Golf outings and alcohol go together like my 8 year old's player-pitch baseball games and, well, alcohol. It’s really hard to imagine one without the other.
For golf outings, alcohol is a must. The vast majority of golfers want it, most golfers have more fun with it, and, if you’re fundraising, donations are a little easier to come by after it’s consumed.
But, what type of alcohol should golf outings serve, how often and for how much?
We conducted a highly unscientific survey of a very small sample of our users to better understand what the expectations are for alcohol at a golf outing. Hopefully the following can serve as a guide.
Do golfers expect alcohol to be included or are they willing to pay? The survey data says.
Lesson Learned: Ignore our survey. The majority are wrong. Offer some form of alcohol for free to your golfers as part of the outing. I like the “Cheaper By the Dozen” rule. If you can buy it in 12 packs, it’s good enough and cheap enough to give away for free at your golf outing.
Shocking! The two most popular alcohol options were lite beer and hard seltzers—both selected by 80% of the voters. These options are both perfect examples of the Cheaper By The Dozen rule, so make them free.
Coming it third with 40% … Fireball. These are my people! Fireball is an absolute must for outings (in my humble, indisputable opinion). I always have a small bottle of this delicious, belly-warming cough syrup in my bag, just in case!
What about craft beer? Most don’t want it (only 30% selected it). I can understand why. It’s heavy, potent, and very expensive. No one will miss it.
Jello Shots? According to the survey data, golfers don't want Jello shots (only 30% selected it). Wrong again survey respondents! Jello shots are great on a golf course. They are light, fun and a nice treat. AND, Jello shots can help generate a little extra cash for the cause. Charge $2 per shot. Heck, 55% of respondents are willing to pay.
What about other shots? General rule of thumb, if the ABV is over 10%, charge some money for it or don’t offer it at all (except Fireball, always offer Fireball). We all know those groups that overindulge on the hard stuff and then manage to somehow stack three golf carts on top of each other. Be careful with vodka, tequila and brown liquors.
Lesson Learned: Lite beer, hard seltzers, Fireball and charge for jello shots.
Half our respondents said the beer cart is enough. Again, wrong. If there are more than two beer carts making rounds, I could maybe agree, maybe. But, two or fewer and the beer carts don’t come around enough.
Also consider who is driving them. Are non-golfer volunteers dressed in silly outfits dispensing the spirits? If so, the beer carts are definitely not enough. Inevitably, your wanna-be cart girls will be parked side-by-side consuming more of their offerings than they are dishing out.
On the other hand, if the course has professional beer cart drivers making the rounds, there is a better (still not great) chance of getting more than one drink per nine.
I’m a big proponent of putting a cooler of beverages (alcohol and non) by the teebox every 2 to 3 holes. 40% of our respondents agree this is a good frequency.
Survey respondents did not select any of the following options:
And, to the one person who answered, “It doesn’t matter, I always pack provisions.” Do you need a playing partner?
Lesson Learned: Your event should offer enough alcohol to get everyone 1-3 ice cold drinks per nine.