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TOURNAMENT

PLANNER

2014

tournament guide

For pARTICIPANTS & plaNNERS

COLORADO NATIONAL GOLF CLUB Make the home of the University of Colorado golf teams the site of your next event


TOURNAMENT

PLANNER

How to PicK Your Course

I

n golf tournament

planning, as in life, if you choose the right course, you’ll succeed. The right golf course can help generate interest in your event and fill the field. How do you know it’s right? You need to take these four factors into consideration: price, reputation, location and amenities.

1. Price. Everything you can or cannot do with your tournament hinges on the contract price. But don’t jump at the lowest offer. Look at what the contract actually includes. Many courses will put together a package that covers nothing more than green fees and carts. When you add things such as cart signs, scoreboards and lunch, etc., your bargain just went to a premium. However, courses such as Colorado National Golf Club offer a package deal that includes scoring, prize fund, proximity events, souvenirs and other amenities that can add a great value to your event, without the hefty price tag. Whatever your budget, avoid trying to cover the cost of the tournament through entry fees. A hefty entry fee can easily dissuade potential entrants. Look for ways to offset the cost. Sponsors on each tee and green, as well as the putting, chipping and driving ranges provide a great revenue source. In addition, betting holes, raffles, “string” and silent auctions will bring in money and add value to your tournament.

Don’t overlook the reputation of the staff. Any course can hold a 144-player event, but very few can make all 144 players feel special. The staff at the golf course can make you look either very good—or very bad. Look for facilities that emphasize service. Ask your potential on-site coordinator: “Walk me through what each entrant will experience if we were to hold our tournament here.” If the answer doesn’t sound appealing to you, it most likely won’t be for your guests. Remember, each guest is special, and you want him or her to come back each year. The staff is the key to this. One last thing to consider about the course is its playability. Remember who your guests are going to be and what skill levels they represent. Your format should match your purpose and your guests—and the

2. Reputation Unless your event and/or organization enjoys great notoriety, the golf course itself is going to be your greatest marketing tool. When searching for a golf course, consider the reputation it has in the community. Has the course been featured recently in local and/or national golf publications? Have you heard people in your office talking about a particular course they’ve played or are anxious to play? Older courses with cachet often attract participants. However, those institutions can be more expensive and a little less flexible with their tournament prices. Newer courses often generate excitement among golfers because of the novelty factor. In addition, newer courses tend to be more accommodating than older ones.

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course setup should match those. If you are holding a corporate or charity outing, you should play a scramble or shamble at a golf course where the superintendent and tournament coordinator can set up the course so it is playable and enjoyable to everyone.

3. Location. If the golf course is remote, players will get lost or arrive late, which can delay the start and put your guests in a bad mood. Look for an easily accessible location. Make sure to provide each entrant with directions to the golf course when they sign up, and again before the event via e-mail.

4. Amenities. Golf comprises only one part of the tournament experience. For most events, the players are there not only to play but to have fun, socialize and enjoy the atmosphere. Look for courses with multiple on-course servers, generous pro shop credits and carts with a GPS system that can run ads for your organization and key sponsors. Consider the banquet facilities. Will the dining room contribute to the experience you are trying to give each entrant? Can the dining room hold all of your guests rain or shine? Do you have limited menu choices or can the kitchen customize something unique for your event? Are locker rooms available? Where will the awards presentation be? If you’re going to show a video or conduct an auction, will you have audio/visual capabilities? The golf course is the key element in conducting a successful tournament. Finding a golf course that fits in your budget, is well-known for its service and playability, is easy to get to, and can offer amenities that add value to your event will help you fill not only this year’s field, but next year’s as well.

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Your

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOME...

Call our clubs today to find out the great specials we have including no dues until spring and early season initiation fee specials. With a membership at either Colorado National Golf Club or The Fox Hill Club, you will receive playing benefits at either club and use of our 5,550 square foot indoor practice center and many other amenities like swimming and tennis. Join today and find out why having a membership at either of these clubs is like having two memberships at two premiere courses in Colorado for the price of one. Whether you are looking to join the club, book a tee time for your weekly game, or host your next corporate gathering or charitable event, Colorado National and Fox Hill are your destination and Colorado’s best home courses.

