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  • McFarlane Promotions

Tips for Hosting a Socially Fun & Safely Distanced Golf Tournament

Updated: Oct 15



In a time, when event teams are trying to determine how the future will look as we progress through the Covid-19 Pandemic, golf tournaments are a great option for events looking to fundraise, offer company incentives/benefits or engage with customers.

Golf was one of the first recreational activities permitted during reopening phases due to the outdoor, distanced nature of the sport. Tournaments also provide great opportunities for a safe event with a few key areas to focus on as a planner.

Clear Communication

While it is no secret that we are living in a different world than a year ago, be clear with your guests from the beginning what the expectations are and that you will be enforcing Covid-19 safe protocols. Outline before the event your policies for mask wearing, personal sanitation, cleaning frequency, etc. Ensure all on-site staff is prepped with policy information and prepared to assist in gently reminding golfers.

Increased Signage (both directional and personal health reminders)

Ensure you have ample signage at the check-in desk, help desk, near golf carts and on tee signs reminding golfers of the health and safety regulations/social distancing and signage listing COVID symptoms to watch out for. Remind golfers of expected personal cleanliness with handwashing, hand sanitizing and mask wearing best practices.

Be overly instructive with all directional signage. Mark out 6 feet spacing at any place where a line might start. Use arrows and/or dotted lines on the floor to gently guide golfers to the expected path of flow.


Reduce Touch Points & Close Contact

Study your process for arrival, check-in, food & beverage and departure, and reduce areas that require people to gather and/or come in close contact with others. Consider staggering arrival times, providing more registration staff or offering online check-in. If you are temperature checking upon arrival, train staff with efficiency and have defined procedures for all possible scenarios.

Avoid on-site sales of merchandise or raffle tickets. Instead offer pre-sale or on-site digital ordering. If you must have on-site sales, utilize touchless credit card swiping with no signatures required.

Consider Mobile Scoring

Digital platforms can help your event raise more sponsorship dollars through added digital exposure benefits, save you time and resources, attract more participants and provide a seamless appeal and professionalism to your tournament. With live leaderboards available for display and the ability to communicate and engage with supporters using in-app messages, your guests are provided an added layer of digital experience.

Food & Beverage

Consider eliminating all meal gatherings by providing boxed lunches. Designate a pick up location and system with ample space to avoid lines. Plan for arrow signage and additional social distancing queue stickers at the pick-up area.

Raffles/Opportunity Drawings

Sell raffle tickets in advance via credit card and through an online fundraising platform or mobile scoring app during the tournament. Opt for raffle ticket purchases being completely electronic and utilize a digital randomizer to select winners. Once golfers are on their final two holes, send out alerts via the app to the raffle prize winners with pick-up instructions.


Safe golf tournaments are easily possible if the proper considerations are made to plan for distancing and sanitation. Use these suggestions as the basis for your discussion as you start planning and be sure to check with all local and federal regulations to ensure you are in compliance.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jenna Thompson


Jenna is a mountain based Yogi with a love for veggie focused foods. When she's not in Warrior Pose you can find her spending time with her Avalanche Rescue Dog Luna with a Matcha Latte in hand!




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