Whether you’re planning a birthday celebration for a major golf fan or looking for a unique venue for an outdoor celebration, a golf course birthday party may be the right choice for your event. From stunning scenery and top-tier services, private golf clubs, resorts, and community courses offer many components that amateur and professional event planners seek.
In this post, we’ll walk you step-by-step through the process of planning a golf course birthday party. Not only will you learn how to plan a birthday celebration on a golf course, but you’ll also find tips, ideas, and best practices for throwing a golf-themed birthday party your client or loved one will never forget. Whether you’re planning a private event without having ever set foot on a course or are a professional planner looking for corporate birthday party ideas, we’ve got you covered.
Plan a golf course birthday party your guests will never forget
While various parties can be golf-themed, from corporate team-building events to retirement parties, we’re specifically focusing on birthday parties located on golf courses in this post.
What is a golf course birthday party?
A golf course birthday party is exactly what it sounds like: a birthday party that takes place at a golf course! You can host them for kids, adults, or all ages. Many public golf courses and private golf clubs offer special event party packages for intimate gatherings, like anniversaries, corporate meetings, networking events, and birthday parties.
While some offer birthday-specific packages, others offer private event room rentals with additional event service options available for purchase, such as catered meal service, personal on-course attendee service, entertainment, and more. In addition, professional courses often have a team of event professionals to help assist in the planning and execution, such as:
- Front of House coordinators
- Event planners
- Event coordinators
- Catering managers (frequently the chef)
Children’s birthday parties are better suited for miniature golf courses and entertainment centers, as these attractions frequently have a variety of additional kid-friendly activities available for inclusion in birthday party packages, like—
- Batting cages
- Laser tag
- Arcade games
With an idea of the type of venue you’re seeking, let’s dive deeper into the event planning process.
Who plans a golf course birthday party?
Depending on the size, style, and type of birthday affair you want to host, you can manage the event yourself or enlist assistance. If you’re juggling a busy schedule or tackling a too-long to-do list all on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Figure out who you’re working with. Are you planning the party alone or collaborating with several people? Are friends helping you plan the event, or do you have professional event planning staff to assist?
- Set a party budget. Who is paying for the event? When are the bills due? Confirm which parties will be involved financially and work out a payment plan that ensures the required monies will be available for paying the venue, vendors, and event staff.
Regardless of your level of experience, staying organized will help you better plan, prepare, and execute a golf course birthday party to remember. Create a customized event planning checklist to help keep you on track and on time.
How do you plan a golf course birthday party?
Whether you’re familiar with party planning or stepping into the role for the first time, this simple step-by-step guide will help you throw a golf course birthday party that all attendees will enjoy.
1. Pick the party date
Select a date or date range for your event. Does the guest of honor’s birthday fall over the weekend or in the middle of the week? Depending on the type of event you’d like to host and its length, waiting until the weekend may be beneficial. Mid-week or short afternoon events may be a better option if planning a corporate party. Select your top five event dates before looking for a host venue.
In addition to considering the golfer’s actual birthday, research major tournaments and golf events coming up in your area so you know which dates to avoid. However, if a large national tournament is taking place, like the Masters, consider incorporating the event into your party design.
2. Choose the perfect venue
If you can, look for a venue that offers all-in-one event packages. Many golf courses, particularly those with private clubs or event venues attached, have a designated event planning team at their service. Look for nearby golf courses and clubs that offer birthday party packages, and assess what each venue can offer.
Depending on the venue’s size and available services, their party packages may include food, drink, guest entertainment, or reserved or exclusive access to portions of the property. For example, an appealing golf course birthday party package may include 18 holes of golf for 20 people, with dinner and drinks afterward.
Make a list of questions to ask the club event managers or course directors to help ensure they don’t slip your mind during venue site tours, such as:
- Is there ample onsite parking?
- Are golf carts (transportation) included in the pricing?
- Do you have clubs available for guests who don’t have their own?
- What taxes, fees, or gratuity does package pricing include?
- What clean-up, noise, or time-cutoff policies do you have in place for events?
Ask for an example contract for review ahead of signing. Confirm the venue’s “final count” date (i.e., the date the venue requires a final guest count), deposit due dates, and other important event deadlines.
3. Send festive event invitations
Choose fun, thematic invitations that set the tone for your event. Select a punny name for the event, such as “Nine Holes for Hank” or “Hitting the Greens for Grace.” Consider creating custom invitations that feature a photo of the guest of honor. In addition to highlighting the star of the show, detail important information, such as the event’s date, time, and location. Include RSVP cards and an RSVP deadline in the invitation.
4. Book vendors and plan day-of details
Although many clubs offer comprehensive event services, such as catering, bartending, and staff, others may allow you to bring outside food for private events at no additional charge. Whether you work with the venue or hire an event caterer, consider adding staple golf snacks to your planned party menu. In addition to a golf-themed birthday cake, classic course snacks include pimento cheese sandwiches, and iconic drinks, like Arnold Palmers.
