Tournaments and Tour Events

Blane Merritt, the 1998 Gulf States PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities, is the PGA general manager at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tenn.

Every year we hold a fun tournament for our members on the Saturday morning during the The Players Championship. Since the event is held at TPC Sawgrass, a fellow Tournament Players Club, our members obviously have a special affinity for it. We write Tour players’ names on poker chips and put them into a bag. Then, before our golfers tee off on the first hole, they reach their hand into a bag and randomly choose a playing “partner.” Our golfers play their round, but we don’t crown a winner until after the Tour event finishes for the day, when we add the score of the Tour player each member drew for a final net score. You could do a similar event with just about any major championship or tour event – we used to do these events for each of the majors, but have since scaled back to make it more unique. Lastly, for our event we also have a $10,000 hole-in-one prize on the 11th hole.

The event is a $10 tee game that usually sees around 60 participants, with that money mainly going towards gift credit. More importantly, though, such events are a fun way to not only get your golfers out on the course for something that’s a little different, it also gets them more involved in the sport of golf as a whole. After all, when your final score depends on a Tour player doing well, you’re going to be watching their play that afternoon – hopefully purchasing some food and beverages while you’re there!