An Insider's Guide to What Food to Order for Your Golf Tournament

Posted on August 31st, 2015 | Author: Matt O'Brien, Bay Area Regional Tournament Director | Category: Tournament Tips

Anybody who has been involved with either running or organizing a golf tournamentknows that the actual golf is a very small part of a larger event. Many times, more people attend the dinner and awards reception than those who actually play in the tournament. Why? Because not everybody plays golf, but everybody eats! In this article, we go over the dos and do not’s of arranging your tournament’s food & beverage order, as well as what might be the best F&B to fit within your budget.


The most important meal of the day, right? Right! Set your golfers up for success with arranging a breakfast prior to tee off. The beauty of breakfast is that your options are so open, it’s easy to find something that fits perfectly with what you want to do. Another beauty of breakfast? It’s usually one of the most cost effective options to add value to your tournament. To keep things simple, a continental breakfast will keep everybody happy with only standard continental breakfast items and coffee/ juice varieties. For a few more dollars, upgrading to a classic breakfast buffetwith scrambled eggs and the regular breakfast favorites will incentivize your players to show up early and socialize.


As with breakfast, you have so many options with lunch, you can tailor your choice to fit exactly what you want. If you were going to include lunch prior or during play, your two best options are: either a classic box lunch or a BBQ lunch at the turn. The box lunch standard includes: a deli sandwich, bag of chips, cookie, and bottled water (vegetarians or tuna sandwiches are often add-ons… typically box lunches are split between ham and turkey). The box lunch is a great way to give players a portable option they can pick up and put away as they like. A BBQ lunch at the turnis something easily done, as long as it is coordinated well with the golf course staff. Many courses have BBQ grills that can be set up in high traffic areas of the course. Give each player a lunch ticket for the BBQ station, and the player can pick up a hamburger/chicken burger, any sides provided, and something to wash it all down. For something a little more formal, arrange a buffet lunch for prior to or following the tournament. Buffet options will typically range from a BBQ-style buffet similar to what is mentioned above, to a ‘Build-Your-Own’-style taco and fajita buffet, a classic American buffet with roasted tri-tip and marinated chicken, or even a trip through Italy with your choice of pasta and chicken parmigiana. The golf course will usually be more than happy to work with you on a specialized lunch tailored to your needs. When ordering a buffet, be sure to clarify with the golf course on what food items are/are not subject to an extra sales tax or service charge. To save yourself from any surprises on the day of, just ask your tournament manager to include all taxes and service fees within the overall price per guest.


You made it! Your golfers made it! Your golfers have had a long day and you can bet that they are starving. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to engage your guests and treat them to a great reception. As we mentioned previously, golf is only a small part of the day. It is best to think of your tournament as a full event and not just a ‘golf tournament.’ You’ll be surprised at how many people show up for the dinner who did not actually play in the tournament, and knowing this, the dinner and awards ceremony are another opportunity to network, fundraise, and get to know more people. Do not order appetizers as a price-friendly replacement for your reception dinner! Appetizers at tournament reception dinners are typically served buffet-style unless servers are pre-arranged with the Food & Beverage team, and that is still no guarantee that there will be enough food for a large group. Naturally, this will lead to the front of the line piling food onto their plates, and the people in the back are left with scraps. This can easily leave a negative last impression on a very important part of your group. For a couple more dollars that can be passed into your ticket sales, it is worth it to provide a full meal to your guests. Your awards and reception dinner is the highlight of your event. This is where everyone gathers to enjoy the food, the prize awards ceremony, the raffle, and announcements. It marks the end of months of planning and hard work for you and your team. Take this opportunity to thank all those who have come together to make your event happen. Celebrate the conclusion of another great event and remind everyone to save the date for next year!

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