CALL NOW FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER!

coloradonationalgolfclub.com 303.926.1723 co l o r a d o a v i d g o l f e r. c o m

thefoxhillclub.com 303.651.3777 Spring 2014 Colorado AvidGolfer

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TOURNAMENT

PLANNER

MAKE SURE IT’S MEMORABLE

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“The strength of any tournament is directly proportional to the passion of its constituents,” says Mike Henritze, General Manager of the Club at Cordillera and formerly of The Ridge at Castle Pines North. “The most successful charity events are localized ones that start relatively small—maybe 60 people. But all 60 are committed and passionate. That passion spreads and you have 80 the next year, and so on. You can’t get the sponsors unless you have something people feel passionate about, and you can’t attract silent auction items. People will pay for golf; they’ll pay for food; but for the right cause, they’ll outbid someone for a framed, autographed Phil Mickelson photograph.” Remember, he says: “If you’re not in it for the long haul, don’t get in.” Other displays of passion include emotional, uplifting videos about the organization, and brief, powerful appearances and testimonials by beneficiaries and survivors. But don’t pluck too hard on the heartstrings. You don’t want to kill the feel-good buzz.

• Get It Close. At the end of the event, have a closest-to-thepin competition from 165 yards to the 18th green. Entrants pay an optional fee (as they would if buying mulligans, etc.) and the winner keeps 50 percent of the total. Better yet, if you can afford the hole-in-one insurance, make it a prize like a car or trip. • Putt-Putt. Not every attendee at your event is a golfer, but everyone’s played miniature golf. Check if the course can customize a natural turf putting green with mini-bunkers, water hazards, “trees” made of branches and other obstacles. Complement the contest with cocktails and a satellite bar or appetizer station. Offer bonsais or a putter for the winner. • Chopper Drop. This is an oldie but a goodie that people love to talk about. Before the round, players buy numbered golf balls as if they were raffle tickets. After the round, players gather at the practice range to watch a helicopter drop the balls on a designated target green. The person whose ball lands closest to—or in—the hole wins a prize donated by a sponsor. • Target Practice. Using BirdieBalls, the limited-distance golf practice balls that resemble napkin rings, players can chip at inflatable AirTargets set up by the clubhouse and bar. Each target has numerous pie-shaped holes assigned different values. Players can compete in a variety of games, all of which involve wagering in the name of charity. Visit birdieball.com for more information.

GO BEYOND BURGERS

ENTERTAIN THEM

ITH AL L THE S C RAMB LES, shambles, best-balls, classics, invitationals and worthwhile causes vying for time and money, how do tournament planners distinguish their event enough to entice golfers to play in it?

BRING THE PASSION

Nobody will forget your event if you have a pig roast, pipe in luau music, serve Mai Tais and have the staff in leis and Hawaiian shirts, says Julie Poursadigh, Food & Beverage Director at Colorado National Golf Club, which consistently wins CAGGYs for its creative menu. Other popular food themes are Mexican and Italian. She also suggests: • Multiple après-golf action stations where chefs can prepare custom pastas, wraps, sliders, pizzas, tacos and even sushi. “I wouldn’t do a breakfast omelet station,” she explains. “Most golfers just want to grab a breakfast burrito and go.” But even those can leave a great impression. “We use our homemade green chile, which everyone loves.” • Come up with a signature cocktail for the event and give it a catchy name. Working with a liquor sponsor, you might be able to have the booze donated, the cocktail created and even named. Or have the winning team get to have it named after them. • “And don’t forget dessert,” she says. “We’ve done a chocolate fountain, sundae bar and served our signature desserts like our Bananas Foster Split.”

HOLD CONTESTS For every winning team, there are dozens of losers. The tried-and-true ways to make everyone feel like a winner is to have on-course contests like longest and/or straightest drive on a par-5, closest to the pin and/or longest putt on a par-3, hitting a target from 100 yards off the tee. Here are some other suggestions:

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Theatrics at golf events can range from skydivers to celebrity appearances. Other memorable add-ons include: • Music. Hire a local band to perform a after the dinner and auction. An intimate performance leaves a great impression. • Trick-shot artist. Nothing gets a golf crowd oohing and aahing like a golfer who can crush 300-yard drives while kneeling on a Swiss ball— and does it off a tee held between the teeth of one of your participants. The creativity and entertainment value of someone like Peter Johncke (trickshotmaster.com), Dan Boever (danboever.com) or the legendary and inspiring Dennis Walters (denniswalters.com) is well worth the price of having them at your event.

