Your guide to running a successful and exciting golf event

Whether you are running a golf event for customer appreciation, employee incentive or charity fundraising, the desired result is an exciting and memorable “day on the links” for all concerned. These are some general tips that will make the event successful and rewarding for both you and your guests.

Date: Select a time of year that historically offers good weather conditions. Avoid conflicts with major sporting events, other tournaments and holidays.

Format of Play: Utilize a scoring format that accommodates golfers of all abilities. A scramble (selective shot) or best-ball-with-handicap competition will serve this purpose and afford an equitable event. Schedule a “shotgun” start format. This allows your entire field to start and complete the round at the same time and provides a convenient opportunity for awards presentation and post-event function.

Special Events: Having a putting contest before the event gets the contestants there on time and organized. The Club works with “Tournament Promotions”, which has an “add-on” feature which allows you to have a prize of $2,500 for a small premium. Larger prizes are also available. Hole-in-one prizes for par three holes add excitement and are so appealing they can even attract more players. These hole-in-one prizes can also be an additional source of sponsorship revenue. Prize coverage for cash or a car is affordable and is easy to get. Sponsors will readily see this as an easy, economical way to promote their products and services to your players. Sponsor signs are then places on the holes and are available through many local sign companies or Hopkinton Country Club. To get people together after the event, a shoot-out where you select the contestants closest to the pin on the par three holes to take one shot for $100,000 adds even more excitement to the tournament. Hire our Golf Professional, Dave Lane to offer a “How To” golf clinic for non-golfing spouses or guests while the round is being played.

Tournament Preparation: Pre-Event- meet with our Golf Professional to discuss the particulars. Dave and his staff will assist you in all aspects of the event. Provide the Golf Professional with a pairing list (typed), with each player’s name, handicap and starting position included. This is requested to be at the Club a week before. It is suggested to email the list to Dave Lane at Send each player a tournament fact sheet detailing the event. Include date, starting times, directions to the course (available online at or in the back of this booklet), format, food and beverage plans and any special course instructions (cart paths only, ect.). The Hopkinton Country Club’s Golf Shop is the ideal place to shop for gifts and prizes. We offer very competitive pricing! Secure or purchase tee gifts. Make the golfer’s feel like they have already “won” before the tournament even starts. Shirts, sweaters, caps, shoe bags, ect., make a marvelous impression and separate you from the “plastic tees and ball marker” events. These are perfect to hand to your guests during registration. Purchase the competition prizes. Be creative and reward the winning teams with something unique such as framed golf art, antique clubs or crystal. A prize for the top 3-5 teams is sufficient. Announce the winners at the end of the awards dinner. Purchase hole-in-one and putting prize insurance which the Club can offer through “Tournament Promotions”.

Day of Event: Arrive early to set-up the registration area. Typically this is set outside the pro-shop door under the stone archways. Position direction signs to facility on roads (if necessary). Identify the bag drop area. We provide workers to take your guests bags as they reach the top of the driveway and place them on the appropriate carts. Make certain that our Club has the golf carts positioned and staff to accommodate the loading of golf clubs. Each cart should have a sign with the golfer’s name and their starting position. This is handled by our Golf Professional from the list that you provide the week before. Last minute changes are made as needed. An official scorecard and rules sheet should be placed on each cart. Once again this is a service provided by the Hopkinton Country Club. At the registration area, present the golfers with their tee gifts and inform them of any changes to the rules or the schedule. Prior to the start, welcome the golfers and review the rules sheet. Remind them of any special competitions and tell them where to return the scorecards. Normally someone from your tournament committee would introduce our Golf Professional, Dave Lane and he would handle all these details. Provide refreshments on the course. Either place Beverage tables at several of the holes or have a beverage cart circulate the course. The HCC asks for a weeks notice on providing either of these services. Please inquire with the Assistant General Manager, Marnie MacAlpine for further information. You and a fellow worker should “roam” the course throughout the round (one person to each nine) to ensure a smooth round. This will allow you to monitor beverage supplies, cart problems, ect.

