Charity Golf Network

Your source for information about hosting a charity golf tournament.

Ever had a monumental screw up. Tell us a funny story about your tournament so everyone won't feel alone. I'll go first.

We had a tournament for a children's home. Things were going well at first. Then one of my board members, an ad agency owner, swiped the beverage cart to go joy riding.  She didn't come back.  Meanwhile, out on the course, the beverages coolers were becoming emptier and emptier.  Meanwhile back at the clubhouse, the TV ad people who sold the sponsorships for us decided that what we needed was beer!  One called an area brewery and scored a bunch of cases of a popular three letter brewski. Ad salesmen are nothing if not hustlers and within an hour had scored the beer, rented an extra golf cart and filled up the ice barrels with tall cold ones.

Meanwhile, out on the course, a group of parched elderly deacons were fishing vainly, up to their arthritic elbows in ice water, for a nice cold Dr. Pepper. Because the board member was following her husband's foursome around the golf course, the beverage cart crew were stranded with cases of soda and water.  I came off the course from replacing volunteer hole sitters and met the frantic beverage cart crew telling me someone had stolen their cart.  I gave them mine and off they went to do damage control.

The Baptists were furious and threatened to withdraw their substantial support from the charity. A party of oil tycoons stumbled in off the course after the staff fished their cart from a water hazard swearing to "tell all our friends about this tournament". Fortunately, no one ever mentioned the incident to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The cart swiping board member and our board chairman, to add insult to injury, never paid for the sponsorships her ad agency and his restaurant bought from the TV station, which had been selling all our sponsorships for us. Infuriated, the TV station withdrew its support when our board nominated the same board member (the one who swiped the beverage cart) to be the next year's tournament chair.  Our take from the tournament nose-dived the next year. 

Guess who took the blame? 

Not the board member who stole the cart.

Not the board that made her the new tournament chair.

Not the ad guys that took the initiative to turn us into a free-beer tournament.

It was my first lesson in nonprofit politics and the principle of the nonprofit human sacrifice!


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Know what you mean. Fair or not, it's the development director that gets the blame if things go badly, not the board member who bought a sponsorship and then never paid for it.  Not the board member who served as tournament committee chair who insisted on hiring the NFL star because "a celebrity will attract crowds" and blew through all the profits for appearance fees for a prima donna halfback who didn't want to sign any autographs.





I don't know about disasters, but I'd like to ask the group what was the most unusual thing you've ever seen offered as a hole-in-one prize?


We had a building contractor pay the insurance costs for a house in his new gated subdivision. So, if anyone had hit the hole-in-one he'd have won a really nice upscale home.  They made us video-tape every shot and have a police officer as the hole marshal, but it really was a terrific attention-grabber for our advertising.

I heard about one tournament that offered free Subarus for life - a new one every three years for the next 30 years.

I guess they figure by the time a golfer gets a hole-in-one, he probably won't have more than 30 years left anyway. Anyway it works out to 10-11 cars if you live so long.



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