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Guide to Organising Local Sports Tournaments - Clandon Regis Open Case Study
Organising grassroots sports tournaments can be a difficult task. It requires passion, constant energy, commitment and strong organisational skills. However in order to build upon the success of the London Olympics, local sports tournaments are key to engaging local communities and more are needed.
We caught up with William Goy, organiser of the annual 'Clandon Regis Open' Golf Tournament. He shares his experiences of organising a local sports tournament and offers tips to help others.
Q.1 So what is the Clandon Regis Open and how can someone get involved?
Clandon Regis is a good value Golf Club in Surrey and host to the annual Clandon Regis Open
The Clandon Regis Men?s Open is a Surrey Golf Union affiliated, 36 hole amateur golf tournament held every July. Partners include Titleist, Ashuka, Alibi Drinks, Callaway and matchtea.com.
For just £45 any golf club member with an official handicap of 12 or below can play two rounds on the 6400 yard Surrey parkland course alongside some of the best golfers in the south of England. They're all competing for a first prize of £500 and other enticing rewards. Entry forms and further details of the event will be made available on theClandon Regis Golf Club website in January. Click on the link to sign up.
Q.2 What made you decide to create this golf tournament?
Having been a member of Clandon Regis Golf Club for 14 years and given so much by the club, I thought it was time to give something back. With an ever improving course at their disposal, greens to rival the best in Surrey and an atmosphere to embrace a new generation of golfers, it was time to open its gates to the best golfers in Surrey. What better way to do that than to host an Open event? With the course available and a personal passion for creating golf events from scratch embarking on this project was natural process. After a successful event last year and through the help of various contacts in the industry, this annual event will only get better.
Q.3 What challenges have you faced trying to get people to enter and how have you overcome these?
Starting an event from scratch is always difficult. There are so many influencing factors in pulling golfers through the gates and in this economic climate it is becoming increasingly challenging to do so. With a first prize of £500, an overall fund to beat all other events in Surrey combined with a competitive entry fee, the golfing public has an irresistible opportunity. You won?t find a deal like it - 36 holes of golf on this course normally costs £90. This competition offers 36 holes of golf, 3 meals, a goodie bag and a prize fund of over £1000 for £40. With the help of various partners including the Surrey Golf Union, word of mouth and relationships with fellow surrey golf clubs, word has rapidly spread about this event.
Q.4 What tips can you advise anyone looking to create their own sports tournament, whether golf or another sport?
Producing a sports tournament is not for the faint-hearted. It will take time, it will have its ups and its downs, and most of all it will test your resolve unlike anything else. From my recent experience I would promote three elements to the production of a successful tournament:
1. Marketing- Marketing an event is more important than the event itself. Without participants you simply would not have anything. Low cost flyers, leaflets, social media, and word of mouth are great means to market an event at low cost.
2. Delivery - Delivering a product with a difference. In business and in life, memorable events are those that are different. Those that offer the competitor something that cannot be found elsewhere. To quote Steve Jobs 'think different' and think imaginatively.
3. Research - Think smart, and do research. Pricing, prize funds, external involvement, and delivery will be the difference between a successful tournament and a ?non starter?. Plan carefully and be prepared to devote time and effort.
Q.5 We notice that you managed to persuade some famous golf brands to sponsor you, how did you go about this?
My tournament model was based around giving the participants something different at good value. So many events are ?boring?. For this to happen I had to subsidise the event through sponsorship. I approached contacts at Callaway, Nike, Srixon and Titleist who were all interested by the model and the event itself given the quality of the field. They've been tremendously supportive in my two years working on this project. The use of contacts, and 'contacts of contacts' is absolutely invaluable. The Clandon Regis Mens Open has support from not only golf brands, but other local and global brands. The event is different and most definitely memorable!
Q.6 Some say that golf is an elitist sport and difficult to get in to, how would you advise someone with a limited budget to get into golf?
Is golf an elitist sport? I think historically golf has been an elitist sport. Golf was only played by the wealthy, and women were not even allowed to play. In this day and age I would like to think we are more inclusive. The trouble is, is that golf is a luxury that one can do without, golf is expensive, and golf takes time. As a golfer myself I would always look to promote the game to everyone. With fewer clubs charging joining fees and more clubs offering membership deals or pay and play, now is a great time to join a club and enjoy all that comes with being a member. If not joining a club there are fantastic opportunities to pay and play all over England, so don?t waste an opportunity!