Having spent the past thirty-something years working in professional golf, I learned early on that not all golf courses are suitable for hosting a professional golf tournament. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been approached by a member of a course who said, “Our course is perfect for a PGA TOUR event, PGA TOUR Champions event, or a Korn Ferry Tour event.” In many cases, the course itself was up to the challenge, but the infrastructure was not.
It takes more than a great golf course to host a professional tournament, whether a PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, or USGA event. You have to have the infrastructure. And by that I mean, ample parking either on site or very nearby, a clubhouse that can accommodate (in most cases) 156 players, including a locker room and dining area, an area for a television compound, another area for a vendor compound, another area for an operations compound, a course with space around the holes to accommodate thousands of spectators and enough space (in most cases) around the closing holes for hospitality.
The course must also be in an area/market large enough to support hospitality, Pro-Am, and advertising sales. These sales are the funding mechanism for all professional events. It takes millions of dollars to fund a professional golf tournament. If your market does not have a strong corporate base, the chances of a financially viable event are minimal.
Further, the course needs to be located in an area large enough to attract hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers. Volunteers are the lifeblood of any professional event. These men and women (and kids) give their time during Tournament Week and many prior to Tournament Week, to handle many of the jobs necessary to ensure the success of an event: transportation, marshals, walking scorers, commissary, standard bearers, ecology, etc. Without the selfless efforts of volunteers, no event could succeed, which would mean no money could be raised to support local charities.
So, what would it take for your golf course to host a professional golf tournament?
- A course that will challenge the golfers
- Located in a market with a strong corporate base
- Ample parking
- A full-service clubhouse
- An area for a television compound adjacent to the course
- An area for a vendor compound adjacent to the course
- An area for an operations compound adjacent to the course
- Space around the closing holes for hospitality venues
- Space around all of the holes to accommodate thousands of spectators
- A market that allows for the recruitment of hundreds/thousand (s) of volunteers
So, as you have gathered, it is not just about the golf course. There are many factors that weigh into whether or not your course is suitable to host a professional golf tournament. Once you have digested the abovementioned list and you still think your golf course fits the bill, give me a call and let On The Green Consulting perform a complete course/market analysis.
Who knows? You may be just the right fit for a new event.