The Ryder Cup is on the horizon and golf can be a useful way of getting people to your pub as either players or spectators.
You might even be considering a golf day or society, afterall how hard can it be to get people playing golf and back to the pub?
However, there are hazards along the way so here's a quick 18 tips to help you get through unscathed.
So a few people in the pub play golf and maybe you've been out with some for a round or two, but is that enough for a society? Make sure you have a solid core of people – between 12 to 20 – who will turn-up and pay-up three or four times a year.
2. Diary Dates
Getting dates that work for all will be impossible so book in ones that are convenient for most and stick to them. Then let everyone know as clearly and quickly as you can. Avoid dates of major events.
3. Get a committee
We know it's not as exciting as the thought of chipping in from off the green but you need people doing jobs to make your society smooth. Appoint a treasurer, captain and a handicap secretary. This should avoid arguments and you being left with every job.
There are various online systems that allow you to maintain handicaps in your own society. You can even implement your own rules such as cutting people who win or score more than 38 points. Pub golf societies should be fun which means keeping an eye out for bandits!
Most golfers will expect to play fourballs using the Stableford scoring system with two scores from each team counting per hole. If none of that makes sense see point three and find someone who knows how this works.
Make it clear from the offset if people can pick who they play with or if they will be placed in random fourballs. The latter is more social and can ensure dodgy team scores are avoided.
Make sure there is someone on hand at the golf club to greet players on arrival and hand them their scorecards and tee off times. The rules of the day should be made clear at this point or in a quick briefing shortly before play.
8. Bacon sandwich
This is an essential. Players will be on the course for up to five hours so they need something to eat (and drink) before and after the round.
Charge an annual membership fee to cover admin and to ensure people feel part of something slightly exclusive. Also think about how much you will have to charge per event. £40 a day should cover the round at a club with food and a little left over for prizes.
Make it clear when people have to pay by. There's a lot to organise so you won't want to be chasing people after they have played.
11. How long is a piece of string
You can quickly raise funds for a local cause with simple extras such as a putting competition on the practice green, charging for mulligans (ask your captain) or by getting players to buy and blindly select randomly cut pieces of string from a bag. They can use the string to move the ball that length once during the round.
Top team, individual, longest drive and closest to the pin are standard while the 'longest walk' can be a fun one too. A trophy, some booze and balls from a golf shop should cover things. A short, funny presentation with some highlights of the day is better than detailed analysis on everyone's efforts.
13. Making some cash
You're not going to make money from the event itself so try to get people back to the pub afterwards. You could put on more food or, if you are playing a course a long way from your base, arrange a coach drop off at the pub.
Don't expect to get a McIlroy Nike deal but there could well be a local businessman at the bar who will stump up for balls if he can get a logo on them. Others may sponsor holes which you can use to fund prizes, boost the charity pot or save in the kitty for a special event or golf tour.
15. Move it around
Keep it fresh by playing different courses every time. If people want to play the same course they will more likely take a golf club membership
Allowing guests is one way of ensuring you hit your numbers – because people will invariably drop out at short notice – just make sure the policy is clear. A guest is also a potential society member.
17. Golf on the box
You could try to get people back to the pub to watch some golf. The Ryder Cup is one golf fans will not want to miss and will be on Sky from September 30 to October 2.
18. Don't win
Your customers will never forgive you.