On a crisp, autumn day, there’s nothing better than heading to the course and playing a good game of golf. Of course, the same holds true any time the weather is nice, which is why so many organizations, like schools and non-profits, turn to golf outings to raise money and increase brand awareness.
As a terrible golfer, I can personally attest to how much fun these events are for not only excellent golfers, but those who don’t know a hole in one from a hole in the ground… never mind.
Are you hosting a golf outing? Do you want to make sure you have a full house? Here are the surefire ways to bring people to the course!
#1– Hand Out Freebies
In 2016, I went to an event called the Brew Dash at a golf course in Bolingbrook, Illinois. At every hole, there was a game, as well as some branded giveaways for guests to take home. Aside from a tote bag, koozie, and t-shirt, I received a super sweet Sam Adams glass with a golf ball lodged at the bottom.
On average, 48% of people wish they received promo items like that Sam Adams glass more often. If people catch wind that you or your sponsors are going to have cool freebies, they’re more inclined to come check out your golf outing.
#2 – Send Facebook Invites, Eblasts, & Mailers
You should ideally start preparing for a golf outing 9 to 12 months in advance. This gives you enough time to find a place, decide on the games, and recruit enough volunteers. About 3 months to the date, you should start advertising on social media and through well-designed emails and mailers.
According to Entrepreneur, information about your event should be “both easy and small in number.” In other words, a person should be able to visit one spot on your website to learn more details about your golf outing and register.
#3 – Make it Kid-Friendly
The adults are there to golf and compete in putting contests, blind hole matches, or other games. However, that doesn’t mean the kids should get left out or stay at home. Secure volunteers to watch over the youngsters and entertain them with golf-themed games like who can hit a marshmallow the furthest or a full mini golf course!
In 2017, about 41.4% of all households in the United States had children under the age of 18. Without a babysitter, the adults in these homes wouldn’t be able to come to your golf outing.
#4 – Secure Sponsors
Sponsors, like the ones secured by the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, will draw more people and help with the financial costs associated with the golf outing. People are going to lose their minds if a big name like Nike or ESPN is sponsoring a tent.
There are plenty of sponsors to choose from for your golf outing, especially since 75% of sponsors are constantly looking for new partnerships. Reach out to these organizations and see if they’re willing to be part of your event in exchange for a link on your website or their logo decorating a banner.
#5 – Offer Live Entertainment
Live entertainment is good for those who have no interest in golfing. You can get a local dance troupe, a team of acrobats, or a professional singer. Either way, people will come out to the course for a good show!
It’s worth it to bring some kind of entertainment factor to your golf outing. A study from Australia found that live music makes us feel happier and healthier. Combine that with the natural endorphins that come from a good game of golf, and you’re going to have a course full of smiling people!
#6 – Donate to a Worthy Cause
Schools and non-profits can use the golf outing as a fundraising opportunity, while businesses can donate the proceeds to a worthwhile cause. Charge a one-time registration fee, sell snacks at concession stands, or have attendees buy their place in each game to raise money.
More and more Americans are donating to charity. In 2017, there was a 5.2% increase in donations from the previous year. This goes to show that more people will sign up for your golf outing if they’re giving back in some way.
#7 – Provide Food & Drinks
During the aforementioned Brew Dash, there was a feast that followed the golfing, complete with unlimited beer, delicious bratwurst, and seasoned potatoes. This meal was housed under a giant tent with fall décor like haystacks, scarecrows, pumpkins, and gourds and everyone ate together at community picnic tables.
The promise of a feast is worth the price at registration. In fact, many articles discuss the importance of offering food at social events like golf outings. A good meal shows hospitality and gives your guests the chance to connect with one another.
Game Ideas for Your Golf Outing
Of course, it’s not all sponsorships, promotional items, and free food. Now you just have to figure out what people are going to do while they’re at your golf outing.
Need some ideas? Here are the 7 best golf outing games:
- Longest Drive – See who can hit the ball the furthest.
- Closest to the Pin – Aim is key in this fun game.
- Selling Mulligans – A mulligan is a second chance to perform an action that went wrong the first time. Sell these at each hole.
- Beat the Pro – Compete against an excellent golfer and try to win.
- Putting Contest – Bring back the days of mini golf.
- Hole of Fortune – Golfers spin a wheel after each hole and either win a prize or do a task like take the next swing blindfolded.
- Pink Ball – A pink ball is rotated between players at each hole. The winner is the team with the lowest score for the pink ball.
OneCause, a fundraising software company, lays out the rules and details of all these games.
At the end of the day, the best way to boost attendance is to make sure your golf outing is fun! Whether you give away branded items at registration, host a marshmallow driving contest, or book Beyoncé for the after party, you want people to remember their experience and come back next year.