“I’m working on the Classic,” my client emailed, “Got any leads or ideas for golf tournament goodie bags? At the moment it only has our organizational brochure in it.”
Summer is when tournaments of all types start filling nonprofit event calendars. Unlike galas, which may or may not have goodie bags, I rarely see a golf tournament without them.
But what should you put in the bag, other than your own promotional material?
My clients typically seek prizes for four areas of their golf tournaments:
- Goodie bags (many tournaments have them)
- Raffles (many tournaments have them)
- Live auction (not all tournaments have one)
- Silent auction (not all tournaments have one)
Let’s pump up your gifts with these 11 ideas for golf tournament goodie bags.
- The hosting golf course. The course should be on your short list. Depending on the type of course, ask for gift cards for the pro shop or lessons. For a singular prize to use as a raffle or auction item, ask for a foursome with lunch, or have the course sponsor one of your contests (e.g. the longest drive, hole in one, etc.) featuring an upgraded prize, such as a set of golf clubs, a trip, or a television.
- Local golf shops. These stores should be one of the first places you ask for support. GolfMart (in California), Roger Dunn Golf Shops (in California and Hawaii), Golfers Warehouse (in the Northeast), Van’s Golf Shops (in Arizona) have been known to give $10 gift cards for goodie bags. Search the web to find golf stores near you, such as GolfSmith and GolfDom in my state of Virginia. Even Sports Authority — which isn’t golf-specific, but clearly fits your theme — would be a good target. These businesses are good for donating coupons, if not more.
- Dixon Golf. Two or three years ago, this manufacturer of golf balls was onsite at hundreds of tournaments, staffing their own mini-competition within your tournament. They called it The Dixon Challenge. It was a game of chance, encouraging players to pay a modest amount (perhaps $10), shoot with a Dixon ball from a designated hole, and – if the player made it to the green in one fell swoop – the player would win prizes like balls and certificates. The company might still do that, but the webpage describing the Challenge seems outdated. Instead, try this online donation form.
- Signed photographs from pro-golfers. Reach out to pro-golfers via their websites or Facebook fan pages and ask for donations. Arnold Palmer and other pros have been known to donate signed photos. Get enough of these donated, and every participant could get a different player’s photo in their gift bag.
- Golf Digest magazine. One client received coupons for magazine subscriptions.
- DIY donation. As a raffle or auction prize, you could create your own donation by offering a foursome entry into next year’s tournament. This is more feasible when your tournament is known for selling out.
- Green Mountain Coffee. This company used to be over-the-top when it came to donations. Lately they donate a nice, but less extreme, item: small bags of coffee.
- Ben & Jerry’s. One client received certificates for one free pint of ice cream. Yummy.
- OPI. If you’re hosting a golf tournament geared towards women or one that supports a female cause, consider brands like OPI. One client received 100+ bottles of OPI nail color in a new red shade.
- Emergen-C. Samples of their product were popped into one of my client’s goodie bags.
- Food and water. The ubiquitous piece of fruit or granola bar (often donated by a grocery store) and bottle of water (perhaps wrapped in a sponsor logo) are practical and add bulk to your bag.
For related help on making your golf tournament better, here’s a resource.
Many tournaments run raffles. This product helps you maximize your take and gives dozens of variations your players will find fresh.
And as always, feel free to leave your own ideas for goodie bags below.