Golf Chatter: An Open Letter to Greater Cleveland Golf Tournament Directors

Northeast Ohio Golf

News and Notes for Northeast Ohio GolfMore golf rumors, whispers, innuendos and half-truths:

– An ‘open letter’ to every greater Cleveland area golf association and tournament director for 2009: with guys more than willing to keep their money in their pocket this year due to a roller-coaster of an economy, it is CRITICAL that every golf event show true value for the entry fee dollar.

Now I realize that no tournament director is getting rich running amateur golf events in Northeast Ohio. But to draw reasonable participation numbers this year, transparency will be the key.

Players need to know in advance that they are getting a good deal for their money. They want to know that the money they put into the prize pot will be paid back out (100% payout is best, with a clear breakdown in advance). They want to know that they aren’t being ‘nickeled and dimed’ on membership fees or administrative fees (small or no fees are best). They want to know that there has been some negotiation with the course to reduce greens fees a bit (just a couple bucks off the rack rate is best). And they want something that feels like a professionally-run event with an easy way to enter, an easy way get tee times before-hand, a clearly posted and smartly structured set of competition rules, a reasonable scoreboard when they turn in scorecards, and an easy way to find final scores and results online very soon after the last ball drops ( is best).

My unsolicited advice to area tournament directors: TELL PLAYERS IN ADVANCE, CLEARLY AND IN GREAT DETAIL, WHAT AN EVENT WILL COST AND WHAT THEY CAN EXPECT TO WIN. Then manage well the event-day operations. The quickest way to diminish participation numbers is for one guy to mumble to another guy that the payouts for a reasonably-attended event aren’t so good, or for word to get around that a guy paid $100 to enter, won an event against a decent number of players, and received $200 for the effort. Be clear about the format of the prize to be given (gift certificates, cash, a dozen Molitors).

The watch words for tournament directors in 2009: you must show value…

— Allen Freeman

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