How to Plan Golf Tournaments

By George N Root III

Organizing a golf tournament is hard work, and the more participants you have the harder the work becomes. If you are setting up your first golf tournament, you may want to use the traditional stroke-play format as that is one of the more basic tournament formats available and the easiest to organize. Advise all golfers that you are running a non-handicap tournament and that all strokes count. Use winter rules to make things a bit easier on people and to allow golfers at all levels of ability to have fun.


Difficulty: Challenging
Step 1
Call the various public golf courses in your area and find out what their prices and terms are for hosting a tournament. Many will require a deposit and then payment of all greens fees before the tournament begins, so be prepared to advertise that entry fees must be paid by the participants in advance. Get confirmation of your reservation in writing. There is nothing worse than setting up a tournament with the assistant pro at a course, only to get to tournament day and the course pro has no idea there is a tournament going on. Get the course pro to sign off on the tournament. The course will ask you how many participants you will be having, so know that number in advance. Place your deposit to reserve the tee times and begin advertising. Ask the course if they require you to carry any particular kind of insurance, and also be sure to reserve enough golf carts to cover all the participants.
Step 2
Advertise for participants by putting up fliers at the course where the tournament will be held, placing a display advertisement in the local newspaper and by advertising on free classified websites on the Internet. Be sure to include the entry fee, where to mail the entry fee, the prizes that will be offered at the tournament, the name of the course, the range of tee times, the cut-off date for entering the tournament and the date of the tournament. You will need to include this information in all of your advertising as players at the host course that see your fliers will not automatically assume the tournament is happening at that course. Have players include a way you can contact them to let them know their tee time.
Step 3
The day after the entry cut-off date, create your tee-time schedule. Alert the course and let them know how many participants there will be, and the latest tee time you will need. It is important to alert the course because some courses will charge you for all the tee times you have reserved if you do not let them know what tee times you will actually be using. Contact all participants and alert them to their tee times. Let all participants know that if they miss their tee time they forfeit their entry fee and cannot play.
Step 4
Arrive at the course early on the day of the tournament, have your tee-time schedule with you and review the tee times with the starter at the course. Pay the remainder of your fee to the course and start your tournament.

Tips & Warnings

This is a very basic tournament layout. You may want to approach local businesses and offer sponsorships to them. They can donate prizes for your tournament, and in return you will put their logo and company name on all of the tournament advertising.
Do not confirm a tee time until the participant's check has cleared your bank.

About The Author

George N Root III is a writer that is located in Lockport, NY. Publishing credits include a weekly column in the Lockport Union Sun and Journal along with published articles at, the SUNY at Buffalo Spectrum, Niagara Falls Gazette, Tonawanda News, Watertown Daily News and the Buffalo News. He has a degree in English from SUNY at Buffalo.


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