Glance through any entertainment magazine and you will catch a glimpse of celebrities all dressed up on the red carpet, on film sets, and/or attending elegant parties and premieres. You can see them relaxing on yachts in exotic locations, tanning on sandy beaches, and/or shopping for haute couture in chic boutiques. Where else can you spot celebrities smiling? Why, playing a round of golf in the Bahamas on one of its many pristine courses, of course! The Bahamas, apart from being one of the best vacation spots and boasting luxurious resorts and superb beaches, is also home to an array of lush and challenging golf courses.
In the Swing of Things
When speaking of celebrity golf tournaments, Bahamas immediately comes to mind as it is home to one of the most famous celebrity tournaments. Each year, the One & Only Ocean Club, located on the aptly named Paradise Island, is host to the Annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational (MJCI). This event draws hordes of important celebrities who show off their golfing skills on the Tom Weiskopf designed championship golf course in order to raise money for their favorite charities. In the past, MJCI participants have included former president Bill Clinton, soccer star Mia Hamm, and actors Mark Wahlberg, Chris Tucker, and “Friends” star David Schwimmer. Celebrities from the sports and entertainment industries come out to revel in the competitive spirit of the game and the boisterous festivities. They take time to pose with fans and sign an autograph or two while working on their handicap.
Bahamas’ celebrity golf tournament is like no other. In 2007, The MJCI celebrated its sixth year in the Bahamas, and was held from January 17th to the 21st. The Paradise Island Tourism Development Association (PITDA) signed on as the Presenting sponsor, with Icon International, Jordan Brand, Nassau & Paradise Island Promotion Board, Nike, Gatorade, and Golf Magazine also offering their sponsorship. It drew big names such as Michael Douglas, Wayne Gretzky, John McEnroe, Kurt Russell and Mario Lemieux. Since its inception in 2001, the MJCI has raised nearly 3 million dollars for its charities, and has become the most popular celebrity golf tournament Bahamas has to offer. Featured charities were: The Butch Kerzner Memorial Fund, Ronald McDonald Houses of North Carolina, The James Jordan Foundation, and 40 additional charities designated by celebrity participants. The event is comprised of an Amateur-Celebrity round, which pairs one celebrity with a partner drawn from event sponsors and representatives of the Bahamian local and corporate communities, as well as a Celebrity-Only round. In 2007, the duo of Dan Jansen and Stone Phillips were the winners of the Celebrity-Only round.
Up to Par
Whether planning, participating, or attending a celebrity golf tournament, Bahamas definitely beats other locations! The spectacular scenery and refreshing tropical breezes combined with the lavish fairways and meticulously-manicured greens provide a perfect haven for golfers. Many of the Bahamian courses are designed by world-famous golf architects. The Four Seasons Resort Emerald Bay Golf Club opens up onto the beautiful waters of Emerald Bay and was designed by famous golf architect Greg Norman. The Lucayan Golf Course on Grand Bahama Island is designed by Dick Wilson and features Tif dwarf grass, a type of Bermuda grass that allows for faster putting. Right next door is the Reef Golf Course designed by Robert Trent Jr., where the golfing experience is spread over 7,000 yards and features water hazards on the majority of its holes.
If you love the game of golf and have a heart for charity work, there are many ways by which you can help and be counted, whether as a spectator, player, volunteer, or sponsor.
Charity golf tournaments are being organized with increasing regularity in many parts of the world where you can show and practice social responsibility while expressing your passion for the game. All you need to do is check for updates on upcoming golf tournaments from your local golf clubs, golf courses, and putting ranges; browse golf-oriented newsletters, sports magazines, newspapers, or search for that topic on the internet. Look up for charity golf tournaments and begin signing up for the one that suits your liking.
Mere attendance in charity golf tournaments can add to their magnetism and in the process boost in more ways than one their noble ends. As a spectator, you derive satisfaction not only from the sight of how the game is played, you also contribute to whatever proceeds these tournaments are able to generate for works of charity. The fans move sponsors to participate in them and be counted too; altogether they combine their support for the game and for its social causes.
If you are a player and you have enlisted yourself for a charity golf tournament, you can look forward not only to a day of fun and recreation but also to an extra motivation from the thought that you are supporting charity. Not a few professionals and celebrities have graced and played in charity golf tournaments. They have lent prestige to these events and have made them a high-point experience for everyone.
You can also take part in golf tournaments for charity by enlisting as a volunteer. These events require lots of organizing and coordinative work. As a volunteer, you can help the organizers put up a successful tournament, enjoy golf and the scenery, and most of all share a part of your life to charity.
