Bylaws of your chapter dictate the responsibilities of each officer and board member. Here are the responsibilities of the Golf Committee:
The Golf Committee is responsible for golf outings and tournaments, handicaps, clinics and other golf related activities. A handicap committee may be formed under the Golf Committee, whose responsibility shall be to collect score cards and issue official USGA handicaps to chapter members. (Such cards are as valid as any card issued by any golf club in the United States, as long as they are issued under the guidelines established for “golf clubs without real estate,” which we qualify under.)
Caution: In many chapters, the “Golf Committee” is comprised of one person who makes all of the decisions for the chapter for the entire year. This is not good. Committees are another way to get to know other singles, but most importantly, when it comes to golf, input from other member is vitally important. The Golf Committee should meet regularly (maybe after membership meetings) and confer on these matters.
To reserve tee times for your group at a local golf course, here is a recommended Outing Reservation Form.
To get people to sign-up for your event, you'll need a Golf Outing Sign-Up Form for each of your outings.
Partner With Local Courses
Your chapter's relationship with local golf courses is important. Don't overlook this opportunity. Click here for some ideas that work!
Shake it and bake it! No one likes playing the same format all of the time, especially in social groups with a wide variety of handicaps. When announcing a golf event though, it’s important to announce what the format will be.
Don’t announce it the day of the event! “A” players may not want to play anything but straight USGA golf, whereas “D” players may not want to play if it’s “real golf.” If you have 40 players signed-up, 20 may want to play first in a Captain’s Choice (scramble) format, while the other 20 may want to play “real golf.” The Golf Committee should make these kinds of decisions.
Captain's Choice — Each player plays from the tee, select the best drive, each player hits from that spot. This process is continued until the ball is holed out. You may lift, clean and place your ball within one club length of the selected shot, no nearer to the hole. If the selected shot is played from a hazard, bunker, rough, fairway or fringe or the green, the ball must be placed within the hazard, bunker, rough, fairway or fringe of the green. This is also known as a scramble. If there is a 3-some, they may alter the additional shot. Determine the format prior to playing.
Roll the Dice — This game is similar to the Captain’s Choice except that you do not pick the best drive. Each team is given one die. After all four players hit their tee shot you roll the die. If a 1 (one) comes up, pick the drive of the 1st person listed on the scorecard, 2 (two) is the second person on the scorecard, etc. If you roll a 5 (five) play the worst of the four drives and if you roll a 6 (six) play the best drive. Continue to play the best shot until the ball is holed out.
Shamble — Each player plays from the tee, select the best drive and then each player plays his or her own ball from that spot until holing out. In order to keep a good pace of play, pick up at double par.
Whiner's Tournament — Player selects the three worst holes and converts those to par. Circle holes used.
Tee to Green — Player counts only the strokes to the green (no putts) for the tournament. Record total score for handicap purposes.
Best ODD or EVEN Holes — Player records scores on odd or even holes only and deducts 1/2 handicap for the event.
Best FRONT or BACK Nine — Player records score on back or front nine and deducts 1/2 handicap for the event.
Blind Holes — Score is based on only nine holes selected from eighteen and deducting 1/2 handicap for the event. Holes will be selected after all players have left the first tee.
Yellow Ball — Each team is given one "yellow" ball for the tournament. The first player on the scorecard plays the "yellow" ball for the first hole, second player for the second hole. Continue rotating the yellow ball throughout the foursome and circle the score. If your team loses the yellow ball, mark the hole on the scorecard. The team with the lowest "yellow" ball score or the team who keeps it in play the longest is declared the winner. (Note: This format generally takes longer to play since everyone looks for any lost yellow ball!)
"T & F" Holes — For this event count only the holes that begin with T & F (2,3,4,5,10,12,13,14, and 15) and deduct 1/2 of the handicap.
Best Consecutive 9 Holes — The player will select the best Consecutive 9 holes (2 thru 10, 4 thru 12 for example). Circle the holes used and deduct 1/2 of the handicap.
Handicapping a Captain’s Choice — If you need to handicap a team in a captain’s choice event here is the formula: multiply the lowest handicap times two, take 1/2 of the highest handicap, add together and divide by the number of players plus one.
Here is an example:
John has a 10 handicap 10 X 2 = 20
Jackie has a 40 handicap 40 X .5 = 20
Add together 20 + 20 = 40
There are 4 players 4 + 1 = 5
The team handicap is 8
If there are 3 players, divide by ( 3 + 1), 4 and the team handicap is 10.
