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Golf for Good: Teeing Off to Raise Funds

Keith Moehring
March 3, 2024
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Golf, a game of precision and patience, often doubles as a fantastic conduit for generosity, bringing together the community for a cause. 

If you're plotting to turn your next golf event into a fundraising fiesta, congratulations! You're about to combine the noble pursuit of aid with the timeless joy of chasing a little white ball across a verdant expanse. 

Here are 14 recommendations to ensure your golf fundraiser is more successful than a hole-in-one on a par five.

1. Sponsorship Drives

Start by wooing sponsors. Local businesses love to get involved, especially when they can see their logo on tee boxes, golf carts, and scorecards. It's a win-win; they get exposure, and your cause gets a boost.

2. Skins Game

Skins games are a lot of fun at big outings. In a skins game, golfers are rewarded for having the lowest score on a hole with no ties. There's usually a cash payout to these groups. Which hopefully they turnaround and use to buy raffle tickets. Or, you can state upfront that the event is keeping 50% of skins money.

3. Mulligans for Money

Let's face it, not every swing is a masterpiece. Sell mulligans to players for a modest fee, allowing them a second chance at glory while padding your fundraiser's pockets. Just don't let them buy enough to turn it into mini-golf!

4. Raffle Prizes

Let participants buy tickets. I recommend letting them get a full wingspans worth of tickets for $20 or so. These individuals can then put their tickets bigs for a chance to win a raffle prize. Now you just need volunteers and local businesses to donate items for your raffle baskets.

5. Auction Off the Unique 

Silent auctions are great, but why stop there? Auction tee times, sporting event tickets, or even golf lessons. The quirkier and harder to come by the better – for example, who wouldn't bid on a chance to have an alpaca as their caddie for the round?

6. Pledge Drives

Encourage participants to get pledges per birdie, eagle, or even per stroke (for the brave). This not only raises money but adds an extra layer of excitement as players have more than just their pride riding on each shot.

7. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Everyone says they can hit the green on the 165 yard par three, but how many golfers are willing to put money on the line? Invite golfers on a par 3 to put down cash (up to $20) that they or someone in their group will land their ball on the green. If they do, the golfer gets double their money. If not, the event keeps it. 

If you strategically place Fireball shots 3 holes in advance, this can be a very lucrative option. 

8. Themed Holes 

Turn each hole into a mini-event. Think “Tropical Tee-off” with Hawaiian shirts and margaritas or “Hole of Horror” around Halloween. Charge a small fee for players to participate in the theme. It's goofy, yes, but undeniably fun.

9. Take My Shot and My Money

Reach out to the local high school golf team and ask if you can borrow a couple of their players for the afternoon. Or, get a course pro, if they are available. These real golfers will then sit on a Par 3 tee box and groups can pay them money to hit a teeshot for the group. 

10. Dinner and Awards Ceremony 

Cap off the event with a dinner, where you can charge a ticket fee. Use this time to hold an awards ceremony, auction, or raffle. It's a great way to wrap up the day with a final fundraising push.

11. Live Scoring Systems 

Incorporate live scoring. Certain amazing, humble live scoring apps enable you to sell hole sponsorships and ad space. It’s a great way to increase the value of sponsorship packages or offer upsells to your existing sponsors. 

12. Golf Marathons

Challenge the most dedicated golfers to play as many holes as they can in a day, with pledges per hole. It's a test of endurance and skill, and a fantastic way to raise funds.

13. Partner with a Charity

If your event is for a specific cause, partner with a relevant charity (if you aren’t the charity). This not only lends credibility but also provides access to their network, potentially drawing more participants and donations.

14. Merchandise Sales

Sell event-branded merchandise like golf balls, tees, and polo shirts. It's a great way to raise additional funds while giving participants a memento of their contribution to the cause. Odds are someone in the group has a Cricut and a box of t-shirts can be really cheap. 

By implementing these ideas, your golf fundraiser is set to be a memorable one, combining the competitive spirit of golf with the communal spirit of giving. 

Remember, the key to a successful event is not just in the money raised but in the enjoyment and engagement of the participants. Keep it fun, keep it light, and watch as your golf event becomes a highlight on the community calendar.


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