The developments of the coronavirus have forced society at large to put many things on hold.
...But these adaptive event organizers prove that golf tournaments don’t have to be one of them!
With golf’s natural ability to adhere to social distancing and best practices, many charity golf tournament organizers have been able to safely move forward with their events, while continuing to give back to the causes that move them.
...Needless to say, they had to make some adjustments!
Here’s what we can learn from the real-life experience of three Event Caddy tournament planners who were able to proactively adjust to a new normal, and host safe, successful tournaments in support of their noble causes.
About the Tournament Organizers & Their Causes:
Withrow Football Tiger Classic
A mentor and mother figure to a young man formerly on the Withrow Highschool Football Team, Nicole was on a mission to help fuel the futures of these highschoolers through better access to equipment, nutrition and educational opportunities.
As a first-time golf tournament organizer, Nicole used her Event Caddy software to help attract 106 golfers, dozens of sponsors and raise $37,000 at her June 2020 outing!
4 Pete's Sake Golf Outing
Charley started the 4 Pete’s Sake charity back when a childhood friend had been diagnosed with stage 4 Lymphoma. With his friend now in remission for over 12 years, Charley continues the tradition of the fundraiser with all proceeds donated to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
After starting out with 5K run fundraisers, 4 years ago, Charley decided to switch gears to golf and kicked off the 1st Annual 4 Pete’s Sake Golf Outing. With the help of Event Caddy, he was able to sell out every single past year of the tournament.
Although his event had to look a little bit different this year, he was still able to attain 72 golfers and raise $8,000 for his admirable cause!
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo 30th Annual Golf Outing
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo have hosted a charity tournament for 30 years straight, with proceeds going right back to their community.
So, with 30 years of history behind her, Carmen had to make some adjustments to successfully lead this year’s tournament through it’s new reality and set of standards.
With the help of Event Caddy Software, her July 2020 tournament was still able to attract 160 golfers and raise $61,000!
Watch as Nicole and Charley share their experience hosting a tournament amidst COVID-19.
Q: How did you approach your registration and check-in process while adhering to social distancing recommendations?
"I was trying to make it so golfers didn’t have to check in with us unless they really needed to. Which makes it better even when you’re not in a pandemic… because in years’ past we’ve had people lining up for no reason, really. Most people pay online before arrival."
Photo credit: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamzoo Facebook Page
"We tried to make everything automated and technology based. Everything was contactless in that sense. This year, we didn’t have any volunteers, as we wanted to limit the amount of people we were bringing to the course, to put the golfers more at ease as far as those things go… (Golfers were) required to wear a mask at registration and up until you’re on a cart and at your first tee box for the shotgun start."
Photo credit: Charley Ward
"We knew we had to be extra, extra diligent. We tried to encourage as much online registration and pre-purchasing of raffle tickets and mulligans as possible… I liked that (Event Caddy) had the online platform so if somebody wanted to register online and pay with a credit card, they could. (For registration), we had a long 8 foot table and we had 3 volunteers. And we put down orange duct tape Xs on the pavement just to show we were spacing out. Our volunteers all had masks and gloves on."
Q: What safety protocols did you have in place for golfers on the green?
"This was a feat: I got 140 small bottles of hand sanitizer! So we passed them out to every golfer so they would always have their own hand sanitizer with them. We had masks available for anyone who wanted a mask… and there was no bag drop."
Photo credit: Withrow Tigers Football Facebook Page
"We had the rangers coming around, making sure people are wearing their masks, and if they’re not wearing their masks that they’re practicing social distancing. We had hand sanitizer available for everyone."
Q: What kind of adjustments did you make to your post-event banquet?
"We weren’t able to do the banquet at the course itself, so I partnered up with Stitch House Brewery, which is a local brewery by the golf course. They were able to do 60% capacity to follow Delware’s protocol. Since there were only 72 of us, the whole back of the restaurant was ours. Once you were at your table, the same protocol goes for any restaurant business. You can’t get up without a mask, and just kind of limit your interaction. Tacos were provided as part of (the golfer’s) ticket."
Photo credit: Charley Ward
"Our dinner had to be completely modified from what a regular tournament dinner would be. I ordered off of Amazon compartmented takeout boxes with lids, and I got round salad ones. Our caterers gave us big pans of our meal that we had and I had volunteers in the kitchen – all their (safety) stuff on – plating up these meals. And then we had brownies that were in baggies that we passed around. We did not do any kind of glasses with water – we just did bottled waters, and then we pre-rolled all the silverware so no one would be picking it up. The facility, because they are a restaurant, knew from their state mandates how far apart the tables should be and so forth."
Photo credit: Nicole Fredrick
"We didn’t do a dinner… we used to have a banquet afterwards for awards and buffet. So we didn’t do any indoor activities. Everything was outside. We didn’t have any (post-event) gathering."
Q: How did your golfers feel about the safety of your tournament fundraiser overall?
"I feel like people walked away thinking ‘okay, I felt as safe as I could have felt. They did what they needed to do and I feel good about it. They did everything they could have done for COVID’."
Planning a charity golf tournament is no easy feat – and with the added challenge of COVID-19 in the mix, we commend these tournament organizers for their dedication to safety, golfer experience and their admirable causes.
Congratulations to these amazing Event Caddy partners on their successful 2020 events! We can’t wait to see what you do next year.
Can Event Caddy help make your tournament planning easier, and your big day safer? Get in touch with our tournament experts, and we’ll help you achieve an unforgettable event that gives back to your community.
*The coronavirus is a very fluid situation, affecting each community in different ways, at different times. So, when taking tournament safety protocols into account, please always follow the preventative measures recommended by the WHO, your local authorities and public health agencies like the CDC.*