31 Golf Tournament Contest Ideas: Fun to Fundraise

What’s your plan for the next golf event? From fun to fundraising, I have 31 golf tournament contest ideas under different categories to make your event a success.

Golf Tournament Contest Ideas

About: Golf Tournament Contest

Golf tournament contests are a fantastic way to add a competitive edge to your event, create a fun atmosphere, and attract a wider audience. Whether it’s for charity fundraising or just a casual gathering, interesting and unique contests can take your golf tournament to the next level.

From the classic longest drive and closest-to-the-pin contests to more unique ideas like a marshmallow drive or a speed golf challenge, there are numerous options to choose from. Remember, the ultimate goal is to ensure your participants have a great time and leave with unforgettable memories.

Keep reading to discover some amazing contest ideas that are guaranteed to make your golf tournament a hit.

31 Golf Tournament Contest Ideas

Let me tell you first that I have categorized these contests into three main categories: Fun contests, Skill-based contests, Team-based contests, Themed contests, and Charity and Fundraising contests. Each category has its own set of unique ideas that cater to different aspects of a golf tournament.

7 Fun Golf Tournament Contest Ideas

#1. Marshmallow Drive:

Who said golf has to be serious? The Marshmallow Drive contest is a fun twist on the classic Longest Drive challenge. Instead of using a regular ball, participants use a marshmallow and try to drive it as far as possible down the fairway.

The catch? They have to keep the marshmallow intact throughout the entire swing. This silly and entertaining contest will surely be a hit with players and spectators alike.

#2. One-Club Challenge:

The One-Club Challenge adds a quirky yet strategic element to your golf tournament. In this contest, participants are allowed to use only one club of their choice for the entirety of a specific hole or round. This means they’ll have to rely on their skill and knack for improvisation to navigate the course.

Whether they’re putting with a driver or driving with a putter, it’s sure to result in some entertaining golf and memorable moments. Offering a special prize for the winner, such as a custom golf club or a thematic trophy, can further increase the excitement.

#3. Blindfolded Putting:

Blindfolded Putting is a fun and challenging contest that will test a golfer’s coordination and imagination. Participants are blindfolded and given a putter to sink the ball into the hole.

To make it even more interesting, consider setting up obstacles or mini-games along the way, such as putting through a maze or around an obstacle. This contest is sure to bring laughter and friendly competition to your event.

Read also: 21 Unique Putting Contest Ideas

#4. Pirate Golf:

Pirate Golf adds a whimsical twist to your golf tournament. In this contest, players are encouraged to dress like a pirate and are only allowed to use old-fashioned golf clubs or even makeshift “pirate” clubs. This could be anything from a wooden stick to a hooked hand tool. The aim is to navigate the course and complete a hole with the fewest number of strokes possible.

#5. Backward Golf:

In the fun Backward Golf contest, participants get to play a hole from green to tee instead of the usual tee to green. You start on the green, putting it into a makeshift hole, and then chip or drive back towards the tee box.

To add to the laid-back vibe of the contest, you could consider giving a novelty prize to the player who completes the hole with the fewest strokes.

#6. Speed Golf:

Speed Golf is a fast-paced and exciting contest that combines both golf and running. Participants complete a round of golf as quickly as possible, with the lowest score being the winner.

Need more excitement? Players can also use only three clubs of their choice and must carry them while they run between shots.

#7. Night Golf:

Night Golf is a unique and thrilling experience for players and spectators alike. In this contest, participants play golf at night using glow-in-the-dark balls and equipment. This adds a whole new element to the game, as players have to navigate through darkness and glowing obstacles.

7 Skill-Based Golf Tournament Contest Ideas

#1. Closest to the Pin:

In the Closest to the Pin challenge, the goal is to land the golf ball as near as possible to a specific location on the green, usually the hole, with just a single swing.

Participants each take their shot from the same spot, and the one who gets their ball nearest the pin wins. Offering a special prize for this contest, such as a luxury golf accessory or a sponsored gift, can create an exciting atmosphere and encourage more participation.

#2. Longest Drive:

The Longest Drive is a classic golf contest that tests the player’s ability to hit the ball over a significant distance. The premise is simple: the player who drives their golf ball the farthest down the fairway wins.

