By Marc Gelbke
As we continue to elaborate on managing a golf tournament at your facility, we now have to look at what it takes to prepare for an event. We recently discussed promoting your tournament and, assuming this has been done, we now must get started on facility logistics and the planning steps needed to get the facility ready for a tournament.
As manager, you will need to focus and analyze needs of the event for the bag pickup area, golf shop, practice area, possible club rentals, restaurant, snack shop, scoreboard(s), parking, course marking, and course setup. I would highly recommend the use of checklists as a tool for successful preparations, and I have always firmly believed that time spent planning well in advance of an event will pay dividends, because a tournament can become very unmanageable if you underestimate needs for items such as carts, food, and so on.
Another good tool is to use request forms to capture the needs of the group or organization sponsoring the event; it will help avoid embarrassment of inadequate preparation. Your preparing considerations should focus in detail on items such as scoreboards (should be located near the gathering area after the event – a lot of times this is at the restaurant or clubhouse); registration tables and bag staff (make sure the staff is equipped with a list of tee times and names of participants); golf carts (make sure to arrange appropriate to the type of start, e.g., if shotgun, by hole order); sales (run a sales special on logoed merchandise each day of the event as it will help promote your club and increase your retails sales); housekeeping (make sure facility and locker rooms are cleaned and stocked), and the practice range (have adequate amounts of range balls available for all participants and have the practice area ready to go with staff that can manage the before, during, and after prep work).
As for setting up the course, make sure you consult and include your superintendent and committees to discuss marking requirements for ground under repair, water hazards, out of bounds, tee markers, and setting hole locations for each day of the event. I would also recommend discussing length of rough and speed of greens to ensure the course plays appropriately for the tournament.
Take an active role in overseeing the process of preparing your facility for a successful event and to capture possible future customers, members, and repeat tournaments sales.