Playing in a corporate golf league can be a very rewarding experience. Setting one up, however, can be challenging. This article is meant to walk you through the steps of setting up a corporate golf league.
1. Gauge interest
The first step is to determine the level of interest that exists. You don’t want to invest the time and energy required to get a corporate golf league rolling before you are sure that there is sufficient interest to sustain a golf league. That being said once started, corporate golf leagues tend to take on a life of there own. They gain momentum from year to year due to the many benefits that they bring to a company and its employees (e.g., increased communication and trust at work).
Finding out whether or not there is sufficient interest can be harder than it sounds. Oftentimes, individuals are hesitant to show interest in joining something until they know that others are also interested. They don’t want to spend their time on something that does not have the potential for actually amounting to anything. This makes a broadcast announcement to gather interest (e.g., using email) an ineffective method on its own to getting people behind the idea. If, however, you can personally convince a small group of people to become ambassadors for forming the golf league and use that in conjunction with some sort of broadcast message, you have a better chance of succeeding
2. Pick a time and place
There are several factors you should consider when deciding which course or courses that your corporate golf league will use.
location, location, location – make sure that the course or courses that you select are well located and are relatively close to work.
cost – depending on who and how many co-workers you want to ultimately take part in your golf league, you will want to use that as a factor in picking the course or courses that you pick. Golf can be expensive especially if you play on a regular basis and you don’t want to limit the success of your golf league by choosing a course that is prohibitively expensive.
availability – you will need to call around to make sure that any courses you are interested in have time slots that are open that your golf league can reserve.
policies - do they require an upfront payment or deposit. What is their cancellation policy. What is their refund policy. Do they require payment in full for all tee times.
As for picking a time to play, it is best to try and determine this when gauging interest above. Find out when most people are available and when most people would be able to make it to a course. Make sure to reserve a day and time early enough so that you are not locked out for the season.
3. Decide on golf league administration
If you are the one responsible for setting up the golf league, you are probably the first candidate for the job. If so, you will certainly want to make it as painless as possible. You could go analog and do everything by hand, but that can quickly become a burden that would make you rethink why could wanted to start the league to begin with. The league administrator wears many hats – they are responsible for setting up the schedule, league rules, posting scores, keeping track of handicaps, and more…
4. Setting the ground rules
This can be a tedious process if you let it. Try to keep it simple to begin with. You can always inquire from other leagues as to the types of policies they use for such things as refunds, greens fees/fee payments, substitute policy, etc. It is important to make sure that everyone is on the same page and understands or has easy access to league rules from the beginning to decrease the possibility for conflict in the future.
Setting the ground rules also means deciding on how handicap calculation and utilization, individual and team scoring methods, and no show rules, among other things. Coming up with the ground rules for your golf league gives you the perfect opportunity to get members involved and invested which will make them more eager to see the league succeed.
5. Keep people informed and involved
The key to kick starting a corporate golf league and maintaining momentum is communication and involvement. You need to responsive to questions and prepared to provide members with quick and accurate information about the league, including individual/team standings, rules and upcoming events. Again, this can be made much easier by using an online solution to manage you golf league. Online golf league management give members instant, 24/7 access and, in turn, gratification. This can only be good when it comes to the health of the league. The most important thing is to keep it fun, something people are looking forward to all week.