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From the Dutch word "kolf", meaning club, but the game was invented in Scotland game going back at least to the 1400's. It's popularity was hampered by requiring close-cropped grass. The lawnmower was not invented until 1831, and not really practical until the machine-tool industry was able to cut steel gears c. 1880's. Golf wasn't played in America until 1888, when the St. Andrews Golf Club of Yonkers was formed.
   

 

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Planning A Charity Golf Tournament
By Greg Reynolds
Looking for tips on planning a charity tournament? There are many factors to consider, so I'll stick to the four main ones for this article. The success of your charity event revolves around maximizing player turnout, increasing pledge sizes, obtaining sponsored prizes, and planning tips.

Player Turnout
Your success depends on how many players your event draws and how actively you have your players solicit sponsors for their own rounds.

To maximize turnout, you need to get major publicity for your event. That means putting out multiple press releases, getting local media coverage from newspapers and television stations, and placing ads in the sports section of the local paper.

For the best results, put your press releases out through PR Web. Appoint a spokesperson to handle all media contacts and follow-up. For more tips, read my article on fundraising publicity.

Charity Pledges
The key is getting each player to collect a certain amount of pledges. I recommend a minimum of $100 per player in pledges. I've also

played in tournaments where that number was $250 per player.

Obviously, you want to motivate the participants to raise as much money as possible. Some groups offer incentives for the top pledge getters. Others seek corporate sponsorships for that firm's players.

Pledge amounts determine the success of your charity event, so get input from experienced golfers and pros in your area.

Top Golfer Prizes
Generally speaking, you'll draw more golfers if you have great prizes for longest drive, closest to the hole, hole in one, lowest team score, lowest actual score, and best adjusted score (handicap).

You solicit local merchants to sponsor those prizes. Work with an insurance-related prize company for things like the hole-in-one contest. That way you can offer a bigger prize for a much lower outlay.

Aim to get 100 golfers (25 foursomes) and your small group could easily raise $10,000 or more. Larger turnouts will net even more with some charity tournaments drawing 500 golfers competing for big prizes.

Plan Ahead
Obviously, bigger pledges, more golfers, corporate sponsorships combined with massive publicity will work wonders for the bottom line of your charity tournament. With the right combination of these factors and good advance planning, you can certainly raise $75,000 or more for a charitable cause.

Contact local courses for group rates. Be sure to mention that you are planning a charity event and ask for discounts on cart and greens fees. Once you decide on your preferred location, reserve the date and tee times well in advance.

Charity Golf Event - Final Tips
Plan ahead to maximize the success of your charity event. For best results, pick a weekday when courses and large blocks of tee times will be easier to reserve. You'll often get the best rates by going to the course in person and talking to the pro or pro shop manager.

Corporate sponsors are another good way to go. Get some celebrities to with corporate bigwigs and you can easily raise $100k-$150k. Of course, convincing celebrities to donate their time takes some doing, but it's well worth it.

If it's your first tournament, be open to suggestions from other golfers. Consider working with a fundraising consultant who specializes in organizing charity tournaments. They work for a percentage of the gross, but you usually end up raising more funds due to their experience and sponsor contacts.
Greg Reynolds writes about planning a charity golf tournament and other non-profit fundraisers at FundraiserHelp.com


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