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How to Promote Your Charity Golf Event and Grow It Year After Year

Keith Moehring
March 5, 2024
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As any seasoned organizer knows, filling out the entire field for a charity golf event is akin to sinking a long putt over a hilly green — it requires precision, foresight, and a bit of luck. The challenge is real; every empty slot is a missed opportunity for fundraising, networking, and competition. 

However, when executed with skill and creativity, your event will reach capacity and set the stage for growth year after year, drawing in more participants, sponsors, and spectators. This is the ultimate test of an organizer's mettle, turning a one-time gathering into an eagerly anticipated annual tradition. 

Let's dive into the strategies that make your charity golf event not just a day on the course but a perennial highlight for the community and beyond.

Declare Your Mission

First, your event needs a mission as clear as the sky on a perfect golf day. Why should people give up half their day to play in your event and recruit their friends and family to also play? 

Mission matters as much as the cause or organization you're supporting. Make it very clear where the money raised is going and why. 

Select a Venue and Date

Next, pick a date and venue that will draw crowds. Monday, Fridays, and Saturdays are the most popular event days. In addition, a golf course that offers event amenities and a challenging and fun trek is very important. 

Registration System

Use a system that enables you to create a page where individuals can go to register for your event. Collecting names randomly via text, email, or phone call will cause chaos, especially on the payment side—Who paid who? Where's the money? Dammit, Steve, where's the money?

Ensure the registration system also lets golfers pay the registration fees at checkout. 

Forcing everyone to register through the same system consolidates the information and helps you track who's in and who has paid. And, better yet, you control the information. 

Save Email Addresses

This can be done using a registration system, but if you choose not to use one, you need a place to capture and store names and email addresses. By owning the direct communication channel, you control updates and future promotions to these golfers. Don't rely on others to effectively spread your message. 

An Excel sheet is fine, but there are also free customer relationship management tools, like HubSpot or MailChimp, where you can save email addresses and send emails. 

Social Media

Like it or not, social media must play a part in your event. Use these platforms to create a buzz, share updates, and engage your audience. In addition, during the event, share pictures of everyone participating and showcase the fun. Tag people when possible to broaden your reach. 

Local Partners and Sponsors

Local partnerships and sponsorships can add credibility and reach. Identify who you are supporting early and invite them to promote your event to their employees and volunteers. 

Offer Early Registration Specials

Who can resist an early bird special? Not Grandpas, that's for sure. Offer incentives to get those registrations rolling in early. Even partially filling your field will dramatically reduce stress levels. 

Leveraging Technology for Engagement

Let's face it, live scoring systems are the hole-in-one of event technology. They make your event more interactive and engage participants and spectators in real-time. Just make sure the system you choose is simple for everyone. Live scoring is only as good as the number of people who use it. Don't make them download an app. It should be as simple as clicking a link, selecting their name and then entering scores.

Set Volunteers Recruitment Goals

Golfers know other golfers. It's like a secret society, but with no secrecy. Assign recruitment goals to your volunteers and watch your participant list grow. 

And, when possible, pit your volunteers against each other. Create a leaderboard showing that Dave has recruited 10 groups while Steve still needs to fill out his own. Come on, Steve! Get it together! Embarrassment is a strong motivator. 

Collaboration with Golf Courses

Never underestimate the power of working with the golf course to promote your event. Many courses are willing to help because, at the end of the day, a full field benefits them as much as you. They likely have an extensive database of golfer emails from those who like playing the golf course. 

Scarcity Works

As a golf event, you only have so many spots available. Make sure the golfers waffling on whether to play know that. It may be the motivator needed to get them to finally register.

Feedback Loop for Continuous Improvement

Every event, no matter how successful, has room for improvement. Gather feedback from participants, volunteers, and sponsors to learn what worked and what didn't. This not only helps in fine-tuning future events but also builds a community of engaged and loyal supporters.

Start Promoting Next Year's Event Early

While everyone is still basking in the glow of this year's event, put out a save-the-date for future events. This at least gets the event on people's calendars. Paired with an incentive to register early, you can start filling out your field before the last person has left the course this year. 

Organizing and promoting a charity golf event might seem daunting, but with the right strategies, it can be as rewarding as crushing your brother in the family golf championship.

By laying a solid foundation, engaging effectively online and in the community, leveraging technology, and fostering strong partnerships, your event can drive home the true spirit of charity golf: fun, competition, and philanthropy. 


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