Fred Schmidt, who organizes the Canadian Team Shoot-Out, says the event is win-win for everybody involved. Actually, the better description might be win-win-win-win when you consider the benefits for pros, golf courses, charities and amateur players.
GolfNewsNow has been featuring several innovative ways to increase participation at golf courses in a down economy this year, but the Shoot-Out is the most established as it prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2009.
It’s a two-person team shootout that includes a six-hole scramble, six holes of better ball and six holes of alternate shot. The competition starts at the club level, with winners moving on to a provincial final in Ontario.
Plans were to roll the Shoot-Out across the country right about now, but that was put on hold due to the recession. Still, it wouldn’t hurt for golf courses from outside of Ontario to check it out for the future at the website www.ctstournament.com, which should be up and running by the end of this week.
“We’re able to provide participants that sign up for it with a gift bag, so the theme of the tournament is win-win,” said Schmidt.
“At every level, somebody is getting something for what they’re doing, so when a person signs up to play at the golf course, they fork out $50, they immediately get a gift bag that’s got a $60 Stormtech jacket and a dozen balls.
“They’re ahead of the game right off the bat,” said Schmidt, adding that more prizes are available throughout the tournament through draws, etc., through sponsors such as Orlimar, Stormtech, Pin High apparel, Thommo golf balls and others.
The winners of the provincial final, to be held Aug. 22 at Greenhills Golf Club in London, Ont., also choose the charity of their choice to receive a donation from the proceeds. Last year, winners Rick Cody and Stephen Duplantis of North Halton handed over $10,000 to the Alzheimers Society.
“That, to me, is a significant storyline about what the tournament accomplishes,” said Schmidt, adding that the competition is flexible and includes male, female or mixed teams featuring players with a wide range of handicaps. The maximum team handicap is 36.
“That’s one of our themes,” said Schmidt. “You’re looking for play? You’re looking for members? This is a way that the club can do that.
“Even a club that isn’t totally membership-based, as long as there’s a way of verifying handicaps, it can incorporate a green fee, if it wanted to, into the qualifying round,” he added. “There’s huge flexibility. Some courses run it as an event, some courses will piggyback it with an event they’re already running.”
There’s a bonus for golf professionals from clubs that run the qualifying events. When the winning team moves on to the provincial final, the club professional is invited to come along to play in a separate event that typically has between $5,000 to $10,000 in prize money, with first prize ranging from $1,500 to $2,000.
For more information, see www.ctstournament.com.