SWITCH FORMATS The inclusive scramble and best-ball format works. But it’s always fun to mix it up a bit. Alternate Shot: Two person team plays the same ball, alternating shots until the ball is holed. Remember The International? You can employ its scoring system even while playing a scramble, shamble or alternate shot. Double eagles are worth eight points; eagles, five; birdies, two; pars, zero; and bogeys minus one. Use full handicaps and watch those numbers add up fast!

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TOURNAMENT

co l o r a d o a v i d g o l f e r. c o m

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Spring 2014 Colorado AvidGolfer

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Excellence Exists at Red Hawk Ridge A Golf Digest Top 100, Jim Engh course minutes from the Denver Tech Center, in Castle Rock

COUNTRY CLUB

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At public course prices.

MOUNTAIN-STYLE

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Along I-25 in the Front Range.

TOURNAMENT

Making the Goodie Bag Great

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ost golfers’ closets overflow with colorful logo-bearing shirts, hats, fleeces and windshirts—that is, if the golfer bothered to keep these items after the tournaments in which they played. Then there are the towels that work better on your car than your clubs, and the tee markers and repair tools that rattle around the bottom of the golf bag. Call them goodies, premiums, gifts or prizes. Tournament committees too often overlook the quality or uniqueness of these souvenirs. But they have the ability to make or break your event in the eyes of players—especially if yours is a charity event.

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Listen to other golfers Ask friends who play a lot of golf about some of their most memorable tee prizes. We did, and got these answers: “Unique bagtags (I once got a leather one in the shape of a saddle); a mounted, framed photos of my group at a memorable hole; an engraved flask; a picnic set in a huge wooden basket.” “Four pint glasses etched with the tournament logo.”

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View each item as a marketing piece A unique and memorable custom prize might position your event as “the one” to which players will contribute in the years to come. Although everyone loves a sleve of Tour-quality logo golf balls, players lose them. The trick is to select a tee prize that is unique, useful and outlives the day’s event. For example, a quality travel bag with the event’s logo and information may provide many years of use, and each time the player packs it, it reminds him or her of your event.

Give bragging rights If you hold your tournament at a prestigious or new club, include the club logo on your prizes. Players are more likely to use the tee prize if it allows them “bragging rights.” And each use promotes your worthy cause.

“A cigar torch engraved with the course and tourney logo; rolling cooler; a golf flask that attaches to the bag.” “I once took home a cart girl from a charity event. Does that count?”

Create anticipation Offering a custom gift will not only help guarantee your players will use the item and remember your event, it will also keep them coming back, potentially with more players, to see what next year’s gift will be.

“Golf balls with my name printed on them; an engraved polished oak case of poker chips and double deck of cards; silver screw-capped walking stick flask fit for any golf bag.” (Continued on page 58)

Scout the pro shop

Let us host your 2014 tournament Call 720-733-3504 to schedule a visit or for more information. For tee times and other information: 720-733-3500 or redhawkridge.com.

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Chances are, if you see something cool—an umbrella, say, or a jacket, Swiss Army knife, or canvas folding chair—in the pro shop, the PGA pro can custom-order it with your logo or hook you up with the local rep.

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Goodie Bag (Continued from page 56) “I have always enjoyed valuables pouches. If only I owned something valuable to put in them.” “Personalized stationery, a magnum of Silver Oak and Riedel wine glasses.” “A signed, coffeetable book of signature dishes and recipes from country clubs like Castle Pines and Cherry Hills.” “Golf shoes; a pound of Blue Mountain coffee; an engraved Moscow Mule copper mug; Belding golf travel bag; embossed vintage leather head cover.”

Budgeting Although some items may cost more to provide, they can be included in the budget—possibly as an “in-kind donation” from a sponsor in exchange for signage or a foursome—and will ensure success for future events.

