How a Putting Contest Can Help You Raise More Money at Your Golf Event

A putting contest is a special event, held prior to your event’s tee off, that can add revenue and interest to your charitable golf event. As the players arrive at registration, volunteers encourage them to participate in the pre-event and can serve as a part of their preparation for the “main event.” Most events will charge an entry fee to the putting contest to raise more money. The amount depends on the value of the prize.

The contest is designed as an excellent player activity and a fundraiser because golfers need something to do before they tee off. You don’t want them just wandering around looking for things to do, so set up a putting contest to provide a fun prep activity. The contest is usually held on the practice green – where most players will get the feel for the greens any way – and the players will pay a fee to compete in the contest.

The Format

The format is pretty simple. Usually, the distance for a putt is as far as you can fit it, probably 60 feet or longer because you don’t want to make it an easy putt. It is suggested for each golfer to take two putts because if you have a lot of golfers, you don’t want them all lined up waiting.

The golfer closest to the hole during the contest is the winner. Everyone gets two putts and the closest when the ball stops rolling is the winner. If somebody actually makes the putt, of course, they’re the winner; if more than one person makes the putt, then you have a quick putt-off to determine the final winner.

There are two types of contests:

A guaranteed winner contest means you’re actually going to have the prize certificate to give it to the winner right after they win, so they don’t have to take any additional putts or make some final putt to win the prize. And the prize could be tickets to sporting events, cruise certificates, seven-day resort stays, etc. These are all things we feature in our tournament shop for the guaranteed winner of the contest. And this is popular because the person actually is going to walk off with the actual prize right there at the event, and then you move on and start your golf tournament.

An insured putting contest is a little different. A qualifying round is still held, and you get down to one final winner. But in this case, the winner is going to take one more putt, and that putt has to be from at least 50 feet. It can be held on the practice green or draw a crowd to the 18th green so everybody can watch. The finale can be conducted right before teeing off or at the conclusion of the round. You purchase coverage for the prize.

If you want to have a $5,000 putting contest, the coverage is $250. If someone makes that putt, we pay the prize for $5,000. It’s usually held right after the event, in a hole where everybody can watch and prizes can be range from $5,000, $10,000, travel experiences, anything that you think would be interesting to people for your event. And some events combine the two. One final winner gets to putt for a cash prize, but if they don’t make the putt, they still get a prize certificate for something such as a cruise.

That makes it more valuable; more people will enter the contest.

Covering the cost is determined ahead of time. With the guaranteed winner prize, we ship the certificate to the tournament organizer so that a simple presentation can be made. With the insured contest, you’re going to purchase the coverage in case someone makes the final putt.

Sponsorship Opportunity

The putting contest is a great sponsorship opportunity for a sale of $500 to $1,500 to cover your cost. The sponsor gets special recognition during the event and sponsors can participate to help measure the putts and be on the putting green meeting people. It’s a very popular sponsorship for people who want to meet the actual golfers at your golf event. Additional money can be raised by including a fee to enter this contest.

If this is a charitable event, charge an entry fee that could be based on the value of the prize. Usually it’s $20 or $25 for two putts in the qualifying round. If 50 golfers enter, you raise $1,000-1,250 minus the cost of the prize, whether it be guaranteed winner or insured. If 100 golfers enter, you raise $2,000-2,500 minus cost. The more exciting the contest, the higher the entry fee, the more people that will participate in the contest.

Consider adding the putting contest entry fee to a “Super Ticket” for your event. The “Super Ticket” can include entry into the contest, mulligans and raffle tickets.

On a guaranteed winner prize, no verification is necessary. Perfect Golf Event will send a certificate to organizers for presentation to the winner.


For the insured contest, it will be necessary to document the final putt via video to make sure the putt is a minimum of 50 feet from the hole.

In addition to providing a copy of the video, Perfect Golf Event requires that the golf pro verifies the 50-foot distance. Once that’s done the prize is paid.
As a final point, use your imagination on setting up the putting contest. For the insured contest, big-ticket prizes include cash, trips to the Ryder Cup, golf course access and season tickets to major league sporting events.

And then for the guaranteed winners, we have a wide range of VIP tickets, cruises, seven-night resort stays – all listed in the tournament shop – click here to see the options.

For insured contest ideas and options click here.

If you have any questions or would like to solicit ideas on putting contests, please contact Perfect Golf Event by emailing us at [email protected]