How to organize a Mini Golf event

Golf Tournament for MSAAOrganizing a mini golf event or tournament is a great volunteer-driven MSAA fundraiser for clubs, teams, and corporate groups. Even if your participants cannot play golf, mini-golf is great fun and - done right - can raise considerable funds.

I want to organize a mini-golf event

MSAA has created this easy-to-follow how-to guide to be used as a framework for your mini-golf tournament organizing team.

  • The first step is to arrange a place to host the event.  This is best done well in advance. Seasonal factors will affect price and availability, but most of the time you can arrange either a flat payment for exclusive facility use or a per game fee that's substantially lower than standard rates.
  • To maximize attendance, price your golf event tickets at reasonable prices. Offer attractive variations like a flat-rate family or foursome ticket or discounts for advance purchases.
  • Form an event committee of 3-5 people. Assign specific tasks to each member of the event committee focusing on specific functions of the event:
    Marketing and promotion including media outreach
    Fundraising and hole sponsorship

  • Have one person responsible for the registrations before and at the event.  This will avoid any confusion once all registrants arrive for your event.
  • Registration from players is one way to raise funds, but to turn your fundraising tournament into a great success is to get local businesses to sponsor a hole. Set the prices reasonable, such as $25 to $75 per hole. Sponsors would get a small sign beside each mini-golf putting tee acknowledging their contribution. At the $75 level you could also include an advertisement or coupon for the sponsor in a trifold brochure that includes a tear-off score card.
  • Encourage sponsors to offer something creative that will bring them customers such as a two-for-one coupon given to all players. Or, a sponsor could offer a prize to everyone who beats a certain score or gets a hole-in-one on the 18th hole.
  • In addition to sponsorships, you can also ask businesses to donate items or services to use as prizes for lowest score, highest score, etc.
  • Food and drink sales are another source of potential profits. With course owner permission, you could even run your own concession stand offering grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, sodas, etc.
  • You can also offer silent auctions of donated goods and services. Place the items along with attractive descriptions and bid sheets on tables near high-traffic spots. Be sure to tape down paper and pens to make it easy for players to get in a quick bid while still holding their putter.
  • And don't forget to ask for donations. You can often raise a considerable amount just by placing a jug labeled "Donations" right next to where players pay for their rounds!

Marketing and Promotion, including media outreach

  • Once you have a date booked, you will need to publicize your event. Contact the local media, press, radio, and television serving the community where the event is to be held. The objective is to create an alert to get your event on their calendars for possible coverage.
  • If you are seeking to encourage others to participate in the mini golf tournament, community outreach is just as important. Create posters to display at the mini golf venue and in store windows.  Include notifications in community newsletters and email campaigns.

General Timeline
3 months ahead:

Contact the mini-golf venue and secure exclusive use if necessary

2 months:
Develop marketing materials and start to reach out to sponsors

6 weeks:
Send out a save-the-date notification to your participants

4 weeks:
Start the mini-golf tournament promotional process and secure your initial registrations. This should continue until the day of the event.
Recruit a small number of volunteers to help at the event with concessions, auction, etc.

2 weeks:
Send out a media alert to local media, especially those outlets that only print weekly

1 week:
Confirm booking with the mini-golf venue

3 days:
Remind all registrants of the event

1 day:
Finalize your logistical needs and verify all details

Day of the event:
Set up registration area
Set up tables for auction, concessions, etc
Meet with volunteers

1 week after the event:
Follow up with previously prepared thank-you letters to all participants, sponsors, and volunteers. This is important, as they will remember you for the next fundraising event!

4 weeks after the event:
Ensure all funds raised are accounted
**Contact MSAA to arrange for the funds to be returned at (800) 532-7667, extension 117**

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