If you haven’t run a large tournament, you need to do it at least once. This year is the 10th Annual Ohio Women’s Open and I have been the Executive Director and Tournament Director all 10 years.
To say this is a fun job would be a total lie. It is a fun job when the tournament is over and I can again sleep at night without worrying about what might have been forgotten. My golfing professional friends wonder why I don’t play in the 36-hole championship. It’s hard already running the tournament, let alone playing in it as well.
The last two years have been especially challenging as we had to cancel the event in 2015 due to a lack of participants. We had scheduled our usual first weekend in August start time but, unbeknownst to us, it conflicted with LPGA Q-school. With the ranks of our participants coming from the Symetra Tour, the Legends Tour, PGA professionals, and LPGA T&CP member, we lost a huge segment of our draw with so many Symetra Tour members playing at Q-School.
So this year we have been afraid that we wouldn’t have enough participants to have the tournament . Now that we have crossed the 50 participant plateau, we can breathe more easily. We will have enough in sponsorship money and entries to cover the $25,000 purse of the Ohio Women’s Open. New sponsorships are hard to come by as our small city of Defiance, OH has quite a few golf outings to raise funds for special charitable organizations. Our charity is our Defiance Area Foundation and two junior golf associations, a playing one and The First Tee at Auglaize Golf Club.
Today I finished another fundraiser, one that I do annually for our junior golf program in Defiance. For years it was the LPGA-USGA GG of Defiance and this year, it was for The First Tee organization in our community. Tonight I will sleep more soundly to have this one in the books.
We raised nearly $1000 for our organization to defray costs of green fees, range fees and extras like the snacks, drinks and prizes that the junior golfers so enjoy! We have been fortunate to have a major sponsor for this event but there is much more to running an outing than getting your sponsors. You still have to get participation for it to be a great success. We had 10 teams play in a nine-hole scramble event with our volunteers for The First Tee filling in for kids who didn’t have adults in their family who golfed.
I have thought about writing a golf manual on running tournaments and raising funds from sponsors. I’m sure others have done this but I think I have done a pretty decent job and would be willing to help any of you professionals out there who would want to start a state open competition. Or if you have a junior program and would like to raise extra money so that your program can be even more successful, I could probably help you as well.