Multi-Day Team Event

erik-nielsenErik Nielsena director of the Pacific Northwest PGA Section’s Oregon Chapter and the Section’s 2012 Horton Smith Award winner, is the PGA head professional at Bend (Ore.) Golf and Country Club.

Beginning two decades ago, our area has created a successful Fall Tour, which is a four-day pro-am tournament series with local PGA Professionals bringing teams from all over the state to play tournaments. The format is unique – four individual tournaments over four days with individual and team payouts along with other multi-day competitions. Each tournament course hosts up to 160 players per day and our facility has either hosted a day or taken multiple pro-am teams to every day of the tour.  Tournament courses get to show off their facility and create revenue during the end of their season, while our team amateurs can win prize money and play courses for a nominal fee. Our course has been unable to host a tournament day for a few years, but we happily support the event by providing our members the opportunity to help fill incomplete teams and taking multiple teams of our own.  All this takes is four areas courses willing to get together and stage a multi-day event, with one person or group responsible for tournament organization and payout.

Since all amateur winnings get sent back to their home club to use in our golf shop, we’ve been incredibly successful in recruiting players to participate in the tournaments.  Nothing is free – you must pay for golf cars, food & beverage, merchandise, and so on. As a result it can be a boon for the host clubs. A percentage of the entry free goes to each course for a player fee while the rest goes into the prize pot. The direct financial impact for the winners can vary wildly depending on how our players play; however, with so many different formats and ways to win, it’s very hard to play all four days and not win any money. As a result almost everyone has money to spend when they return, and they want to participate again as soon as possible. Because we played great last year, the event generated nearly $6,000 in sweeps credits aimed for our golf shop for a less than $1,000-investment in our professional entry fees.  Since the amateurs paid their own way, the club’s return on its investment is huge.  As a host course, you get to generate tournament revenue for your facility at the end of the season during a quiet time and promote your course to new travel opportunities.

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