Hosting different contests throughout the course is a great way to incorporate your sponsors into your tournament. Contests give your sponsors added recognition, while also being fun for the golfers.

Here are the top 10 tournament favorites for on-course hole contests and games to help you find what works best for your sponsors and golfers.


Hole-in-One and Million Dollar Shot Contest


Two of the most popular, yet challenging events are the hole-in-one and million dollar shot contests. It is so rare that a participant will actually shoot a hole-in-one on any particular course, that the hosting organization can advertise an extravagant grand prize.
The Million Dollar Shot contest is a way for golfers to prove whether or not they have what it takes to make a hole-in-one from 165 yards away. Click To Tweet
A company may want to protest themselves by purchasing a hole-in-one insurance policy so they are not liable for paying the grand prize in the rare case that a hole-in-one occurs.

The Million Dollar Shot contest is a way for golfers to prove whether or not they have what it takes to make a hole-in-one from 165 yards away. Insurance for the Million Dollar shot is also available.


Orange Ball Contest

The Orange Ball contest is a great way to get all teams to participate in a fun competition. This particular contest can be played with any color golf ball, but typically played using an orange ball.

Before the tournament begins, each team has the option to enter the contest for a set amount. All teams that participate will receive an orange ball that must be used by a different golfer on the team at every hole. The objective is to not lose the ball for the entire 18 holes and any teams that successfully completes this challenge will be entered into a drawing for a prize.

Shootout Contest

Shootouts are a very high-profile event at any golf tournament. Four golfers are selected to participate and can either be chosen from the winning team of the day or drawn from a raffle.

Photo by Courtney Prather on Unsplash


Those who are selected from the raffle pay to participate in the chance to win $50,000 to $1 million. It is recommended that the shootout takes place at the 9th or 18th hole so everyone can watch. Shootout insurance can be purchased so that if someone makes the shot, you are not guaranteed to provide the golfer with the cash prize.

Closest to the Pin Contest

The Closest to the Pin contest is one of the most played contests at golfing events. The fee to play is usually kept very low in order to get the majority of players to participate. On a Par 3 hole, the drive that lands closest to the hole (pin) wins a pre-determined prize and if you get a hole-in-one then you’re an automatic winner.

Beat the Pro Contest

Many tournament planners know people who have played college golf or professional golf, so having those professionals be involved with the tournament is a huge fundraising opportunity.

Inviting people who have played college golf or professional golf can be a huge fundraising opportunity. Click To Tweet

Teams will buy-in to challenge a professional to a Closest to the Pin contest. If a participant gets a shot better than the professional they will receive a prize, but if no shots are hit better than the professionals then no prize is given.

Putting Contest

A Putting contest can be held before, during or after a golf tournament and is a great opportunity to sell a sponsorship. If the sponsor chooses, they can help with the contest by measuring the putts which provides them with added recognition.

Photo by Peter Lewicki on Unsplash


This contest is also a great opportunity to raise additional funds for your charity by charging golfers for each attempt they make to qualify for the grand prize. There are two formats that could be used when holding a putting contest:

  1. The first format offers a guaranteed prize to the contest winner.
  2. The second format does not offer a guaranteed prize. The final contestant of the putting contest will have an opportunity to win a cash prize if he or she scores from 50 feet away or from whatever length the tournament chooses.

The Longest/Straightest Drive Contest

The object of the longest/straightest drive contest is to hit the longest and straightest drive during the course of play. The golfer wants to choose a hole that is long and fairly straight because the shot must be in the fairway when the ball comes to rest in order to win. This contest is also a great way to sell a sponsorship. To make this contest even more interesting, have golfers use a left-handed club and call this the “Longest Left-Handed Drive” (or vice-versa).

Circle Hole Contest

A circle with a diameter determined by the tournament is drawn around a Par 3 hole. Golfers can bet on whether or not they can hit the ball inside the circle.

Photo by Freddie Collins on Unsplash

Guess Your Distance Contest

For those that wish to participate in the guess your distance contest, they will pay an entry fee of either $5, $10 or $20 to guess how far they will hit the ball. A special Doppler Radar machine will be set up on the driving range and the golfer closest to their actual guess will be the winner.

Hosting different contests is a great way for your sponsors to get more involved in supporting your charity, while making the tournament more inviting for golfers.

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