How do I select a course?
1. Many players will jump at the opportunity to play a private club such as Meadowbrook Country Club.
2. Look for clubs that openly solicit for Outing, Catering or Function business.
What are the proper questions for the club pro or golf outing sales director?
1. How many outing rounds do they host each year? Be careful if it is fewer than 1000. Many host well over 2500 rounds and have the experience that you need.
2. What dates are available? Meadowbrook can book up months or a year in advance.
3. Do they favor morning or afternoon events?
4. What is their deposit and payment schedule? Be prepared for an upfront deposit and possibly full payment well ahead of the event. Meadowbrook requires 1/2 guestimated total fee at time of booking.
5. What services do they provide on the day of the event? Do they set up the foursomes and label the carts? Meadowbrook is a full service golf outing course.
What format will we play?
Shotgun Best Ball Scramble is the most popular, fastest and easiest on club and players. One or two foursomes drive out to each hole and all begin play at the same time. If you start on hole two youll finish on 1 and so on. All four players tee off, the team selects the best shot. The other three balls are lifted and the foursome all hit from within a club length of the best ball. The process continues until the hole is completed.
How much should we charge? In marketing we say "What will the market bear". It really depends on the financial makeup of your organization members.
Where can we get logo balls?
Meadowbrook Country club can get a competitive price for all logo items.
Who pays for the logo balls and or prizes?
Either a sponsor who will want their name on the balls or it comes out of registration fees. Any costs you can get picked up by sponsors will add to the bottom line.
When and how to calculate the prize budget?
Once sponsor pledges equal player profit you can begin to allocate the sponsorship funds. Any sponsorship shortfall can be covered out of player profit which usually is earmarked for the association bank account.
What charity will we support?
A reputable one which will ensure that at least a portion of a players registration fee is tax deductible.
When will the committee(s) meet?
Once a month at first then every two weeks for the final three months. Weekly or daily in the last month before your event.
Where to meet? Why not Meadowbrook Country Club?
Who will cater? Whats on the menu?
Outings take longer than normal golf, usually five or more hours. Add to that a putting contest and bar time, then a banquet and you have a hungry tired group. Meadowbrook recommends buffets for the speed.
How often should we mail our invitations?
Start with email as soon as you have the date nailed down. That first one can even be a "hold the date" note. Begin monthly invitation mailings 4 months out and bi-weekly email reminders 3 months out. Printed flyers through the mail works miracles. The only downside is they come back with checks rather than encouraging online registration.
What should the invitation say?
You want all details covered and you want to offer the chance to sponsor and purchase other goodies from your group.
When will people really sign up?
Some 3 months ahead, a few 2 months out and the majority within the last two weeks. Repeated mailings, emails, and other reminders are intended to get folks on board earlier and lessen your panic. Remember to announce and beg at every meeting your organization has. Also always use a registration deadline and try to enforce it.
When should we begin to panic?
Three weeks before the event and your full payment is coming due. Hopefully, two weeks later youll be wondering why and trying to find room for last minute registrants. It is important to keep close contact with the pro or sales director and keep them informed if your number of players does not meet your contracted amount.
How can I play in my tournament but be sure to be in the clubhouse ahead of other players?
During cart assignments ask the pros to put you on 1 or 10 so you can finish on 9 or 18 at the clubhouse.
How many people are needed during registration?
Usually 3 people cover the table. Two for registration, one to hand out goodies and act as gofer.
For Corporate Outing Planners
What makes corporate outings different?
No committee to deal with and sponsorships only if you want a charitable piece to your event. Generally, vendors will replace the sponsors of a charity event.
Can I get my vendors to cover the cost?
That is the goal of any smart business person. Many vendors will have market development funds, often at the discretionary use of the regional managers. Regional managers are the ones taught to play golf as part ot their training and you should be able to find one or a group of your vendors to cover costs.
Do golfers mind a little selling?
Are you kidding? Odds are theyre playing in your corporate outing for free and will go out of their way to show good will to the vendors who made it possible.
Suggested ways to make the pitch?
There are hundreds of ideas your vendors will propose. The post golf product showcase works best. This is essentially a mini tradeshow in the same room with your bar and networking.
Vendor booths on the tees are not uncommon, especially at crowded turn holes or the par threes. You can even let them run their own side contests and promotions.
The big gotcha of corporate golf outings is:
Customers playing for free have much less invested in the event. You will have more no-shows than a paid charity outing. Be sure to focus on written confirmations and phone call if you have the people allocated to do this. It is also a good idea to keep a waiting list to fill the spots that open.