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How much does it cost to host a charitable golf outing?

Keith Moehring
April 26, 2024
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The cost of hosting a charity golf outing can vary wildly based on the size, location and polish you choose to put on it. In this post we won't try to put a dollar figure on the cost, but instead list out all the potential expenses you may encounter along the way.

Understanding these factors can help you better plan and budget for your charitable golf event. 

Per-Player Fees

The most common charging method is a per-player fee, which covers the green fees for each participant. This fee often includes the use of golf carts. It may also cover a range of other services like practice facility access. The rate can vary widely depending on the course's prestige, location, and the time of year.

In addition, to reserve the entire golf course, you may have to have a minimum number of golfers. If you don't reach this minimum, you may need to cover the cost of the additional golfers to satisfy your minimum. 

Food and Beverage Minimums

Many courses require event organizers to meet a minimum food and beverage spending. This can be structured as a per-player rate or an overall minimum amount your event must spend. Negotiating this upfront is important, as food and beverage costs can significantly impact your overall budget. 

There also may be opportunities to cut costs by supplying your own food and beverage, but some courses may not allow that.

Rental Fees for Event Spaces

If you plan to use additional spaces at the course for registration, meals, or ceremonies, there may be separate rental fees. These can vary based on the size of the space and the duration of your event.

Setup and Teardown Fees

Some courses may charge extra for the setup and teardown of any special equipment or decorations used during the event. This can include stages, additional seating, banners, and other paraphernalia specific to the event.

Insurance Costs 

Depending on the agreement with the golf course and the nature of your event, additional insurance may be needed to cover potential damages or injuries. This could be required either by the golf course or as a prudent measure by the event organizers.

Staffing Fees

If your event requires more staff than usual, such as extra caddies, event coordinators, or security personnel, the golf course might charge additional fees for the extra labor.

Technology and Equipment Rental Fees 

If you need special technology (like sound systems, projectors, or lighting) or golf equipment (clubs, extra carts for spectators), these could incur rental fees if not included in the initial package.

Gratuity Charges: Some courses might automatically add gratuity for staff services during large events, which should be clarified during initial discussions. If not, you may still want to tip the support staff who help you run a smooth event. 

Golf Merchandise and Gift Bags

If part of the event includes branded merchandise or gift bags for participants, these costs need to be factored into the budget unless sponsors cover them.

Damage Fees

Set aside some cash for damages. It's not uncommon for carts to get flipped, rammed into trees, driven through bushes, power slid into a lake, jumped over a sand trap, front-end collision during golf jousting, set on fire in celebration, or run over in a game of car chicken. 

Any property, facility, or course damage could result in charges, which you may be on the hook for.


Any signage used to promote sponsors or your cause may come with printing and material costs. Hopefully the cost of any sponsor signage is covered by the sponsor fee, but it'll still need to be taken care of, in some cases before you collect sponsor payment. 

Other Financial Items to Consider

Group Discounts

For large outings, courses may offer discounts based on the number of players. These discounts can help reduce the overall cost per player, making it more affordable for participants and increasing the potential fundraising margin.

Cancellation Policies and Fees 

Understanding the course's cancellation policy is crucial. Weather or other unforeseen circumstances can lead to event cancellations. Ensure you are aware of any potential fees or penalties for canceling or rescheduling your event.

When negotiating with golf courses, it's essential to be clear about what is included in their charges and to ask for a detailed breakdown of all costs. 

This transparency helps prevent unexpected expenses and allows for more accurate budgeting. Additionally, leveraging your event's charitable aspect during negotiations may encourage courses to offer more favorable terms or additional perks to support your cause.


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