June 13, 2017

Tuesday Tip: Community Plays an Important Role in Planning a Successful Championship

Mike Antolini has significant experience planning and executing PGA TOUR tournaments as the VP of Championships for TGR Live. Prior to TGR Live, Mike oversaw our national golf championship as the Manager of the 2008 U.S. Open. In his experience leading this world renowned championship, he has taken away many lessons that can be applied daily, including the necessity and impact of strong support from the local community.

“Planning the U.S. Open requires the buy in and support of so many. When you peel back the layers, you are really dependent on a community, a volunteer force, media members, and partners that really care about what you are doing,” says Antolini. Whether it’s a USGA event or a PGA TOUR event, it is important to immerse yourself into the region and the community, in order to really make a difference. Antolini’s example comes from his direct experience in planning the 2008 U.S. Open, and how the people of San Diego made a difference in the set up and execution of the event. “It’s never lost on me how the city of San Diego landed the 2008 U.S. Open, starting with a vision and ultimately executing one of golf’s greatest events ever.” In order for this to happen, community members and volunteers must come together to set the stage and establish the event.

No matter the size of your event, it takes strong support from multiple key stakeholders and thousands of community members to make the event successful. For TGR Live to put on a successful PGA TOUR event, whether it is in Potomac, Maryland or Los Angeles, California, the staff relies heavily on community engagement. To recruit the thousands of volunteers needed, it is important to establish strong relationships with the leaders of local country clubs and charitable organizations. These leaders also take the reins on many important aspects of tournament planning including marshalling a hole, hospitality services, media relations, social media and box office management.

To make any community event special, Antolini notes it is important to understand these events ultimately are designed to serve the community in which they are held. “The more people can associate themselves, their time, and their efforts with our tournaments, the more successful our events are going to be, in the impact we are going to be able to make.” From thousands of volunteers to local businesses setting up food and beverage tents, it’s important to create a community driven event in any region.