Reward Poor Play

By:
Keith Moehring
July 31, 2022
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Golf outings and events are designed to reward the best players. From lowest score to longest drive to skins, the great scores and great shots get all the acclaim and prize money. 

But what about the rest of us? The ones whose lighthearted companionship is more valuable than our chipping and putting prowess? Anyone can hit the ball well, but it takes true talent to swing so poorly that the story gets retold in the clubhouse after the round.

As a golf outing organizer, how do you reward us for our contributions to your event? Here are some ideas. 

Shortest Drive in the Fairway

Anyone can hit the ball far, but you have to be on a totally different level to hit a ball a couple yards onto the fairway. Reward these bad shots with a Shortest in the Fairway hole competition. 

Place a proximity marker at the start of the fairway on a long hole (the longer the better) and invite the player with the shortest drive in the fairway to claim their fame. 

After the round, give raffle tickets or prize money to the “winner.”

Furthest From the Green Second Shot

Create another proximity game that goes to the golfer or team whose ball is furthest from the green after their second shot. 

Ideally, the proximity marketer is placed halfway down a relatively short par 4 to make your golfers really “earn” the award. 

Similar to the shortest drive shot, reward these golfers with raffle tickets or prize money. 

Participation Award

h/t Orange Effect Foundation

The Orange Effect Foundation gives out a “Participation Award” to the group with the worst score. Just like the overall winners, this group goes up and claims their prize money in front of everyone, usually earning a well-deserved round of applause. 

PRO TIP: Another secret from the Orange Effect Foundation, give out all proximity and winner awards before pulling raffle prize winners. Most golfers will feel compelled to spend their well-earned prize money on raffle tickets—especially if you strongly imply they should. 

Hazard Balls

A lot of courses have a hole or two where a hazard looms large, like a large lake next to the fairway or a thickly wooded area protecting a dogleg. Good golfers can easily avoid these lost ball traps, but the rest of us are drawn to them like a black hole. 

Next to these lateral hazards place a big bucket of golf balls (used is totally fine), with a sign that reads,

“We didn’t think it was fair that the mean lake ate your golf ball, so here’s a replacement or two. Take as many tries as you need.”

If you’re looking to increase sponsorship dollars, this is a good sponsorship opportunity. 

“Free hazard balls brought to you by Stan the Plumber.” 

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