want to tackle a golf course that is too difficult. Your objective is for everyone to have as much fun as possible. That means tight courses with woods hugging the fairways and forced carries over water should be avoided. Think twice about choosing a course that likes to grow its rough high to “look like a PGA Tour stop.” Nothing saps the fun out of a golf round like constantly looking for lost balls. This will also make your outing drag on interminably.
Many golf courses don’t consider offering golf tournament packages for outings until you have 20 players, but some will provide amenities for smaller groups so shop around. Simple touches like player names on golf carts, custom scorecards, a prepared box lunch, or a scoreboard on the veranda will make the day special for groups of eight or 12.
Golf Outing Formats
A golf outing is an ideal time to play team formats with foursomes competing against one another. If you have a group with similar abilities, Best Ball or Best Two Balls is a popular game. The Stableford scoring system that assigns point values to scores on each hole is often used in outings rather than cumulative stroke play. This helps to avoid that “one bad hole” that can ruin an entire round
The tricky part of organizing group golf is when there is a wide range of handicaps that must be accommodated. The most common way to do this is to form teams in an A-B-C-D fashion with one player of each level on a team. The most common format with an A-B-C-D team is a Scramble or Captain’s Choice where one ball is selected from the foursome after every shot and all four players play from that spot until holing out. The Scramble is often tweaked so that the A Player’s ball is not always the one being selected. Requiring each player’s tee ball to be used a minimum of three times is an example.
You will want to infuse your golf outing with several on-course games. These can include Long Drive, Closest-to-the-Pin, Straight Drive in the Fairway and many more. Think of ways to make your golf outing stand out from the routine as much as possible. How about having old-fashioned hickory-shafted drivers on one tee and having every player use one for a Long Drive? The golf shop will be able to help you with possibilities.
Golf Outing Gifts
You will want to be certain that your guests take away more than memories from your golf outing. Start with small tournament gifts for every participant such as personalized tees, markers or golf balls commemorating your event. You can even get the items with the custom logo of your organization or charity event.
Everyone loves prizes so spread around as many as possible – not just from the winning teams to winners of the on-course games. This is another time to think creatively. Have awards for the best-dressed players. Put together a collection of gag gifts for the last place team and “reward” golfers for dubious achievements during the day like ‘Most Balls in a Water Hazard’.
One last element that is sure to make your golf outing a success: food and drink. Work with your host club to arrange a first-class spread on the course and before and after the round. You can do your part by providing unique logo food items. It is the special touches that will be remembered about your golf outing long after the final putt is sunk.
Hosting and organizing a golf tournament or charity event is no easy task. For a more detailed guide on ensuring success, check out Golfballs.com’s Golf Tournament Planning Guide.