After the Event: Have an “official” scoreboard listing each team by their player’s names. The board should be displayed nearby the location of the awards dinner. Our Golf Professional normally provides this service. The HCC will make certain that our staff is available to help assist golfers with the unloading of their equipment. The awards presentation should take pace immediately following the completion of play. All prizes should be displayed and a PA system should be provided for the presenter. If a meal is served, the awards should be the final agenda item.

Follow Up: A thank you note to your guests is always appreciated. If possible, include a brief survey or feedback opportunity. If you intend to make the event an annual outing, you should reserve the facility immediately for the following year. Hopkinton Country Club only provides private outings on Mondays so there is a limited supply of open dates.

Formats—most popular formats for a golf tournament

1. Scramble—is the most popular format. In the scramble, a group plays as a team. Each person hits their own ball, then the team selects the best shot from all the players. The other teammates then pick-up their own ball and play forward from the selected location. This process is continued until the ball is holed out. Each team will have one score on each hole. This format can be used with 2, 3, 4 or 5 players.

2. Best Ball— is a team format. All golfers play their own ball until the ball is holed out. At this point record the best score from all teammates. Do this throughout the 18 holes. The final score that is recorded is the best score from the combination from each hole. This format may be used with 2, 3, 4 or 5 players.

Contests— most popular contests for a golf tournament

1. Longest Drive— select a long, straight hole (normally a par 5), whoever hits the longest drive on this hole wins a prize. A proximity marker is placed by the ball that is hit the longest. You would want to have a volunteer stationed at the hole to measure and mark. A long drive contest is best when a separate prize is awarded for both men and women.

2. Straightest Drive— have the golf course draw a chalk line down the middle of a fairway. A proximity marker is placed by the ball which is hit the closest to the chalk line. The golfer who hits the ball the closest wins a prize.

3. Closest to the Pin— is held on a par 3. The golfer that hits the ball closest to the pin wins a prize. A proximity marker is placed on the green to mark the ball. It is recommended to have one CTP contest on the front nine as well as one CTP contest on the back nine.

4. Longest Putt— can be held on any one green. A proximity marker is placed by the ball that is furthest away from the hole. The golfer or team that holes the longest put wins a prize.

5. Hole in One— this is conducted on a par 3. Based on the prize a witness may be required. The players who make a hole in one on this hole win a prize. Hole in one contests normally consist of cars, boats, trips, cash or merchandise. Please ask us for further details.

Contests— that generate revenue

1. Mulligans— need to be sold. A mulligan is an extra shot or a redo that can be used at anytime throughout the round. Prior to the golf tournament starting, select a designated spot to sell mulligans. This is normally done at the registration table. Mulligans may be sold at any price, though the usual are anywhere from $5 to $20.

2. Raffle— sell tickets during registration and during the awards dinner. After the awards have been announced start drawing tickets. For every ticket drawn a prize is awarded. It is up to the tournament committee to gather prizes for this contest. Prizes may range from dinners, golf, merchandise to trips. Recommended price is $3 per ticket or $5 for 2 tickets.

3. Silent Auction— prizes must be gathered by the tournament committee. All items are placed on a table with a bid sheet attached to each item. Individuals can then start bidding on the items. Bidding may be made prior, during and after the tournament. Designate a cut-off time at the start. At the designated time award the winners their prizes. The way to make the most money with an auction is to have the prizes donated. If a prize is purchased make sure that you start the bidding at the right so that you do not lose money on the item.

4. 50/50 Beat the Pro— is typically played on a par 3. The pro is stationed on the hole and players are provided to purchase a chance to beat the pro. The players that choose to participate then play that hole against the pro. Those who beat the pro then win half of the pot that is accumulated at that time. The typical fee associated with this contest is anywhere from $5 to $20.

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Important Notice:

Hopkinton Country Club is working with the local and state agencies to adhere to all mandates regarding the Convid-19 situation.

If you are hosting an upcoming event and have any questions or wish to book an event later in the year, please email JoAnn Parks at for assistance. It is our intention to resume normal operations once it is safe for our guests and staff.

Thank you and wishing everyone safety and health during this time.