Ten Questions to ask when hiring a Golf Tournament Planner or Producer
Do you know:
- The difference between a tee and a green?
- What a format is? And can they name at least three tournament formats.
- What a drawsheet is?
- What the impact of a Par 3 in setting up your drawsheet?
- What a foursome or twosome registration is?
- What is golf cart staging?
- What is the difference between a walking and riding tournament?
- What food should be available at the turn?
- What is the pace of play? And how does this impact your tournament.
- What is a KP?
If your golf tournament planner cannot answer the above questions, they may be a great event planner, but they won’t be able to properly plan a golf tournament.
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.
Dawn is now a Travel Consultant with Travel Best Bets and has achieved certification in Hotel Excellence by Marriott.
Dawn Donahue is a certified culinary travel professional (World Food Association), Certified Golf Tournament Planner and Consultant (Golf Tournament Association of America), is a conference and meeting planner, and has been in the hospitality and meeting industry for 40 years. Donahue has been planning conferences and meetings, which include air, hotel, food and beverage, spousal programs, and excursions, and has chosen to add a full service travel consultant to her profile. Donahue specializes in culinary and golf travel, corporate incentive programs, and leisure group getaways. Looking forward to serving the community.
Dawn Donahue has been awarded the Hawaiian Travel Expert and Destination Specialist, certified by the Hawaiian Visitors and Convention Bureau. As a Certified Culinary Travel Professional and a Certified Golf Tournament Planner & Consultant, these assets are certain to make any trip to the Islands of Hawaii an experience travelers will enjoy. From the planning stage to creating the experiences for memorable moments remembered for the rest of time.
Whether it is a corporate group, incentive travel, conference or meetings, Donahue will bring the Hawaiian Island flavours to every part of the event. Donahue is certified on all six islands – from the Big Island (Hawaii), to Oahu, Kauai, and Maui Nui (the combination of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai).
Dawn Donahue has accepted an invitation to sit on the Board of Advisors for the Golf Tournament Association of America. The GTAA is the Association for all Golf Tournaments and Events – Fundraisers, Corporate Outings, Networking, and Amateur Competitive Events. GTAA serves everyone in the golf tournament industry: tournament coordinators, golf courses, suppliers, charities, associations, meeting planners, civic groups, schools, churches, and all groups or individuals involved in a golf outing. It is here to serve and assist organizations in taking their events and business to the next level through education, information, and marketing. The GTAA offers seminars, newsletters, teleconference calls, trade shows, and educational materials.
Donahue is a Certified Culinary Travel Professional (CCTP), Certified Golf Tournament Planner (CGTP), Hawaii Destination Specialist (HDS), has been accepted into the Certified Meeting Manager program (CMM), is a member of the Professional Conference and Meetings Association (PCMA), Meeting Planners International (MPI), a past Board Member for the BC Sports Hall of Fame and the Zajac Foundation, and is a founding sponsor of the BC Hospitality Foundation (BCHF), sits on the Board of Advisors for BCHF, and Chairs the Scholarship Committee for BCHF.
Dawn, You are truly beyond an equal in the detail department. Thank you for all of this – I feel exceptionally prepared. Barbara Grantham, CEO, VGH + UBC Hospital Foundation
Dawn, Just wanted to say thank you for another great summer on the golf course. You and your team are amazing, consummate professionals, so organized, and a ton of fun! Thank you for having me back year after year. Kate Gajdosik, Global TV