How to organise a corporate golf tournament

Considered by many as the ultimate pastime, golf is a great way to escape the office for the day, grab some sun, argue over who gets to drive the buggy, and catch up with your colleagues in a low intensity sports setting. Don’t know anything about golf? Not a problem! Read on to see how to go about organising a corporate golf tournament for your office.

Start an event committee

Organising events like this can be tricky, particularly for large groups, so before you start to work out the details, make sure that you have appointed a person or group of people that are the organisers, and keep a shared planning folder online so information is stored together and is accessible on computers and mobile devices. This keeps collaboration focussed and decision making more streamlined. For larger groups, delegate particular duties to different members so that more can be achieved in a smaller amount of time.

Setting goals

Similar to many corporate events, deciding what the goals of your golf tournament are is of principal importance. Is it a team bonding exercise? A fundraiser for charity? A special client event? Answering these questions will hone your focus and keep the event appropriate to the audience. Once you’ve decided on the main goal of the tournament, begin to answer the questions that arise, like budget and who’s going to pick up the bill, if you will have prizes and if so, what they’ll be, who and how many are you going to invite, and where you’re going to host the tournament. A great idea to research and gather the necessary data you’ll need is to send an email questionnaire to the desired parties asking them:

  1. If they have an interest in golf
  2. If they play regularly and if so, what’s their handicap
  3. Are they, or do they know anyone that’s a member or on the board of any local golf courses

If, on the other hand you’re looking to entertain clients with a golfing event, it may be better to casually mention golfing in conversation to ascertain answers to the above questions. If they have no interest in golf whatsoever, then it’s unlikely it will be a successful business endeavour. However, if they are keen golfers, then maybe you’d like to find out their favourite course, or perhaps a course that they would love to play on.

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Charity tournaments

With charity tournaments, there’s a few more factors to consider. Golf tournament fundraisers can be incredibly lucrative for charities and many brands and business love to be a part of it as it aids their business image. If you’re planning to host a fundraiser, then consider who may cover the costs of your course hire as a primary sponsor. It’s also worth considering getting other brands on board to invest prizes like holiday packages, vouchers or even something really special like winning a huge prize (for example, a car) for hole-one-shots on certain holes. No sponsorship level is too small and the more costs you can get others to account for maximises the donation exposure for the charity.

Matching the player to the game

Golf has a fanatical following and it’s quite likely that many of your employees and/or clients have an interest in golf, and may even play regularly. During your planning, you should consider these levels of expertise and group people with similar experience. This generally makes for a more enjoyable day, as the more experienced players can move along a little quicker, while the newbies work out their swing. If you’re taking some clients out on the green that you know are keen golfers, consider imposing challenges like having to hit with a training club, to set a more lighthearted mood. For the pro players though, it may be best to keep it straightforward, so as not to dilute their favourite game.

If it’s a team outing and everyone’s an amateur, discuss training and instruction options with the club to see what they can offer. You’ll get a lot more out of the game if you have some of the basics down. Chasing the ball into the woods gets old, fast.

Choosing the course and the date

As you’ll no doubt find out, golf courses are very busy places and as the game takes the better part of the day, you’ll need to look at dates months before you plan to hold the event. When looking to book, check your work calendar with the boss and decide on a handful of dates that would be appropriate for the event. If it’s for a charity, it’s best to consult with that charity when date searching, so as not to conflict with other promotions that they’re holding. For a team day, remember to explore off peak dates and tee off times as it’s usually a great way to save some money.

Once you’ve got some dates, consider the locations options. If it’s for a client, then see if there’s a particular course that they’ve always wanted to play or one that holds significance to them. If it’s for a charity, get the best course you can for what your sponsors will allow you in the budget. The sponsors will also be likely to attract more significant interest from persons paying to take part if the course is more prestigious. On the other hand, if it’s a small team bonding event, then the level of prestige is less significant, but more about having fun on the day. So look for local options that allow for a wide range of skill level and save some dollars (to spend on catering, of course).

Rules and regulations

Regardless of the course, there’s likely to be some rules for the day and there will definitely be some differences between the courses, so be aware of:

  • Registration of players and teams
  • Assignment of tee off holes
  • Dress code (important particularly with more prestigious courses)
  • Where you can and can’t place promotional material and marketing collateral (for charity tournaments)


When it comes time to issue the invitations, ensure that the above rules are included and that you mention them specifically so everyone reads them. It’s also an excellent idea, particularly when organising people outside of your organisation, to send reminder notes leading up to the event. Include the rules, regulations and primary details, even attaching the original invitation and details just to be 100% sure everyone’s on the same page. Should your event require media attention, ensure that these details are passed to the relevant agencies to ensure the event receives optimal coverage.

On the day

Ensure that signage and directions are made for patrons to easily guide them to the correct locations. The course can arrange this for you. Arrive half an hour or so earlier than your guests or team members, so that you can organise any final details and get a lay of the land.

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Golf makes you hungry - don't forget to book your corporate event catering 

Spending 8 to 10 hours on the green can work up a serious hunger. Plus, it’s important to keep your fluids up. Some courses will offer some level of catering, but if you have the option to enlist an external caterer, then it’s best to speak to the catering experts and through their consultation, ensure that you have enough food and beverages, evenly spread throughout the day to keep everyone fuelled and focussed during your event. Another idea is to organise a corporate BBQ and a few alcoholic beverages for the end of the day. Just ensure you check with your particular venue whether they have the facilities and allow BBQs.

Order-In have a spectacular range of endless menu options from best-in-class caterers to provide the absolute best solution for your corporate golf tournament. Explore your options in our functions and events section and then easily book online or over the phone. Remember that we’re here to help, and particularly with larger events, it can be best to chat with one of our friendly consultants over the phone so we can help guide you in the right direction. If you're not convinced, here are some reasons why you should use an experienced event manager for your next corporate event.

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