Similar to starting a business, events of any kind that you plan on making a yearly occurrence, often take time, energy, and dedication- plus maybe a little blood, sweat, and tears- to truly see success. And golf events are no different. Does that mean your event won't be successful the first year? Of course not, but if you're planning on throwing a yearly event, you'll need to lay a solid foundation from the start.
Registration for a first year event is considered successful if you have 40-50 players- or 10-12 foursomes. Don't get discouraged if there isn't a rush of participants immediately upon opening registration, however. Most people are procrastinators by nature and especially for a first year event that will require time to get the word out, most of your registrations may come in the few weeks or days prior.
Even if you've thrown other events before, a first time golf tournament may be uncharted territory for you. Don't hesitate to reach out to other organizers, find a mentor or discuss the logistics with the course hosting the event. Everyone starts somewhere and no one is too good for valuable advice.
This will be one of the biggest factors in the success of your event- and yes, you'll have to promote every year- but especially for your inaugrural outing.
Finally, one of the most important things you can do is leave a lasting impression- and a good one at that. Despite any hiccups throughout the day, maintain a pleasant, level-headed and professional demeanor. Doing so will impress the participants, sponsors, and vendors- all of whom will rave about your work ethic and likely jump on board without hesitation the next year.
Here's the hard truth:
events take a lot of work and without a proper plan in place- and willing volunteers- the small details that make a big difference can slip through the cracks. To ensure that doesn't happen to you, become a planning pro prior to the event and create your committee, assign individual tasks, and set hard deadlines. Throwing an even is a team effort so delegate, delegate, delegate and then hold everyone accountable.