Set up a concession stand or “snack shack” at one of the greens so players can enjoy a fresh snack or refreshing beverage between holes. Serve classic concession favorites and event-themed snacks, such as:
- Soft pretzels with beer cheese
- Iced “tee”
- Club sandwiches
- Donut holes (or donut hole-in-ones!)
- Ice cream or fruit salad
When planning the event menu and additional entertainment, factor the ages of attendees into your decision-making process. For a child’s birthday party, finger foods, simple contents, and outdoor lawn games tend to be a big hit. However, at a corporate event or private party for adults, attendees would likely prefer prize-based course games, traveling cocktail carts, a live band, and other forms of age-appropriate entertainment.
5. Gather decorations and event décor
Look for ways to make the event extra special for the birthday person. Create themed golf balls, personalized beer bottle labels, and cutouts for a photobooth. Although, by nature, golf course birthday parties are a bit more casual, you can still elevate the event with budget-friendly decorations that look high-end by—
- Sprucing up flower arrangements by placing golf balls in the base or bowl
- DIYing golf-themed table runners with artificial turf strips
- Designing a punny guest welcome sign, like “Welcome to the par-TEE!”
6. Touch base with the venue to finalize plans
Confirm the final guest count, pass along dietary restrictions, and outline specialty menu requests. Run through the day-of schedule of events and confirm the timeline. Ask any last-minute questions and detail any outstanding payments due during or after the event.
7. Arrive early to double-check the details
The last part of the party-planning process is ensuring that all the details you’ve worked so hard to plan have been properly executed. Check in with the venue staff, walk all event spaces, ask any last-minute questions you may have, and ensure that arriving guests know where to check-in and then where to go.
8. Have fun and celebrate
You’ve done all the demanding work, so sit back and enjoy the day. Make yourself available to assist guests or delegate the responsibility beforehand if needed. Help direct attention towards the guest of honor when you can, and have a wonderful time!
Five golf course birthday party planning tips
If you’re planning a golf course birthday party for the first time, getting everything organized can feel overwhelming, but following these few simple tips can help streamline the process.
- Give yourself plenty of time to discuss and confirm party plans with the event venue before the big day.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Research a variety of venues and vendors, and ask for recommendations from local event professionals or party planners.
- Think about the weather. Speak with the venue about having a rain plan—or Plan B—in the case of inclement weather.
- Provide party favors for friends, family, or co-workers on the first tee to show your appreciation for attending the celebration. Personalized drink huggers (e.g., beer koozies), golf ball-shaped cups, and commemorative tee shirts make fantastic adult party favors.
- Incorporate fun, competitive miniature golf-themed games throughout the event. Set up a guessing game at the guest welcome table, inviting partygoers to guess the number of golf tees in a bowl; announce the winner at the end of the tournament or during the end-of-party celebration. Offer cash prizes, event tickets, or gift baskets for guests who land a hole-in-one.
Still have questions about planning a golf course birthday party?
If you still have questions about how to plan, prepare, or budget for a golf course birthday party, keep reading for additional helpful information.
1. How can I make a golf course birthday party fun?
Incorporate fun tee-side games, golf-themed snacks, prizes, and guest gifts. Adding challenges and mini-games alongside the actual hole-by-hole golf game can help ensure that all attendees—even the non-golfers—will enjoy the event.
2. What types of events do golf courses host?
Well-maintained golf courses and clubs are fantastic locations for private events, like birthday parties, retirement celebrations, anniversaries, graduations, bachelor/bachelorette events, sports banquets, and many more. Additionally, they are excellent venues for corporate events, such as fundraisers, employee appreciation events, and client meetings.
3. How much does a golf course birthday party cost?
The cost of a golf course birthday party can vary greatly based on a wide range of factors, including the facility, number of guests, and requested activities. At the Sports Center of Connecticut, children’s birthday packages for eight guests range from $199 to $179, which include access to additional events like bowling, laser tag, and arcade tokens. Luxe Golf Bays, a premiere entertainment facility in Franklin, Wisconsin, offers a range of event packages for intimate gatherings of 13-24, large groups of 25 or more, company outings, wedding events, VIP parties, and birthday parties for all ages (e.g., kids, teens, and adults). The in-demand destination requires a direct inquiry and a minimum party size of 30 attendees for an event-specific quote.
The time of year, local venue demand, and tournament schedules can also affect event costs. Research venues in your price range before contacting courses directly for more information.
Now you know how to plan a golf course birthday party!
Now that you know how to plan a memorable, fun, and festive golf course birthday party, you can host an epic event the attendees will never forget. However, did you know golf courses are fantastic places to host fundraisers and nonprofit events?
That’s right; from galas and silent auctions to star-studded tournaments, booking a golf club can help you raise money for the organization or charity of your choice. Up next, you’ll learn how to throw a high-quality golf tournament for charity, fundraising, or even as a social outing. Keep reading to learn more!