by Mel Lewis
My time in the golf industry goes all the way back to 1950. The last 14 years before I retired were spent as the golf tournament director at Braemar Country Club in Tarzana, California. They where among the most rewarding years I spent as a PGA golf professional. The reason being, my main focus was helping nonprofits and charities including churches, schools and booster clubs plan and run one-day charity fundraiser golf tournaments.
It was such a pleasure to meet and work with so many wonderful people, dedicated to helping others by raising funds for their causes. Along with Braemar’s private event director, over the years I was involved in hundreds of pre-tournament meetings, helping and showing charities how to plan their fundraisers. Realizing that many of these people where not even golfers and had little knowledge of what was required to fundraise through golf and thinking about those already holding an event but wanting to make it better, I began running two teaching seminars a year hosted by Braemar. These seminars were named “Golf Tournaments 101” and became so popular and successful that it was obvious writing a book on the subject was something I needed to do. And so the two year journey of writing my book “Golf Tournaments 101” began. It was exciting to start, knowing the book would be rather unique as very little has been published in book form on this subject.
While writing “Golf Tournaments 101” my goal was to lay out all the information step by step in an easy to read and understandable way. There was very little research needed, everything I wanted to get onto paper was already the knowledge I had built up over the years. The experience from the hundreds of pre-tournament meetings held with the charities’ tournament coordinators and then being with them every step of the way on tournament day needed to be catalogued. Having never written a book before it didn’t take long for me to have a new found respect for authors. There seemed to be no end to the number of page rewrites, correcting English, etc. Sorting information within a chapter into the correct order was critical. Much of that final work was done in a team effort with my good friend and the book’s editor Lynne LaFond DeLuca, a nationally recognized expert in the golf management industry and private event planning fields. Finally nineteen chapters came together, each one covering an aspect of planning and running a fundraiser tournament. For example in chapter two I wrote about forming a tournament committee and laying out the sub-committees needed to cover tasks like signing up players, social media marketing and building a team of volunteers to work (and have fun) on tournament day. A whole chapter was written on how to run a “Golf Marathon”. It lays out how with as few as twenty players and requiring less time and planning than a larger tournament, many thousands of dollars could be raised with this kind of one-day event.
Another task in writing my book was to put together a CD that includes over 30 files to make the planning and running of a tournament much easier. These were files I had used in many tournaments and included:
- Player entry forms
- Tournament pairing-team lists
- Income projections
- Rule sheets and much more.
I also put together a PowerPoint presentation to show committee members at the first tournament meeting. It covers every chapter, giving everyone a broad outline of everything needed to be achieved throughout the planning stages and throughout tournament day.
To add a little color to this text/guide book I included an introduction about my family’s history that spans five generations in golf. Our most famous family member is my great great uncle Jamie Anderson, three times winner of the British “Open Championship” in 1877-78-79.
The finished product printed in a beautiful, colorful and professional way by Infinity Publishing is something I am very proud of and now seems like it was worth all the effort.
Overall the experience was more than I had anticipated, but once I got myself organized it all started to come together, one chapter at at time. If you're an author who is struggling with getting through completing your book, just keep your eye on the ball and it will work itself out.
Best of luck to you!
What was your writing experience like? Share with us in the comments section below.