If you have a business or a company that wants to be associated with golf, this kind of tournament will not only fill that need. As a sponsor of charity golf tournaments, you also get yourself to project a sublime image for your company. Sponsorship creates unquantifiable publicity mileage for the products or services you put on the market, attracting to them more customers and generating in the end more sales and greater profit for your company. It therefore pays to keep in touch with organizers of charity golf tournaments. They are also on the look out for sponsors. Everybody emerges from these tournaments as a winner.
If you’re in the pondering stages of a charity and thinking about using a golf tournaments as an avenue then you have come to the right place. Charity golf tournaments are a lot of fun, a great day outdoors, and a good way to raise some money.
A golf tournament is not easy work. There are lot of things to do and a lot of people to put together. If it is your first time to hold a charity golf tournament then you might have your work cut out for you. Your success will depend on putting care into the tournament, managing the money and marketing like crazy to the crowd that you want to attract. The good thing is that similar charities like to help each other out.
If you are throwing a golf tournament that is raising money for Breast Cancer, then you will have many similar organizations that could help you out, maybe even sponsor your tournament. The goal is to link your tournament with the networks of as many organizations out there willing to help. This will increase your sponsors, it will increase your players and it will increase your income.
Recently, a friend of mine who is a pro at a golf course decided to use Groupon.com as a mechanism to market his charity tournament. This worked out very well. Groupon was able to get the word about the tournament out to thousands of people that would not know about it otherwise. They also offered golf at a 50% discount, which enticed the people to come. The turnout was massive and when it was all over they raised $13,000 from the tournament.
Limit your income activities to a few that will make people happy. People are already paying to play in the tournament. You should sell food and drinks on top of that, and maybe only one or two other activities. A silent auction works great, rent caddy’s, a casino hole. These are all great options. Players want to feel comfortable saying no if they do not want to spend more money. There is nothing more awkward or uncomfortable than a high pressure sell. High pressure sell’s just upset people and it is something we want to avoid.
Make sure the post tournament activities are fun, exciting and not too long. After a great day of golf people hate to listen to lectures. People want to eat, be inspired by the good that they just did participating in your tournament and head on the next thing they have going on in their lives.
Remember, the success of any charity event is to create a win/win. You want to generate a profit while at the same time let the guests have a great time as well. The fault of many charities is that they attempt to scrape every penny out of their guests. This will prove unsuccessful and will communicate to your guests that their happiness is not important, you just want their money. Chance of them returning… ZERO. Have only one or two avenues of producing income and make sure that you will turn a profit.
The goal of a charity is not to maximize profit. The goal is to create a successful win/win. This way people will want to donate more and help you out. People love to mix fun with giving back, and if you can create a fun environment, they will be delighted to giving.
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The overall purpose of fundraising is to raise money for a specific cause. However, before you can raise a substantial amount of money for your non-profit organization, it is important to build relationships with potential donors. What better way to get to know your supporters than by holding a charity golf tournament. Hosting your event at a golf club is an excellent way to maximize your reach and raise money for your charity.
In order to host a successful charity event at a golf course, you have to start early in the planning process. There are several aspects you will need to consider when planning a golf charity event. When shopping around for a golf course, you will find that every golf course is different, especially when it comes to pricing.
One thing that you will want to avoid is choosing a golf course solely based on price. Granted, everyone is tightening their wallets these days to save money, however, there are plenty of reasons why you should not choose a golf course based on price only as this will likely end up working against you.
Local municipal and public golf courses tend to be the least expensive for hosting charity golf events. At these courses, you should expect to receive the level of products service that you pay for — 18 holes, a sandwich and a basic banquet room. While there are some good municipal golf courses out there, there is a night and day difference between the basic packages offered by a muni course compared with the wonderful perks provided at a private country club. Hosting a charity event at a private country club is worth the investment because your participants know that they will get their money’s worth and then some. The exclusivity associated with playing at a private club not only brings out more participants, but the overall experience makes the donors happy they participated and eager to do it again.
When you choose a private golf course that has an outstanding reputation, you’re giving people a reason to put their plans on hold for the day to attend your event. If you offer anything less, be prepared to have several no-shows. When you make the decision to host your event at a private golf club, you can expect first-class amenities that will make your guests feel pampered. You will be assigned to a tournament director who has experience in planning these types of events and will assist you in making your event successful. The tournament director will also provide guidance on how to maximize your profits during the event. Tournament directors also will advise you on which format will be most successful for your event whether that be a scramble, best ball or alternate shot. In addition, the tournament director can give you ideas on how to distribute prizes and how to generate additional sponsorships.