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The perfect place for your next golf event.
It starts with a memorable spot...
Looking for a facility to host your next corporate outing or charitable fundraiser? Then escape to the Point Sebago Golf Resort. Our 775-acre resort is located on the pristine shores of Sebago Lake, Southern Maine’s largest lake.
Our 18-hole Championship Golf Course is one the finest in Maine and frequently ranked in the Top 5 Courses by leading golf publications. This spectacular par 72 course caters to all levels of play at very affordable prices. Golfers from the beginner to the expert delight in the Point Sebago course whose length ranges from a formidable 7,002 yards from the back tees to a forgiving 4,866 yards from the forward tees. Play this award-winning course for your next outing – and be prepared to be dazzled!
Golf formats for meetings and corporate events
Golf naturally builds comradeship, and organizations are quick to make use of the team building and networking opportunities inherent in the game. More than ever, golf is being used to entertain clients, a prime ingredient of meetings, incentive travel trips, company picnics, product launches and charitable events. Whether it’s a casual golf outing or a tightly organized competitive tournament, golfers of all levels of ability are likely to show up.
There are many different formats. Some work for the very skilled player as well as the beginners, but others are best left to those who take the game seriously. Players of different skill levels are often thrown together at meetings and conventions, and there are a number of ways to deal with this. Each foursome can be made up of golfers, with varying abilities, providing talent is distributed equally across all the groups. USGA Handicap indexes are important in tournaments and are generally accepted as a standard that enables golfers with different abilities to compete fairly with one another. One thing to pay attention to is the fact that new golfers may not have an official handicap index and therefore cannot be placed correctly according to their skill level. There are some tournament formats that require handicaps.
The changing mix of golfers
Coming up with the appropriate format for your outing is one of the first steps in assuring the success of the occasion. While there are many new players on the fairways, there are also a segment of serious golfers showing up at these events. With a format that appeals to experts as well as duffers, your outing or tournament will proceed naturally, almost of its own accord. After all, one of golf’s strengths is that it provides an opportunity for people to mix in a relaxed and recreational situation. Once they are on the course together, it’s not long before golfers of all skill levels discover they have a lot in common!
Factors that affect the format
Besides the ability of players and the natural desire to try something different, other things must be considered when choosing a tournament format. Take advantage of the expertise of the director of golf. You might be an excellent conference planner, but let the professional assist you in planning the tournament. They do it all year long, so they know all the ins and outs.
Early in the planning process, estimate the approximate number of players. That’s an important factor in determining which formats are practical for your group.
Estimate how much time is available for the tournament. Times vary from course to course and according to formats. Full field tournaments (approx. 128-144 players) usually take around 5 hours to complete 18-holes.
Other planning considerations
If the tournament is a charity event, send the invitations out as early as possible. These events have become so popular that it is not unusual for a corporate golfer to be invited to more than one event on the same day.
Different formats require different awards. Determine how many awards will be given at the tournament and buy them ahead of time. Awards can be trophies that you bring to the event, something from the pro shop or a gift certificate to use anywhere at the resort.
Send out your entry forms as soon as possible so you will know the number of people who will be playing and their golfing capabilities. That is critical in determining who should play with whom. About 10-14 days prior to the event, you will have to guarantee your numbers.
Popular tournament formats
The Scramble is the most popular format for group tournaments because it encourages teamwork. Foursomes are constructed so as to compose an A player, a B player, a C player, and a D player. In putting together the teams, the tournament organizer needs to know the golfing ability of the participants; it may be a good idea to have a space on the tournament entry form for players to enter their handicap index. Certainly, an attendee who plays little to no golf would be categorized as a D player. In a scramble, each team member tees off, but the team plays its second shots from where the best drive landed. Play continues in this fashion until the ball is holed out. A scramble helps develop camaraderie among the players, eliminates embarrassment over poor shots, and allows everyone to make a contribution.
Best Ball may be played with two, three, or four players on a team. Golfers play their own ball on each hole, but only the lowest score is recorded as the team score. This format may be played with or without handicaps. This is usually a fun format for groups up to 40-50 players and will generally take longer to play 18-holes than using the scramble format.
Odd and Even is played with one ball per team of two players. One player will hit all the odd shots, and the other will hit all the even shots. To avoid having the same player hit all the tee shots, team members can alternate playing odd holes.
