Golf tips

If you are considering a golf outing, either as a fund-raiser or as a way to show appreciation to loyal customers, take the time to plan it well, says Greg Hoblitzell, director of development for the nonprofit The Heinzerling Foundation.

Al Taylor, executive director of this organization that provides care and education for people with multiple disabilities, says Heinzerling chose a golf outing as one of its primary fund-raisers because of golf’s broad appeal.

“Golf’s a big thing in Central Ohio,” Taylor says. “If you don’t have a golf outing, you’re no one around here.”

While the foundation is Medicaid funded, those dollars don’t cover the extras that Heinzerling likes to provide its residents, like clothes or a special wheelchair.

“Plus the outing brings the community together and gives people something to focus on,” Taylor says.

Hoblitzell says the golf outing also helps extends the foundation’s exposure.

“A majority of our funding comes from businesses,” he says. “When these businesses involve their clients and vendors, it extends our exposure even more.”

But making the outing a success takes a lot of planning.

“Organization is the key element for success,” Hoblitzell says. “The event has to run in a timely, smooth manner to keep the golfers happy.”

Hoblitzell recommends paying the extra cost to book top-notch courses and offer great food.

“Some golf outings are held on less than superior courses and the golfers get a hot dog, chips and pop,” he says. “It’s an OK way to spend the day, but nothing to brag about.”

If you want your event to go off like clockwork, create a schedule and stick to it.

“Give the golfers what you promise — get them on and off the course quickly. They appreciate that,” Hoblitzell says.

You’re sure to have dissatisfied golfers and fewer people attending the following year if golfers are still at the course at 9 p.m. because of poor organization, he says.

Hoblitzell recommends planning your event a year in advance. He reserves the golf course at that time, then develops the mailing list for invitations.

“There is a natural amount of attrition, so you’ll need to continually add names to the list if you want a good turnout,” he says.

But with the proper organization, the event will be worth the work.

“We’re in our 17th year, and we sold out with 144 golfers,” Hoblitzell says. How to reach: The Heinzerling Foundation, (614) 272-8888 or