Leave the Suit at Home – Solidifying Relationships on the Greens

What’s the value of a golf tournament these days?

Over the summer and into the fall there seemed to be a lot of chatter about the value of holding a golf tournament.  Is the investment on a so called “perk” worth the cost?  Will your attendees be provided valuable networking opportunities?

This year, as for the past nine years, I handled all the logistics for my association’s annual golf tournament, which raises money for my organization’s political purposes.

Overall, we’ve only had a couple of low years (mostly due to rain), but for the most part turnout and return on investment has been worthwhile.  Interestingly, even with all the economy woes and company cut-backs, our 9th annual tournament in September had the highest turnout to date.  Our members and their peers still wanted to play – they needed to network!

I look at it this way, the economy might be bad – and there may be cut-backs, but professionals in any industry still need to network with their peers to find those contacts that will either boost their current situation or help launch them into a new career path.  As an association, we cannot deprive them of this opportunity.  Golf, although considered a “perk”, gives the members of my association an excuse to leave the suit at home for a day and connect with new industry colleagues and solidify existing relationships. (see M&C Mag for more)

Let’s not forget though, that golf tournament is not a cheap venture.  If your company or association wants to delve into this type of venture, they should carefully consider the costs.  Many golf tournaments are used for fundraising purposes; therefore, you must weigh the costs to hold the tournament and the amount to charge your attendees.  Some locations can charge up to $145 (or more) per person – and that’s just for a round of golf. Don’t forget you need to feed your golfers!  Our tournament starts with lunch, then a round of golf, and ends with a cocktail reception and dinner!  It adds up!

Keep an eye on your expenses and work closely with the golf club’s meeting planner – and you can have a successful tournament that keeps your attendees coming back year after year.

Where do I hold my tournament? Saratoga National Golf Club, Saratoga Springs, NY.  Beautiful location and great people to work with.  If you are from the area, you should definitely check them out.  They are willing to work within your budget and will find a way to make it happen!

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