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Hole-In-One Contest: How To?

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I have volunteered to set up a Hole-In-One Contest for my church's Parish Picnic on Aug. 13-14.

I came up with the idea during last year's event, and developed a plan on what I want to happen. Hoping you fellow Sand Trappers might have advice on running such events, what not to do, etc.

Here's basic plan:
* Hole set up on school soccer field. Men's tees 113 yds | Women's tees 83 yds.
* Hole's axis will be to northwest or to southwest. This is to ensure safety of parked cars in area, and to make sure golfers don't have to hit straight west into afternoon-evening sun.
* Event would run from about 3:30 to 8 p.m. (sundown).
* Crew to run event would be six people: "Pro" to coordinate, cashier, starter to give people balls and club, two ball shaggers, and a marker to keep track of | record closest to pin.

Cost and prizes:
* Cost = Two balls for $5, five balls for $10.
* Would have parallel prizes for men and women: Closest/in the hole | Second closest | Third closest.

I'm trying to solicit prizes/gift certificates from local golf courses and golf shops. Any ideas on what they might contribute? One of the golf chains has a charity/events web link which I'm working.

If I get lucky and get stuff for more than the top 6 prizes, I could roll in a side raffle which everyone who hits balls would be eligible for.

Any ideas, fellow Trappers?
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What happens if there's more than one hole in one? ...

Good point. If someone cans the shot, we could have them hit two "tiebreaker" balls. The tiebreaker that's closest to the pin would be compared to the tiebreaker of someone else who put it in the hole.

Thanks for offering that - not an emergency I want to handle at 7 p.m. Sunday.
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Good point. If someone cans the shot, we could have them hit two "tiebreaker" balls. The tiebreaker that's closest to the pin would be compared to the tiebreaker of someone else who put it in the hole.

One scenario:

Have an easy hole for qualifying. A certain number of qualifiers shoot later (maybe even at a later date). A hole in one during qualifying counts as "0.0 inches from the hole". All the qualifiers get a prize, so that no great shot goes unrewarded, and closest to the pin at the final gets the grand prize. If your set number of qualifiers for the final is relatively small, you could look into offering a cash prize for an actual hole out - first one takes it. Insurance companies offer hole-in-one insurance for tournaments at a variable rates dependiing on the number of shooters.
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Sean,

Your idea would work great for an on-course event. Ours will be at school.

This is a makeshift hole on our soccer field, and the Hole-In-One is a sideshow at a larger picnic. So, people aren't going to want to come in for a playoff. This will run 4-8 p.m. Friday, and 4-8 p.m. Saturday - then it's over.

If we have two actual holes in one, we can shift a major raffle prize into place so both hotshots would get the 1st prize bloc.

If three people get a real hole in one, I'll quit my job and start designing golf courses!
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You may want to give a few extra balls per dollar. Something like 3 balls for $5 and 8 for $10. I know odd numbers, but I don't trust myself enough to get a hole in one in 2-5 tries. Dont forget, is this a big golfer picnic? Or something kids and parents would want to play at?
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... Dont forget, is this a big golfer picnic? Or something kids and parents would want to play at?

I know what you mean. It's a sideshow for a church picnic. I'm struggling with pricing like I'm starting a business.,

If we get lots of smaller prizes donated, we might give on-the-spot prizes for inside the 20' circle. plus the big closest to pin prizes,. Also, we could have people write their name on the back of their ball ticket and drop it in a raffle bin; have some raffles along with the "game of skill" prizes. I know... we want to make money and have fun!
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Maybe offer 1 free practice shot for those who pay to play???
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Make and even shorter hole for kids under 12, maybe 30 yards or something. While you're at it, make the women's tee 40 yards and the mens tee 55. You have no idea how hard it is to hit a contained area from 80 or 100 yards for occasional or non-golfers, and even those shorter yardages won't make it any easier for someone who knows how to play to hole out. Make sure you have clubs that will suit most heights. One for kids, one for women, and one for men.

I would change the pricing a bit - maybe $3 for 2 shots, $5 for 5, and $7 for 8. Your sweet spot pricing should be $5. this is where you'll get the most takers because it's a better deal than the cheapest option, easy to pay in cash, and is still relatively cheap. $10 is a little much for somebody to 'throw away' at a picnic. You could also add that an extra $5 will buy the right to hit from one tee forward. As stated above, give one practice ball to each person before they hit.

If the picnic runs from 4 to 8, it's probably a better idea to announce prizes at 7:00 or earlier. The chances of people staying the entire time at these things is probably pretty slim.

Finally, run two separate competitions, one for each day. Nobody will pay on Friday if they have to wait until Saturday to see if they won.
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Had the hole-in-one contest at my church last weekend. It was a learning experience, and we made a little money.

First, we had lots of competition on the weekend. Two Cardinal baseball games, the Rams pre-season unveiling of No. 1 draft pick QB Sam Bradford, significant rock concerts on both sides of the river.

And, it was about 95 degrees both evenings.

I put up the hole on the grade-school soccer field, about 150 yds. from the main picnic and food. Bought a cup-and-flag assembly (I'll put it in my back yard now), and close-mowed 30' and 20' circles around the pin. Tethered a 25' tape measure to the flagstick with a slip-ring.

Golf experts suggested I shorten the holes to make it easier to compete, and to cut down on the types of clubs I needed.
* Men's: 113 reduced to 93 yds.
* Women's: 93 reduced to 73 yds.

Staffing per 2-hour shift was: Pro (facilitator), Cashier, Starter, Measurer, and Ball Shaggers. Pricing was 3 for $5, or 7 for $10 - my wife pulled two shifts Saturday as cashier.

Men's winner put it 2', 11 inches away; women's winner was 17', 1" away. (Only 3 women competed, so all three won prizes).

All of prizes were donated, along with a loan of clubs from a local driving range (including left-handed), plus hitting mats from a second range.

First prize for men was a round of golf, two dozen Titleist DTs, and a certificate for a sand wedge. First prize for women was a round of golf, a golf duffel bag including adozen balls, and a wedge certificate.

Blocs for second and third prizes included cards for par three golf and local driving ranges. (Second placers also got a dozen Titleist DTs).

Volunteers were too few, but those helping really got into it. One guy drove home Friday evening, brought back his personal golf cart on a trailer, and turned it into the "Hole In One Trolley" to cart people back and forth from the golf hole to the main picnic.

On Saturday, a second guy announced he would pay for half the balls for the first 10 players to show up.

We had some people walk down for the match, but didn't get a single person to ride the trolley down to where we were.

We made $230 total, but our cost-of-good-sold was about $20, so most of it went for profit.

Colinb193 had asked if we had anything for the kids. Answer was no, but we could set up a long-putt contest next year to cover that.

Another idea for next year: set up in the southeast corner of the property, right next to the rides and booths. If we did this we would need to use the reduced distance balls (yellow, go about 35% as far as real balls). If we used real balls, any snap hooks would likely take out the back windows of the homes just off the property.

It was fun, but I'm glad I don't have to worry about it again for several months.
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