There’s no end to the different types of second events chapters can host—from progressive raffles to women-only paint-and-sips. This summer some chapters basked in the sunshine while raising funds for elk country by hosting golf tournaments. Among the most successful was the Powder River Chapter’s second annual four-person scramble golf tournament, held at Bell Nob Golf Course in Gillette, Wyoming in June.
Chapter chair Tim Bishop came up with the idea for the tournament last year. When the downturn in oil, gas and coal hit Wyoming’s economy, Bishop decided to host a fun, relaxed second event as a way to boost revenue.
Last year, 16 teams of four participated, and the event netted about $6,000. “We did it again this year and tried a little harder,” Bishop says.
The 2016 tournament sold out at 36 teams of four, with two more on a waiting list, and netted about $20,000, Bishop said.
Bishop says the key to his success was a combination of good planning and getting the word out about the event. Last year, Bishop did most of the planning himself. This year, he enlisted the help of some friends and created a planning subcommittee.
“I’m not a real, true golfer by any sense of the term. Get with your friends who are golfers, form a subcommittee and empower them to help you,” Bishop advises other chapters hoping to host their own tournament.
The committee made flyers to advertise and approached local businesses to sponsor the event. Sponsors were thanked publicly via a large banner, and those who sponsored individual holes on the course had their names displayed on signs and flags on the green.
The course’s staff, specifically their golf pro, was also instrumental. “Once we got all the people there, he did the logistics of the actual tournament. It was a lot of work,” Bishop says.
Afterward, a party was held, inspired by the spirit of Big Game Banquets. The committee held raffles, a smaller version of both the live and silent auction, and games. “After the golf tournament is when you make it fun for them. Most of the golfers have never experienced the banquet atmosphere,” Bishop says. At the advice of his golf-loving subcommittee, Bishop chose prizes related to hunting and the outdoors as opposed to golf— things like GPS units, firearms, binoculars and Yeti coolers.
It was a lot of work, Bishop says, but worth the effort. “The biggest thing I’ve learned is have a good, friendly environment, and make sure you have nice prizes,” Bishop says. “Also, listen to the guys who golf. They’re the ones who know.” The Powder River Chapter plans to host another tournament next summer, Bishop says. “I’ve already had people ask about pre-registration for next year.