Each participant tees off from the same location and endeavors to hit the ball as far as possible while remaining in the fairway. An official marker is used to denote the longest drive achieved. To add an element of excitement, consider offering a high-value prize for the winner, such as a high-end golf club or a weekend getaway.

#3. Straightest Drive:

In the Straightest Drive contest, the goal is not just about distance but accuracy. This challenge tests a golfer’s ability to hit the ball in a perfectly straight line from the tee to the fairway. Participants are all given a chance to hit from the same spot.

A line is drawn down the middle of the fairway, and the player whose ball lands closest to this line is declared the winner. Plus, consider giving away a sought-after prize like a set of premium golf balls or a round at a prestigious local course.

#4. Hole-in-One Challenge:

The Hole-in-One Challenge is an exciting contest in a golf tournament. The objective is simple: players try to hit the ball from the tee into the hole in one shot.

Each player gets a chance to attempt this from a designated tee. Since a hole-in-one is rare, consider offering a big prize like a new car or luxury vacation package to increase excitement.

#5. Beat the Pro:

The Beat the Pro challenge adds an exciting twist to your golf tournament. In this contest, a professional golfer joins your event, and participants have the opportunity to compete against them.

Each player aims to get their shot closer to the hole than the pro’s shot. Successful participants are rewarded, often with a certificate or a chance to win a valuable prize.

#6. Longest Putt:

In the Longest Putt challenge, the objective is to make the longest successful putt on a specific green. Participants take turns putting from a designated spot, and the one who sinks the longest putt wins. 

To make it more enticing, consider offering a reward like a deluxe golf bag or a golf lesson with a professional. This fosters friendly competition and encourages more players to join.

#7. Chipping Challenge:

A Chipping Challenge is an excellent addition to your golf tournament, as it tests a player’s short-game skills. Participants chip the ball from a designated spot and try to get it into a target area. The closer they chip to the target, the more points they earn.

Consider setting up multiple targets at varying distances for different point values to make it more challenging and exciting.

5 Team Based Golf Tournament Contest Ideas 

#1. Scramble: 

The Scramble contest is a popular team-based format in golf tournaments. In this format, each team member takes a shot from the tee and then chooses the best one to continue playing from. This goes on until the ball is holed.

#2. Best Ball:

The Best Ball Contest is another team-based challenge that is popular in golf tournaments. In this format, each member of the team plays their ball throughout the round, just like in traditional stroke play. At the end of each hole, the lowest score, or “best ball,” is taken as the team’s score for that hole. 

#3. Alternate Shot:

The Alternate Shot contest is a team-based challenge that adds an element of strategy and cooperation to your golf tournament. In this format, two players form a team and take turns, or “alternate,” hitting the same ball. One player tees off, the other player hits the second shot, the first player hits the third shot, and so on until the ball is holed. 

#4. Match Play:

Match Play is a compelling, head-to-head team-based contest that brings an intense competitive element to your golf tournament. In this format, two teams face off, playing hole by hole. The team with the lower score on a hole wins that hole. The team winning the most holes throughout the round ultimately wins the match. 

#5. Shamble:

The Shamble is an enjoyable and strategic team-based contest often featured in golf tournaments. In this format, each team member tees off as usual. After the drives, the team selects the best one, and all players pick up their balls and play their ball from the chosen drive location. This continues until each player’s ball is holed. 

5 Themed Golf Tournament Contest Ideas

#1. Retro Golf:

The Retro Golf contest is a delightful throwback to the golden age of golf. Participants are encouraged to dress up in vintage golf attire and, if possible, use vintage equipment as well. This could include knickers, argyle socks, flat caps, and clubs from yesteryears. The course could also be set up to replicate the conditions of the old times, perhaps with classic wooden tee markers and flags. 

#2. Celebrity Look-Alike Tournament:

The Celebrity Look-Alike Tournament is a lighthearted and entertaining contest that adds a unique twist to your golf event. In this contest, participants are encouraged to dress up and play as their favorite celebrities. This could include mimicking their outfits, accessories, and even their unique golf styles. 

