Ideas for Golf Tournaments


Golf tournaments are a great way for players of all skill levels to relax and have some fun on the golf course. When planning a tournament, you can add excitement by using an interesting format, introducing competitions within the tournament and awarding desirable prizes. A hole-in-one prize, for example, will capture the attention of tournament participants.

Hole-in-One Contest

You can generate interest and excitement for your golf tournament by offering a huge cash prize or a new luxury car for the player who gets a hole-in-one. This is done by purchasing golf hole-in-one insurance. The insurance company sets a premium to cover the cost of the prize. The cost to the tournament is typically affordable, because it has been estimated that the odds of an amateur golfer hitting a hole-in-one on a par 3 is approximately 1 in 12,500, according to the US Hole in One insurance company. Consider charging more to those players who want to participate in the hole-in-one competition to offset the cost of insurance.

Tournament Format

There is a wide range of formats you can use in your next golf tournament. The scramble is used often because it levels the playing field and allows beginning golfers to compete alongside experienced players. For a scramble, every golfer in a foursome tees off, and the group then decides on the best ball to hit for the next shot. The three other players place their balls near the selected ball, and everyone hits from there. Play continues in this manner for all 18 holes.

The Step Aside Scramble uses similar rules, but the player who hit the best ball “steps aside” and allows the other three players to hit the next shot. For the Ambrose Scramble, handicaps are used in the scoring.

Another option is the Pink Lady Scramble. For this format, every foursome is given a pink golf ball and players take turns using it for an entire hole. Others in the group use the scramble format. To score the hole, the Pink Lady score is added to the scramble score. If a player loses the pink ball, he may be eliminated from the tournament.

Honest John

The Honest John competition can be added to any tournament, no matter the format. This betting game is fun for participants and does not require any special expertise on the part of the golfer. For the Honest John contest, every player places a specified amount of money into a pool at the beginning of the tournament. Players then write down a prediction of his final score for the round. At the end of play, the golfer who comes closest to his or her prediction wins all the money in the pool. If players are truthful about their golfing abilities, they have a better chance to win.


Prizes for competitions within the tournament like Closest to the Pin for men and women, Longest Ball for men and women, and Lowest Pink Lady score can be awarded at the luncheon or dinner following the tournament. Prizes can depend on your tournament budget--participants are happy to be recognized and called up to receive a prize, whether it is a box of golf balls or a golf umbrella. More extravagant prizes can include a putter, a golf bag, golf lessons or a golf weekend. In addition, an engraved plaque or trophy can be awarded to the man and woman players with the lowest individual scores.