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How to Make Sure Your Golf Society Day Goes Well

By: | Thu 27 Jun 2024

At some stage or other, most of us have taken part in either a golf society day or break away from home. 

When they go well they can be memorable events, but the very nature of them means that things can and do go wrong. And when they do go wrong it is usually because of poor planning and preparation, and maybe even because the group of people simply don’t gel.

So, if you are taking part in a society day, what are the do’s and don’ts?

Give everybody a check list. I once drove myself to a golf day 45 miles from where I lived and as I pulled into the car park suddenly realised that I had left my clubs at home. 

On another trip to France, one of our party left his passport on the kitchen table.

Perhaps the most important thing of all is to get the mix of people right. You want a group of like-minded people.

It may seem pretty obvious but make sure that everybody knows exactly where they are going - give them the postcode, the name of the venue and the phone number.

If you are going to be staying overnight then you know that plenty of alcohol is going to be drunk. And that means there is plenty of potential for all sorts of disasters - people falling asleep in toilets, arguments, perhaps even the potential for some fisticuffs. Make sure that everybody gets along and knows how to behave when they have had a few drinks. 

Give them a list of do’s and don’ts - as organiser, if it all goes horribly wrong then it is going to come back to haunt you.

Golf Society

When you all get there, set up a drinks kitty. But if people are going to want bottles of wine with their dinner, tell them they have to pay for that themselves.

If you are the organiser, make sure you check what time the bar is going to close, especially on a Sunday night! 

I once took a group of 40 to an Essex golf resort and was very, very unpopular when we discovered that the bar closed at 10pm. The other side of that coin was a trip to Stoke by Nayland and coming down for breakfast in the morning to discover that four of our party were still in the bar from the night before - and then made it to the first tee!

Before you book the course and/or hotel, check out a) how much a pint of beer is going to cost and b) reviews of the food. You just know that if the beer is too expensive and the food is poor then you, as organiser, are going to be one who gets it in the neck.

Work out how you are going to spend your night. If you knock back endless pints of beer things could get very messy, so consider a quiz, a snooker or pool competition or a few games of darts. You can split people into teams and make it competitive, perhaps even with a financial incentive for the winners.

Check the dress code in the restaurant. The last thing you want is for everybody to turn up for dinner wearing jeans, only to be told that jeans are not allowed.

While you are at it, check the dress code for the course - lots of them do not allow collarless tops.

If your party want buggies, check that there are enough available, and find out in advance how much they cost.

Spend some time discussing who is going to be doing the driving to and from the venue - and make sure you look after your designated driver.

Pick a course that works for everybody. The very nature of a golf society means that many of the group will not be regular golfers so one of the worst mistakes you can make is to pick a course that is too difficult.

Agree a competition format that everybody is happy with.

When you are sorting out your course pairings, put people of similar abilities together - and make sure that everybody knows the rules and understands course etiquette. If they are not regular golfers, tell them they only have three minutes to look for a ball - and encourage them to hit provisionals.

The chances are that some of your group will not have official handicaps - or handicaps of any sort for that matter. Sit down and discuss what handicaps you are giving them - and explain the reasons why. After the first day, these can be adjusted up or down.

Spend time working out your room parings. The reasons for that should be self-explanatory!

This may seem pretty obvious but make sure that everybody on your society day actually enjoys golf - I know from bitter experience that some spectacular temper tantrums can occur if individuals are there because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

When everybody is heading for the car park to head home, ensure they have handed in their room keys and that they all have their mobiles phones, wallets - and golf clubs! 

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