Subtract the handicap from the team score to determine the winner. With this format a 3-person team does not get to rotate an extra shot.
Ties — If the event of a tie, a scorecard playoff, starting on the #1 handicapped hole, may be used to determine the winner. The #1 handicapped hole is rated as the toughest hole on the course.
Guidelines for the Golf Committee
There are two kinds of "committees." Your chapter has a "Golf Committee" that plans regular golf events for you and there is "the committee" - - a USGA designation for the person(s) in charge of a particular golf outing or tournament. References to "the committee" are made throughout the USGA's Rules of Golf. Again, it is NOT the same as your chapter's "Golf Committee" - - because "the (USGA's) committee" must be present on the course the day of the event to make certain rules and to rule on certain situations that may arise."
Below are some suggestions we feel "the committee" should announce/publish prior to each golf outing:
Don’t be shy … play ready golf
If you are ready to tee off with club, ball and tee in hand, step up to the tee box and fire away. If you hit a ball off the tee and believe that it will take more than 3 minutes to find, then go ahead and hit a provisional. This is not a mulligan. This is a provisional. There is a difference; please make sure your players know the difference.
If your ball prefers a swim to romping in the grass, drop another ball that likes the grass. Do not spend an eternity (maximum of 3 minutes, although the USGA allows 5 minutes in official tournaments) looking for the ball, that ball is gone. Same applies to those balls that enjoy playing hide and seek in the woods and other rough.
Magical Numbers …
Maximum double par on any hole, ie, par three, no more than 6 strokes. It is strongly suggested that if you haven’t reached the green at par, you pick up your ball, drop it on the green and putt it out.
Gimme’s: This is a gift …
It is not necessary to putt out every little bitty putt. If your putt falls within the leather of your putter, pick up your ball. It still counts as a stroke, you just don’t have to putt it. Of course, if the Committee states you must putt everything out then you must.
Golf balls and golf clubs are very devoted to each other. Therefore as you approach the golf ball without a golf club in your hand, the golf ball gets really upset. Please take a club with you and be ready to hit the ball. Your golf ball will be happier.
This is the person riding in the cart with you. It is okay to share the driving. Don’t leave your cart buddy stranded, share the progression to the green.
On Watch …
To speed up play, watch the ball flight of your teammates’ ball and help them spot where it lands.
Move to the next tee box before recording your score on the score card.
Your position on the golf course is one shot behind the group in front of you not one shot ahead of the group behind you.
Keep them in the fairway, putt straight and have a great time.
Timeline for a Golf Event
Pick a course and a date. Alternate Saturdays and Sundays for events. Some members may have to work on the weekends, others may not play on Sunday for religious reasons, by alternating the dates it gives everyone in the chapter an opportunity to participate.
Try to get a shotgun or modified shotgun start. A shotgun start means a shotgun finish. It's best when the group all starts at the same time and finishes at the same time, especially if you're all going out to eat dinner afterwards. A modified shotgun tees off a group on hole number 1, then 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, etc. until all players are on their hole teeing off about the same time. Golf courses are reluctant sometimes to do shotgun starts, especially with smaller groups, so you should see if a modified shotgun is possible.
If a deposit or contract is needed, contact the president and the treasurer. The more established your chapter is, the less likely you'll have to make a deposit. Likewise, the larger your event, the more likely you'll need to make a deposit to hold open that many tee times.
Arrange with social chairperson a location for after the event or you may want to use the facilities at the golf course. Many times you can get reduced green fees if you are purchasing a food-golf package.
Determine a budget for the event: green fees, cart fees, range balls, mulligans, prizes, food, etc. Determine cost for members and guests (some chapters charge guests $5-10 additional). Remember: national policy is that a guest can come to ONE event without being a member. Beyond that, they'll need to join.
Send a description of the event including cost, directions, format, cancellation policy, location for the 19th hole, and any other pertinent information to the newsletter editor in time to be published in the upcoming newsletter.
Get the details of your event posted on your chapter's website. You should have the ability to post an event without going through another person.
Put together a Golf Outing Sign-Up Form for the next meeting. Get commitments, including checks at the meeting.
Set up pairings and fax or e-mail them to the golf course.
Write up rules/format of the day. Write-up directions to restaurant from the golf course. Post as much as you can on your chapter's website.
