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Tournament Guide: Mapping Your Road to Success

Golf Tournament Putting Contest

Putting contests and par-3 rounds are just two ways GVR can make an event successful.

In today’s digital-dependent world, we rarely give or need directions. Punch in an address and a disembodied, programmed voice will guide you to your destination.

But you can’t GPS a route to a successful tournament. Each one has a different road map, depending upon numerous factors, such as its history (or lack thereof), cause, sponsor base and the experience and enthusiasm of its tournament committee and volunteers.

Which is why, no matter where an organization holds its event, the tournament planner and the golf course need to be in lockstep.

At Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, we rely on forming these relationships to create a tournament-specific road map that will lead to a full field, new and larger sponsors, fun and exciting contests and formats and—above all—distinguishing your event from all other tournaments to create a lasting impression.

Here are some of the most critical ways a course and planner can work together.

We’ve found the most successful tournaments stay in touch with players and sponsors throughout the year, posting photos from the event online and promoting loyalty through creative pricing for multiyear commitments and early-bird specials—all while keeping the cause top of mind.

Don’t Assume

Expectations are good. Assumptions are bad. The latter are the most common flaw in tournament planning. Never assume the course knows what you expect. Always articulate in writing who is responsible for what: pace of play, setup of sponsor stations, extra carts, gift bag distributions, etc. Most courses require this info a week before the event. If not, create a working document that includes everything from player pairings to who puts the bottled water on the carts.

Filling the Field:

Your host course may help with ways to bring in players—email blasts to its database, website postings, online calendars and social media posts; it never hurts to ask. But it’s up to the tournament planner to task each committee member with filling at least three foursomes. A 10-member committee will produce 120 players. Utilize social media. Build a Web page. Offer players an early-enrollment special.

GVR Kids Clinic and TournamentGetting Creative

Collaborate on ways to entice casual or non-golfers and increase ancillary revenue at the event. Ideas can include beginner’s golf clinics, putting contests, and fun par-3 course events (Green Valley Ranch has a superb short course next to its Golf Academy). Consider non-golf entertainment such as a fashion show, chef demo or a test drive of an auto sponsor’s latest model.

Constant Communication

Last-minute pairing changes, sponsor requests and weather conditions are all “day of” realities.  Communicate often with your course contact on weather contingencies and player changes, and clear all sponsor requests (cars, outside food or liquor service) in advance with the course. Teamwork ensures a smooth-running event that makes everyone happy!

Lisa Schmid is the director of Sales and Marketing for Green Valley Ranch. Reach her at lschmid@gvrgolf.com or 303-371-8725.


2017 Tournament Guide presented by Cheyenne Mountain Resort

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