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Golf Outing Ideas to Increase Fundraising

Your Golf Outing must be Fun!

Your Golf Outing must be fun. The more enjoyable, the more likelihood that folks will return next year. Running a successful Golf Outing one time is demanding, time consuming and requires dedication from the organizer and committee members. Keeping it going for years is not easy, and you need to be consistent and continually come up with ways to maximize the fun factor for all of the golfers.

Building a following so that your Outing becomes a must event within your community takes time and planning. Hopefully some of these ideas will help to keep the day fun, and even increase your fundraising efforts

Value for Money

Whatever your price point for registration and sponsorships really think about giving great value. Folks are giving up their day to support your cause. Having great food, a free beer cart, hot dogs at the turn, a cool goody bag and really great prizes all make a difference. You really want every single golfer to leave the course feeling good about the day, even if they sucked at golf!

What is the best format?

The Scramble is probably the most-common format for Golf Outings. It can be played by 2, 3 or 4 person teams, and involves choosing the one best shot following every stroke, with each team member then playing again from that one spot. The key advantage is that you can mix up the abilities of each golfer within a group. So even a novice can have a great day of golf!

The Taxes Scramble is a variation whereby all golfers in a foursome must have a number of their drives used throughout the round. The Florida scramble format has the twist in that the player whose shot is selected doesn't get to play the next shot. This format can be a great equalizer if a great golfer is in a foursome -- the group may play their every drive, but the great golfer cannot be involved in the second shot and so on.

Your goody bag

It seems simple enough but some Golf Outing organizers really do a nice job of this. Guidelines are to have a value of 5% to 10% of the entry fee in the goody bag. So, if your Outing costs $200 then be prepared to have $10 to $20 worth of goodies in the goody bag. Be creative, we all have plenty of hats and umbrellas, I certainly don't need any more. Instead of a cheap T-shirt go the extra mile and give away a nice collared golf shirt. And always advertise the Outing prominently. Having a Shirt Sponsor option is a great way to not only raise additional funds but also allows that Sponsor to have their logo printed on the shirt. You would be surprised that if you give away a great shirt how many folks will wear it around town, and there is not better advertisingn than that!

This point is all about making the golfers feel good, before the first tee. If they feel good they are much more likely to have fond memories and return next year. It seems simple enough but some Golf Outing organizers really do a nice job of this. Some Outings you get a sleeve of balls and a bag of tees, boring!

Here's some ideas, stuff that you can never have enough of:

Raffles and Prizes

Most outings rely on generous contributions from participants and community members. This is great, but do not be afraid to spend some of the registration money and buy some really cool prizes. This may be a cool driver, a top brand putter, coolers, TVs, cameras, barbeques, coupons to the golf pro shop. Use your imagination and mix it up every year. I know from personal experience that if there are some really cool prizes on offer I will definitely throw a few extra bucks into the pot.

Putting or Chipping Contest

I have been involved, and run, many Golf Outings and a great way to raise some additional funds is a Putting or Chipping contest. Simply setup a spot on the Putting Green, charge a few dollars for an entry fee and each golfer has 3 chances.

Closest to the hole is the winner (you will need a tape measure!). If anyone sinks the putt or chip then the tie-breaker is their next best shot. Payout is up to you but I have found that a 50/50 payout works well. If you have a gift then that works as well, a 60 degree wedge or a good quality brand putter will drive golfers to your contest.

Longest Drive

Pretty obvious this one ... longest drive wins some cash or a cool prize! Always good to have a few competitions, one for the guys, one for the gals, and perhaps one for the older crowd.

Straightest Drive

Takes a little planning, someone will have to be up early and draw a nice straight line down the middle of the fairway on one of the par 5's. I would suggest that the line is approx 150 yards out and should accommodate your big hitters. The nice part of this award is that your shorter hitters can all get involved and be serious contenders, as long as they can bang it out 150 yards!

Hit the Green

Pick a par 3 and have someone sell chances on the tee box. I play in an outing where the chances are $5 and hitting the green wins a sleeve of balls. Don't be cheap here, make sure they are a good quality brand! And easy way to generate a few extra hundred bucks for your cause.

The Yellow Ball

There are many variations of the Yellow Ball. My favorite version is that each foursome pays to enter the Yellow Ball competition. $10 per foursome should work well. On every hole, a different golfer has to use the yellow ball for the duration of the ball. If it is lost then that group is out of the competition. If the foursome can keep the yellow ball throughout the round then they enter the pool as the yellow ball winner. A 50/50 payout is reasonable. Not only is this another way to generate more funds for your cause, it brings a lot of fun into the outing. I've played in outings where the golf is almost secondary to keeping the yellow ball in play.

Bag of Junk

For a Golf Outing that has prizes for Low Net or other score based prizes, the Bag of Junk is a great way to add interest to the outing, and raise a few extra dollars. I play in an Outing every year that sells a Bag of Junk and it is a great success! It works by offering a $10 bag of junk that all members of a foursome have to participate in, an extra $40 before anyone tees off! The bag has 4 ways to improve your group score, 16 in all for a foursome. The golfers can nominate when they play each of the tricks in the bag:

  • Golf Glove, $10 to $20
  • Pint Glasses, $5 to $10
  • Beach / Sports Chair, $15 to $30

    Most Honest Golfer

    An award that no-one wants to win!

    • Mulligan, basically a do over
    • Throw, for some less skilled chippers, throwing the ball is an easier way to get close to the pin
    • Ladies Tee, pick a longer par 4 or 5 and hit from the ladies tee
    • Free club length drop, improve your lie!

Useful Information

Looking for some great fundraising ideas?

We have put together a great article for all of your Golf Outing Fundraising Ideas

Trying to figure out how to run a successful outing?

After years of organizing and running Golf Outings, read our article on how to Run a successful Golf Outing

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