As we have now run quite a few events around the country, we thought it would be a good idea to share the different ways clubs have run Night Golf events with you. So, if you have an event booked or are thinking of booking one, here are some thoughts on how you might want to run it.
There’s no disguising it, people seem to enjoy our events when there is alcohol involved. An extra shot on the handicap for every drink consumed was first used at St Annes Old Links (thanks Danny!) and has proved very popular since. The most we’ve seen so far was an extra 10 shots! Needless to say, that particular individual didn’t win (although I think they quite enjoyed the night!). We’ve had a couple of clubs set up a ‘halfway house’ after 2 or 3 holes. Shots were on offer at £1 each and even hot toddies were on sale! The milder Autumns make barbecues common at our events. In fact, book a Summer event and we’ll supply the barbecue food for free!
We have had quite a few different formats so far. Our advice is to avoid a medal as it can make play a bit slow (believe it or not, people still want to finish the hole even when they are playing their 9th shot to the green!). Stableford always works well as do team events (best 2 from 4 for example). We were concerned about running a Texas Scramble as we thought it might be slow with players having to walk further picking their ball up but the night at Didsbury Golf Club was a huge success and there was a real camaraderie about the team format. One club recently had an event where all golfers brought a non-golfing guest. The golfer played to the green, the non-golfer did the putting. There were 80-90 people in the clubhouse on a Friday night but only 40 of them golfers!
Heysham hosted a cocktail night before the players went out which was open to non-golfer as well (I’m not sure whether that was a good idea or not!), The Manchester Chamber of Commerce brought in a local wine merchant to run a wine tasting afterwards (some wine merchants may even pay clubs a commission on any wine they sell on the night!) and Worthing and Disley included chipping & putting competitions as part of the overall scores. Mellor & Townscliffe brought in a local physiotherapist to give advice on warming up correctly before playing.
You could combine it as part of an Open Day along with a special offer on green fees for the day or make it a pairs event with each member bringing a guest. I was surprised at our recent event at Bentham how many non-members had put their names down for the first date. I have also had enquiries from people on Twitter who have wanted to play in a forthcoming event but aren’t members.
We have a couple of Charity Events running this year but why not use it as an opportunity to raise money for your club’s or your Captain’s chosen charity? You can also open this up to non-members, include an auction with prizes or discounts donated by local businesses. We have one club who are going to run a team event in mid-summer with a midnight start time and various fund-raising activities happening around it.
Have you got any good ideas? We welcome and would love to share any comments or suggestions you might have yourselves.