What types of golf courses and formats encourage faster play?
… “Some of the events I like for groups with time-sensitive itineraries are breakfast, lunch or dinner with 9 holes, 18 holes of golf from the 150 to 175 yard markers, speed golf, a walking and running game where each player has only three clubs, and providing a teaching pro with each group for a set number of holes,” said Dawn Donahue, president and CEO for Go Golf Events Management in Vancouver, British Columbia.
One of Donahue’s favorite fun games is called Tombstone Golf, which allows golfers to end the round when a certain score is reached. “You pick a score such as 90 or 100, and the round ends no matter how many holes you play,” Donahue said. “For tournaments, this can be fun because we print individual twelve-inch-by-four-inch foam board tombstones, and when a golfer hits the predetermined score, they plant their tombstone and leave the course.”
Let’s face it, not everyone is enamored with golf, and there might be some meeting participants who don’t know a golf club from a baseball bat.
… “We’ll station non-golfers on par 3 holes that have some type of giveaway,” Cusick said. “We also create a hole where an emcee introduces the golfers, and the non-golfers cheer them on.”
Donahue said keeping non-golfers fully engaged allows them to network with golfers and then talk about the day later at the awards ceremony where they otherwise might feel left out. “There are so many things non-golfers can do, such as tend the flag on greens, rake sand traps, clean golf clubs before and after the round or perform as social media gurus taking photographs and videos to post or save for the participants,” Donahue said.
Dawn Donahue aces final exam to become a Dominican Republic Meetings Specialist
Golf gatherings adapt to the Gen Y approach – Adapting to the golf audience..
Are Millennials more interested in lattes in the lobby and video games in the sports bar than birdies and bogeys on the golf course?
“They don’t like staring (at the fairway) and waiting at the tee, so organizers must adapt to their wants and needs by offering interesting entertainment elements and methods for social media engagement,” says Dawn Donahue, president and CEO for Go Golf Events Management in Vancouver, British Columbia. “At our events we encourage interaction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin and other platforms. We even put photo booths on the golf course so it makes it easier to post.”
…Donahue also suggests putting emphasis on creative food and beverage choices for a Millennials golf event.
“Many Millennials are foodies who grew up watching the Food Network and they’re enamored with creative cuisine on and off the golf course,” Donahue says. “Providing chef-inspired delicacies, healthy and gluten-free choices and craft beers is a lot more tempting and exciting to them.”
Time management is an extremely important issue to Millennials, and planners should consider offering shorter events such as three-hole, six-hole and nine-hole tournaments, putting contests, golf simulator competitions, night golf with glow-in-the-dark balls, trick shot demonstrations and ballroom golf competitions.
“Regardless of what format you select, make sure it ends on time,” Donahue says.”Millennials have jam-packed lives with lots of multitasking and time commitments, and they don’t want to hear excuses about why their golf outing won’t finish on time.”
… “You must be very innovative and work diligently to make golf appealing to Millennials because they won’t just show up like Baby Boomers,” Donahue says.