Playing Charity Golf

July 31, 2014
Lisa ‘Longball’ Vlooswyk (Inside Golf)

Golf is a key networking skill. Here are some tips to make the most out of your tournament experience and to impress your clients, customers and or colleagues.
- Show up at the start of registration: Give yourself time to check in, grab a bite to eat, mingle and warm up so you are not in a mad panic when you arrive.
- Warm-Up: You are not a professional golfer. A few swings at the range to get your muscles warmed up and get the kinks out will do a world of good off the first tee. You’ll feel more comfortable and your teammates will appreciate it.
- Buy snacks/drinks: If food and beverages are not complimentary at your tournament, be the first one to offer to buy snacks or drinks at the half-way house or from the beverage cart. There is nothing worse than sitting on your hands when the tab comes or buying a drink just for yourself.
- Give the Money Back: If you win a 50/50 draw at a tournament with half of the proceeds going to a charity and half to you, give the money back. Often the charity will write a tax receipt for you and your personal stock has just gone through the roof.
- Thank the host: After the tournament is over and the awards have been handed out make sure to thank someone from the company/charity who put on the event or send an email the next day. If you have ever been on an organizing committee you know the countless hours it takes to put on a good tournament.  
- Take One Prize Only: If you win more than one proximity prize (closest to the pin, long drive, long putt, etc…) donate the other prize back to the tournament. People will remember that. 
- Be the drunk fool: That person is often loud, obnoxious and makes tasteless comments. This is especially true if you are at a corporate outing and the alcohol is free. Don’t be “that guy”.
- Hit on the Cart Girl: No matter how original you think your pick up line is I am sure she has heard it 100 times before, plus for many of you, she could be your daughter.
- Cheat: This is the worst thing you can do at a tournament. Play by the rules, you never want your integrity to be in question. Is it worth risking your reputation for a gift certificate to the pro shop?
- Be Cheap: Get off your wallet, especially at a charity tournament. Play all the games and buy all of the fun challenges and draw tickets/mulligans that are offered. You’ll help out a good cause and you never know, you might come home with a great prize.
- Limit teammates from hitting: In a scramble format, sometimes groups tell the high handicappers “Don’t bother hitting on this hole. We have a good drive out there.” That devalues the player and does not make him/her feel part of the team. Remember, there are always cart paths and sprinkler heads
- Get upset about a slow round: You are not going to be breaking any land speed records at a tournament. It is not worth hitting into the group ahead of you to try to speed them up. There is often nowhere to go. Get a speaker/docking station, bring your ipod and listen to tunes.
- Talk during speeches: There is nothing worse than a group of golfers chatting and laughing about their round during the speeches. It is often the President/CEO/Head of Charity that is speaking and it is disrespectful and prevents others from hearing what is being said.
- Be ashamed of the Most Honest Team prize: Being out at a corporate/charity golf tournament is about networking, developing relationships, raising money for a cause and having a good time. There is no shame in having the worst score. In fact, often those are some of the best prizes at tournaments.
Hopefully these tips will help make you a seasoned veteran at tournaments and one that everyone wants to play with and invite back!
About the author – Lisa is a seven-time Canadian Long Drive Champion for women and is currently ranked top 4 in the World. Lisa is a Golf Entertainer at corporate and charity events and Keynote Peak Performance Speaker at conferences and meetings. She can be reached through her website at or on Twitter @lisalongball