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• Come up with a budget on a per-player basis and build it into your entry fee. • Make sure your tee prizes are in line with the entry fee. • Avoid cheap items like screen-printed towels and shirt and plastic ball markers. • Upgrade the goody bag each year as your tournament and sponsorships grow. Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with a really nice shirt, hat or pullover, either, according to avid Canadian player Ted McIntyre. “When I get one, maybe embroidered with the crest of a great golf course, I will wear it—a lot!” But, he cautions: “The not-so-great ones are giveaways or throwaways. Amazing the difference a few bucks can make.”

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TOURNAMENT

One and Done !

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he next time you find yourself on a par-3 at a tournament and a car or trip awaits for a hole-inone, remember Mancil Davis. Davis’ 15th club might be well a horseshoe. How else to explain his phenomenal mastery of the luckiest shot in golf? Davis, a club professional out of The Woodlands, Texas, holds the world record with 51 holes-in-one. Fifty of them have come on par3s; the other came on a 379-yard par-4 shaped— quite appropriately—“like a horseshoe,” he says. Known as The King of Aces, Davis flagged his first at the age of 11 in Odessa, Texas, and in 1967 made eight. He jokes that his caddy made more than he did during his cup of coffee on the PGA Tour. But his ebullient personality and uncanny proficiency on one-shotters has made him the perfect spokesman for the National Hole In One Association, the pioneering company that since 1981 has, for the cost of a relatively inexpensive insurance plan, enabled groups hosting golf events to offer cars and other expensive prizes to competitors if they jar an ace. (The odds of an amateur achieving this are 12,500 to 1.) “Before National Hole In One, hole-in-one prizes were an oddity,” says Davis, who has represented NHIO since Day One. He often appears at charity events, chatting up the competitors on the hole featuring a prize. After all the players in the group take their shot, presuming none has had an ace, he’ll hit. Any contestant with a shot closer than Davis’ wins a sleeve of King of Aces golf balls; if he’s closest to the pin, everyone plays off his ball. Each and

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every golfer scoring a hole-in-one on the designated hole wins $10,000 in addition to any other prize offered by the tournament. “I’ve seen so many aces,” he says. “I never get tired of it. Our average winner is almost an 18 handicapper. We even had a blind lady make one. Golf ’s the only sport where a 22 handicapper can make a shot that can’t be replicated by the greatest player in the world.” What’s more, he says, a hole-in-one can instantly “turn a day of bad golf into a great day on the course.” What’s his trick? Davis insists he has no secret. “For the ball to go in the hole there’s an inordinate amount of luck,” he says. He never uses a tee and believes in visualizing the flight of the ball and aiming at the hole, not the green or even the flagstick. “It’s weird,” he says, when I’m playing a regulation round of golf, I feel differently with a six iron on a tee shot than I do on a second shot. On a par-3 it’s like HDTV, on a par 4 it’s low-def. I even had my brainwaves measured. Mine on my par-3 swings are completely different than they are on par-4s.”

Tips Having watched tens of thousands of amateur players attempt to ace par-3s, Davis has the following advice when you’re on the tee:

1. Club up. “The average player comes up short 85-90 percent of the time. Rarely do they find the back of the green. They just don’t seem to know how far they hit their clubs. Take more club.”

2. Maintain tempo. “Players often get very quick with their swing, and the results are usually pulls, hooks, tops or chunks.”

3. Tee it low or not at all. “Amateurs tend to tee the ball too high, resulting in those short popups. But why four times a round, do you hit it an iron off a tee when every other iron shot is off the fairway? It makes no sense. Unless you’re hitting off dirt, don’t use a tee.”

4. Visualize. “See in your mind where you want the ball to go. Account for the wind, but aim for the hole. Not the flag or green, but the hole.”

5. Stay optimistic. “Most golfers when they get to the prize hole feel like they have a chance. And they do. It can be anybody, any time, anywhere.”

ACE HIGH: Mancil Davis

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For more information on National Hole In One, visit hio.com or call 888-423-8188.

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The 2014 Tournament Guide  

Planning or participating in a golf tournament? This guide has everything you need to make it a success. From planning the right venue to ma...

The 2014 Tournament Guide  

Planning or participating in a golf tournament? This guide has everything you need to make it a success. From planning the right venue to ma...

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