Shop for prizes, if in the budget. Or you may want to ask the course to donate some prizes for the event. Some chapters print-up "funny money," which is essentially coupons good for payment towards the next chapter golf outing. This keeps 'em coming back! Remember to put an expiration date on the coupons.
Ask someone to help at check-in at the golf course. Don't forget to sell mulligans. Two for five bucks will get 75% of the folks chipping in. Mulligans are a great way to put funds in your chapter.
Ask someone to write-up the results of the event for the newsletter and website. Is there someone willing to take photographs? Digital photographs work best — they can be e-mailed in with your newsletter easier. (Make sure you use a FLASH on all of your close-up pictures on the golf course. A flash will reduce the amount of shadows in the person’s face.)
Day of the Event
Verify tee times. Do the carts have names on them?
Do you need to put out closest to the pin or long drive markers? Who will pick them up?
Have everyone sign in. Pass out rules/format of the day.
If you're going to a restaurant afterwards, try to get a final count the day of the event. When you make the turn at the 9th hole, call the restaurant and give them a count and approximate time of arrival. This way, all the tables will be set-up. Give directions to the restaurant from the golf course at the bottom of your rules sheet.
Work with the course and help get your members teeing-off on time. Suggestion: the person running the event should tee off last to make certain any last minute golfers arriving will be paired with someone.
Collect scorecards. Calculate the winners. Head to the restaurant and hand out the prizes.
Post Event Activities
Turn in scorecards for handicap posting.
Make sure that event results/photos are given to the newsletter editor.
Fill out income/expense form and give to treasurer. You may want to do an evaluation of the event; how was the golf course to work with, would you return for another event, was the format fun, etc.
Send a thank you note to the golf course.
Local chapters may provide an official USGA handicap to its members. Handicaps are issued by golf clubs as a way to compete with any other golfer on a golf course.
To issue a handicap, each chapter must have a handicap committee composed of chapter members and chaired by a member. This is usually a sub-committee of the golf committee. This committee is responsible for ensuring that all requirements of the USGA handicap system are met. In addition, each individual ASGA chapter must register as a Licensed User of the USGA Handicapping System.
The USGA defines a golf club as an organization of individual members with committees appointed to supervise golf activities to maintain the integrity of the USGA handicap system. The club’s members must have a reasonable and regular opportunity to play golf with each other and must be able personally to return scorecards for posting for peer review.
We recommend visiting the USGA's website area having to do with handicapping. Plus they have many articles and content to read relative to running an effective golf committee.
And if you ever have a specific question about handicaps, click here for the USGA's form to submit a question. They will reply directly back to you.
Many chapters host a charity golf event each year. To plan an event you will need a special events committee. These events usually take about 3-4 months to plan. In addition to raising money for a worthwhile cause they can bring exposure and new members to the chapter.
The first thing that you need to do is pick a charity. Other chapters have chosen the United Way, First Tee, Heart Association, Hospice, American Cancer Society, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation just to name a few.
Money can be raised by selling hole sponsorships. Have the checks made out directly to the charity so that the donors can take the appropriate tax deduction. If a business cannot sponsor a hole, they may want to contribute a prize for the golf outing. Have everyone get involved in soliciting sponsorships and prizes for the outing. Hold a contest for the member that gets the most hole sponsorships and prizes.
Everyone who attends the outing should get a prize. Contact every golf course where you have held an outing and get them to donate greens fees.
Contact the local media about the date, time and location of the event or when you present the check to the charity. Is there someone at the charity that has media connections?
Make sure that you recognize every hole sponsor, donor and volunteer in an event program. You may want to make this an annual event.
Many people join ASGA because they want to learn how to play the game of golf or they are not very good and are hoping to improve. You may want to contact a golf pro at a local course about holding group lessons or clinics for beginners. You may want to have a “buddy” system where more experienced golfers help those that are new to the game.
Golfing with Other chapters
If you are located near another ASGA chapter, you will want to plan golf outings with your neighbors. Pick a location convenient for both groups and contact the golf chairperson to set up the event. Decide on the format and how you are going to handle the reservations and payments.
Singles love to meet other singles and some of the best golf outings are when two or three chapters get together for a friendly rivalry. You may want to purchase an inexpensive trophy that gets passed back and forth—it does not have to be for the winner.
And don’t forget . . .
The most important thing to keep in mind when planning golf outings — have fun. We are not running or playing in the US Open!
IS THIS WHERE BAD GOLFERS GO WHEN THEY DIE?