#3. Movie Character Classic:

The Movie Character Classic is a unique and enjoyable contest that calls for golfers to take on the persona of their favorite movie characters on the course. Be it a superhero, a villain, or a beloved animated character, participants can bring an array of characters to life. The tournament could include a contest for the best dressed and perhaps even encourage players to mimic their character’s signature moves or catchphrases. 

#4. Around the World Theme:

The Around the World Theme contest infuses a multicultural flavor into your golf tournament. Participants are encouraged to represent different countries, either through their attire, choice of equipment, or even their playing style. The golf course could be segmented into regions representing different continents, with each hole representing a specific country. 

#5. Comic Scramble:

The Comic Scramble is a fun and creative contest that adds humor and entertainment to your golf tournament. Participants are encouraged to dress up as famous comic book characters while playing, including classic superheroes, villains, sidekicks, and antiheroes. To enhance the comic theme, the course design can incorporate elements like pop-art tee markers and strategically placed onomatopoeic signs such as “POW!” and “WHAM!” 

Charity and fundraising golf tournament contest ideas

7 Charity and Fundraising Golf Tournament Contest Ideas

#1. Mulligans for Sale:

Mulligans for Sale is a simple and practical fundraising contest idea for charitable golf tournaments. In essence, participants can purchase a ‘Mulligan,’ which is essentially a do-over, allowing them to retake a bad shot without penalty. Set a price for each Mulligan and all the proceeds go towards the charity. 

#2. Golf Ball Drop:

The Golf Ball Drop contest is an exciting fundraising idea that adds a hint of suspense and surprise to your charity golf tournament. In this contest, participants purchase numbered golf balls, which are then dropped from a height (usually by a drone or a bucket lifted by a crane) onto a designated target on the golf course. The owner of the ball that lands closest to or in the target wins a prize. 

#3. Raffle Draw:

The Raffle Draw is a classic, crowd-pleasing fundraising contest that is perfect for charity golf tournaments. In this contest, participants purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win various prizes. The prizes can be anything from golf equipment, trips to renowned golf resorts, or even lessons with professional golfers. 

The raffle can be held at the end of the tournament, and the more tickets a participant buys, the higher their chances of winning. All proceeds from the raffle ticket sales go towards the designated charity, making it a fun and effective way of raising funds.

Read also: Raffle Giveaway Ideas

#4. Pledge per Birdie:

The Pledge per Birdie contest is a dynamic and engaging fundraising idea for charity golf tournaments. In this contest, participants seek pledges from donors who will donate a predetermined amount of money for each birdie (one stroke under par) the player scores during the tournament. 

#5. Sponsor a Hole:

The Sponsor a Hole contest is a distinctive and effective fundraising method for charity golf tournaments. In this contest, businesses or individuals have the opportunity to sponsor a hole. In return for their sponsorship, their company logo or name is prominently displayed at the hole they sponsor, providing valuable exposure. This could be on a banner, a flag, or other signage. 

#6. Longest Day Golf Challenge:

The Longest Day Golf Challenge is an endurance-testing fundraising idea for charity golf tournaments. This contest challenges golfers to play as many holes as they can from sunrise to sunset, making the most of the longest day of the year. Participants seek sponsorship for every hole they play, and all the proceeds go towards the designated charity.

#7. Golf Marathon:

The Golf Marathon is a unique and physically challenging fundraising contest for charity golf tournaments. In this contest, participants commit to playing an extreme number of holes – often 100 – in a single day. Golfers solicit pledges from donors who contribute a set amount for each hole completed. 

For more practical learning on top fundraising contests and activities for a golf event, check out the below video.


Now, you have a detailed list of creative and exciting contest ideas to add that extra spark to your next golf tournament. Whether you’re looking to entertain, raise funds for charity, or simply have a good time with friends, these contest ideas are sure to make your event a memorable one. So gather your clubs and get ready to tee off in style!

Julia Nancy
Julia Nancy

I have vast experience arranging online voting contests for hundreds of clients worldwide in the last 8 years. I also helped countless clients to win their online competitions. Here, on royalvotes.com, I am just sharing knowledge from my experiences. If you need any help regarding the online contest, email me at julia@royalvotes.com