By Alden Richards, PGA
As a golf course manager, the prospect of tournament business is always a welcome one. Our facility, as well as many in Colorado and around the country, are always looking for ways to grow tournament business. The earlier you get to planning something like this, the better!
For a meeting planner, a golf tournament is a great way for your group to relax, unwind and have some fun! Even if golf is not enjoyed by everyone in the group, the beauty of Colorado is that golf is just one of many breathtaking and awe-inspiring outdoor activities to enjoy. However, for those in your group dying to hit the links, here are three tips to ensure that their day at the course is a memorable one.
Determine the number of players and player names. By knowing the number of players, the golf course can decide whether to do tee times or some form of a shotgun start (all players starting at the same time on different holes). A shotgun start may require a minimum number of players, such as 72, since it restricts the use of the course to only those participating in the tournament. The benefit of a shotgun start is that all players will start and finish at approximately the same time. By having the names of the players in advance, the golf course can assign golf carts, create cart placards with player names, and ensure a timely and orderly start to the tournament.
Ask about Tournament Packages. A most basic tournament package will include a round of 18 holes with a golf cart for a set dollar amount per player. However, many courses have packages that can really enhance the event for each player by including things such as range balls to hit before the round, logoed golf balls and/or golf towels, bottles of water in each cart, drink tickets for the beverage cart, closest to the pin and long drive contests, etc. We can tailor a tournament package that meets your group’s needs and price point. Courses like River Valley Ranch Golf Club also can take care of all of a group’s food and beverage needs.
Budget Enough Time for Play. The time it takes for everyone to finish depends on the size of the group. If your group is small (let’s say 20 players or less), it may take four and a half hours or less for everyone to finish 18 holes. However, if the tournament is a 120-player shotgun, it may take up to six hours from arrival time to departure from the facility. Plan accordingly!
By following these simple guidelines, a golf tournament is sure to be a high point of any Colorado destination meeting!
Alden Richards, PGA is General Manager/Director of Golf at River Valley Ranch Golf Club in Carbondale.