Stableford is a scoring system whereby players score points on each hole according to what they shot in relation to par. For instance a double-bogey would be worth 0 points, a bogey would be worth 1 point, a par is worth 2 points, a birdie worth 4 points, etc. Unlike other golf games, the winner in a Stableford tournament is the player with the highest score.
Nassau (Best Nines) Tournament. Prizes are awarded for the best first nine, the best second nine, and the best 18 holes. Full handicap is used for the 18-hole scores and one-half handicap for 9-hole scores. The advantage is that a player making a poor start or tiring at the finish may still win a prize for a good performance on the other nine.
Callaway allows each golfer to play his or her own ball and record the score with no more than double par limit. This format may be used when not all competitors have an official handicap. Allow more time for playing and scoring because of the individual format.
One-Club Event. Each player carries only one club, which must be used for all shots. The may be specified by the committee or selected by the player. Low net wins. Variations permit two clubs or even three sometimes.
Special Event Contests
Practice Green Tourney is a 9-hole or 18-hole event on a practice green. The lowest number of total putts determines this winner. It is a great way to break ties after an event or just a way to allow your C and D players to feel more competitive.
Longest Drive. A prize is awarded for the longest drive in the fairway. This is normally played on the courses longest par-5 hole.
Straightest Drive. A white line is placed down the middle of the fairway. The drive that comes to rest the closest to the line is the winner.
Closest to the Pin. A prize is awarded for the shot that comes to rest closest to the pin. Normally, this is played at one or all of the courses par-3 holes.
Tips for running a successful outing
Making Sponsorships Work
Enlisting sponsors is a proven method of defraying the cost of a golf tournament and generating good will with the players, industry partners and suppliers who’ll be participating. Everything associated with the tournament can be sponsored: each hole, tee boxes, greens, box lunches, beverage carts, items in the gift bags given to the golfers, and the awards ceremony. Be sure that attractive signs or banners recognizing the sponsors are displayed prominently throughout the meeting, and thank sponsors at the awards ceremony as well as in the follow-up letters.
Prizes are an integral part of golf tournaments. You will want to award the first, second, and third-place teams. Many groups, with tongue in cheek, give gag prizes as well, for, say, the last-place team or the shortest drive.
Caution: Know your group before doing gag prizes; there’s no point risking hurt feelings by singling out ineptitude, especially that of a key participant.
Prizes can be:
Gift Certificates to the pro shop
Golf equipment, such as a bag or a driver
Trophies and plaques bearing the name and logo of your organization and the date of the tournament
Specialty merchandise, such as a crystal bowl or decanter bearing the same information as you would include on a plaque
Prizes can be given on the golf course, inside the clubhouse following the tournament, or as part of that night’s banquet. A special awards banquet is advisable for high-profile tournaments, such as those in which customers and vendors participate or where the participants are avid golfers. Remember to thank all sponsors effusively by name at the awards banquet.
Tip: Have a photographer or a videographer on hand to capture the pro interacting with attendees; your people will want images as keepsakes.
Running a Golf Clinic
You need not bring in a high-priced Touring Professional to conduct your clinic. The Head Golf Professional at the resort can fill the bill. Clinics are best held before the outing and kept to about an hour. Consider focusing the instruction on one segment of the game. A clinic can serve as a tune-up or as an effective icebreaker for attendees who rarely have the chance to golf together, such as sales representatives from far-flung offices.
Ask the Director of Golf at the resort about their staff and instructional services. Golf resorts with on-site academies such as ours can provide the most extensive instruction. If you’re using an event management firm to handle all aspects of your golf outing, your contact there can make the clinic arrangements.
A sleeve of golf balls is the most popular gift item for your golfing attendees; even nicer is a top-quality golf shirt or sweater with the company logo (you must know the groups sizes). Hats and golf towels will come in handy during the event, as will sun block. A framed photograph of the attendee taken during the golf outing, or a group shot, can be presented on the final night. The pro shop and resort gift shop are reliable sources of last-minute gifts, but you’ll have to plan ahead for gifts bearing your company logo or the theme. The Director of Golf can aid in all of this.
Providing food and beverage
For golf outing teeing off the first hole, a box containing a sandwich, chips, cookies, and a drink is the most conventional meal. It can be eaten on the run between the meeting and the golf course or in the golf cart once the action has started. Your food and beverage obliga