Corporate golf days are a dime a dozen. Whether prestigious and high-profile or low-key and informal, a golf day is the go-to event favoured by hundreds of companies throughout the country.

The result? Your potential guests regularly receive a flood of invitations to various types of golf days. If you want to ensure that your golf invitations are as enticing as possible, read on for our tips on how to structure an invite that’s guaranteed to give you the most RSVPs possible.

Like all event invites, your golf invitations need to showcase your brand in the most compelling way possible.

The aim of any event is to position your brand in a positive light, which means that every single touch point guests are exposed to needs to accurately convey the essence of your brand. Since your golf invitations form a guest’s first impression of your event, make sure that your invite contains your brand’s official logo, and is in line with your corporate branding. If your CEO is attending, add a personal touch by wording the invite as if he or she had written it – you could say something like: “Dear X, It’s my pleasure to invite you to Brand XXX’s Annual Golf Challenge. Looking forward to seeing you there, James Smith, CEO, Brand XXX.”

Don’t forget to include the basics of who, what, where and when.

If your golf invitations are missing crucial information, you’ll instantly lose out on a significant amount of potential RSVPs. Always include the date, the time, the date guests have to RSVP by, and the venue. If you aren’t using a shot-gun start format, you’ll need to plan an activity that occupies your guests while they wait for everyone else to finish playing. You could set up a putting clinic, express massage bar, or a product demonstration to ensure that guests aren’t waiting around with nothing to do. Make sure that your event team has factored in the time it takes to notify each person of the tee-off time, or speed-up this time-consuming task by making use of an RSVP service that will do this on your behalf.

Appeal to golf aficionados by providing them with details about the course.

Including information like photos, a map, and the history of a golf course is a great way to give your guests some added value from the get-go. Fitting them onto your golf invitations however, isn’t always possible. If you’re using online invitations, you’ll be able to create a link to your registration page where you’ll be able to showcase all of this information, as well as any other things you want your guests to be aware of.

Increase your attendance rates by including an enticing feature on your golf invitations.

An obvious example of this is to use prizes as an incentive – if you’re giving away big ticket items, mention them on your invite. Linking your event to a charity or inviting a celebrity to either play or speak are other effective means of adding extra appeal to an event. Whichever means you use, be sure to mention it in the copy of your golf invitations.

Managing your golf invitations is a complex task – we suggest you simplify and streamline the process by outsourcing your golf invites. The highly competitive nature of corporate events – golf days included – means that you need to be on top of your game when it comes the design, distribution and management of your golf invitations.

 Image Credit: National Whatever Day

StreetDirectory reports that: “Executives who play golf experience an 85% better chance of securing a business deal on the golf course than through conventional methods of marketing.” This makes sense – as a golf course is an extended boardroom of sorts, with the added bonus of being both more relaxed and comfortable.

If you’re going to use golf as a business networking tool, it’s pivotal that your event is executed properly. Here are some innovative ways that brands can successfully combine golf and business networking opportunities.

Be strategic about who you put in a four ball

As teams will spend up to 5 hours together playing in a four ball alliance, we suggest you choose relevant staff or clients to match up to each other – you might want to group your marketing executive with a client’s head of sales, or a CFO with a business developer.

Try to match your guests according to their rough handicap

Although your primary focus should be on matching guests with relevant internal staff, you still need to be cognisant of your players’ handicaps. If you’re using an online RSVP tool, you’ll be able to ask guests what their handicap is and then use this information to help build your four ball teams. This method will ensure that no one feels uncomfortable, and eradicates having pro-golfers getting frustrated with amateurs – something not conducive to the initiation of fruitful networking at all.

Pre-arrange meetings between your guests

You can arrange informal meetings between guests on their behalf, which can either take place before or after an event. When someone RSVPs, you can include a list of your company representatives and strategic partners that will also be attending the golf day -guests can browse the list and indicate if they would like to meet with any of these people. Our RSVP system has the necessary tools in place to allow you to do this.

Use sponsored holes for your supply chain to contribute to business networking

In order to deliver a product or service to your customers, you need to rely on several other companies who you procure services from – this is your supply chain. You can use your golf day to showcase the quality partners you work with to your existing and prospective clients who are playing in your golf day.

Prior to the actual event, be sure to brief the people that will be representing your suppliers at the various holes about who is playing in your golf day and what you’re currently trying to sell them. By doing this, when the four ball alliance arrives at the hole, the supplier has inside knowledge and can slip the correct value proposition into any conversations that might happen.

Another option is to “sponsor” your own holes – instead of having supplier representatives manning a hole, put staff from specific functional areas of your business as hosts on a hole. For example, you could have a hole “sponsored” by your customer service division which will allow your guests to put a face to the people they deal with on a daily basis.

Hold a strategically planned post-event dinner or prize giving

Almost every golf day concludes with a dinner and prize giving, and often the players in a four ball alliance will sit at a table together. In order to get the most out of golf and business networking however, you should set up your seating plan to place guests together with different people.

Your CEO may have spent 5 hours on the golf course with the CEO of a potential customer, so the post-event function would be a good time to put the Sales Director together with the potential customer’s CEO so that they can conclude the deal that would have been discussed on the golf course.

Lastly, when designing your seating plan, try and put people with similar preferences together – you don’t want a strict vegan sitting at a table of 10 people who’ve ordered a medium rare steak.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the days just after your event

Emphasise the fact that you value your guests by thanking them timeously for their attendance. In your thank you note, you could include a link to a website that has photographs taken on the day that they can download.

You could also provide a match-making solution, by saying: “We’re glad you enjoyed our golf day. If you forgot to get the details of a fellow attendee, contact us and we’ll connect the two of you”. By doing this you get to extend golf and business networking beyond the actual golf day.

Getting ROI from your golf day

It’s said that cycling is the new golf due to the fact that many business executives have taken up the sport. However, it’s difficult to network when travelling at high speed on a busy road. Golf and business networking are a perfect match, and if you strategically plan it, you’re almost guaranteed ROI.


Image Credit: the north east hub