You’ve been planning your charity golf tournament for months now – and perhaps for a while, you were feeling worried that coronavirus developments might bring these plans to a halt.

But – you’ve since found relief in knowing that with proper measures in place, outdoor golf has continued to be recognized as a sport that can be easily played while practicing social distancing. And because of this, many courses have been able to remain open or have begun opening their doors again, while following the standards and procedures of their local leaders.

With this assuring news, you’ve made the decision to move forward with your charity tournament – hooray! – but you’re likely feeling unsure of the next steps necessary for guest safety come event day. 

As a means to support tournament planners just like you pull off a great event while maintaining safe procedure, we’ve summarized the below safety tips based on our industry experience along with guidelines from leading golf organizations:

Communicate with your Golf Course & Implement Safety Plan

Whether your tournament location has remained open throughout COVID-19, or they’ve recently re-opened their doors with strict regulations, it’s important to communicate with them and get on the same page regarding the safety measures of your event. We suggest covering at least the following areas: 

Compliance & Safety 

  • Ask your course to provide you with the latest safety guidelines and to keep you in the loop of any modifications prior to event day. 
  • Confirm that they have trained their staff on golf course safety restrictions.

On the Course 

  • Ask the course to place blockers in all holes, so players don’t have to put their hands inside and always require pin flags to be in. 
  • To eliminate scorecard contact, be sure to set up Live Scoring on your Event Caddy system. Not only does Live Scoring up the excitement of your tournament – this way, your players can use their own devices to keep score and track others, and your staff can keep score without the need to touch players’ physical scorecards. 
  • Do your best to determine how many golf carts will be required so only guests who live together share one at the same time. Also, ask if push carts are available for players who would rather walk.
  • Request removal of all communal apparatus’ such as rakes from sand bunkers and ball washers (if possible). 

Equipment & Handling

  • Ensure the bag drop area is set up for appropriate social distancing.
  • Require staff to ask guests before providing assistance with their equipment and suggest that they use disinfecting wipes on bags being unloaded and placed on carts. 

Food & Drink

  • Ask if players should bring their own beverages in a small cooler or whether the location has a safe solution for serving beverages off the course. 
  • After the tournament, offering cocktails can be optional (depending on course rules). If offered, space out the standing tables and promote social distancing. Use only disposable drinkware and avoid any communal ice or drink station. 
  • While you should definitely cancel buffets or sit-down dinner plans, determine whether it is safe or compliant to provide food at your event. If you would like to, try individually portioned boxes golfers can enjoy at a safe distance. But first – ensure that the golf course or culinary provider is following acceptable safety guidelines.

Processing & Accepting Payments / Donations Online

To further limit interactions, require all registration, purchases and payments be completed on your Event Caddy tournament website and online store before the big day – things like:

  • All Player or Team Registrations 
  • Sponsorships
  • Raffle Tickets
  • Mulligans
  • Entry to all Contests
  • Super Ticket Packages
  • Branded Merchandise 

A donation button and fundraising thermometer included directly on your tournament website will give supporters that may not be available to attend your live event an option to contribute to your cause. Be sure to acknowledge these donors by mailing them their gift bag or a special golf themed thank you gift that they can use once back on the course i.e. “Proud Supporter” Branded Towel...leaves them with a sense of PRIDE all season long!

Event Day Staff

  • Bring your internal event day staff & volunteers up to speed on all safety precautions, suggest that they bring a mask & sanitizer and remind them to practice safe social distancing as much as possible throughout the event. 

Communicate with your Golfers 

Once you’ve reached safety measure conclusions with your course, staff and volunteers, be sure to communicate these guidelines and tips clearly with attendees via the Event Caddy email tool – especially the ones you’re asking of them to follow. 

To prevent the gathering of participants upon their arrival to the course, you can use the Event Caddy text message tool to send specific instructions, include a welcome message and real-time updates to your players from the safety of a mobile device.

  • Let players know that there won’t be any cash transactions, and to remember to register, pay for extras like mulligans, raffle tickets and contests on your tournament website before the tournament begins.
  • Suggest that they bring a personal mask, hand cleaner, and disinfecting wipes.
  • Refer them to the Live Scoring available on the Event Caddy app, and request that they track their scores digitally, with their own devices. 
  • To ensure players are spread throughout the course properly, send them their PDF Start Sheet so they know exactly where to tee off without unnecessary interaction. 
  • Remind them to please remain at least 6 feet away from other players at all times, and to only touch their own clubs, ball and equipment.
  • Advise players if they will have the option to walk instead of sharing a cart.
  • Let them know rakes and ball cleaners will be removed from the course.
  • Tell them that there will be a two-putt rule (or whatever rule you are enforcing) to limit time on the green. 
  • Let them know there will be no course-provided beverages or water coolers on the course. Depending on your specific course rules, point out where they can grab a personal beverage or if they should be bringing their own. 
  • Notify participants that you will conduct team awards and prizing ceremonies via social media on a certain date following the event. Trophies and prizes will be mailed to winners. 

And, most importantly, communicate to all attendees and volunteers that if they’re feeling sick, experiencing symptoms, have been exposed or are caring for someone with COVID-19, that they should not attend the tournament. No exceptions.

 

If necessary, get creative with an alternate fundraising route!

Unfortunately despite these tips and best practices, there may be some factors outside your control keeping you from moving forward with your tournament. And if you’re still motivated to fundraise for your charity – we say, put your creativity hat on and go for it! 

Here’s some inspiration for you: Event Caddy partner ‘Let’s Take a Drive at Cancer’ fundraiser decided to switch gears and make their charity tournament into a fun scavenger hunt where participants will visit 9 locations to take pictures and post to a social media platform.

 

Safety Should be Your Top Priority 

Please know that our first priority is the health and safety of you, your loved ones and the communities you serve. The coronavirus is a very fluid situation, affecting each community in different ways. So we ask you to please monitor your local governmental guidelines and make decisions accordingly. 

As your dedicated tournament management solution, Event Caddy is fully committed to uninterrupted support as you navigate this new reality. As plans change and tournament management revolutionizes, please stay safe and contact us (https://www.eventcaddy.com/contact-us) if you need anything at all. 

Published: May 14, 2020