A step by step guide to setting up a PDGA event
1. Pick a location
If you own a course or work at a course, this is an easy step. If not, it is imperative that you have the full blessing and cooperation of your chosen course’s owner/manager/parks department before proceeding. It may involve a fee to reserve the course, so be prepared to pay or negotiate it (if it is pre-paid, it can be recouped from entry fees).
2. Pick a date
When choosing a date, it is important to not only coordinate with your chosen course to find a date that works for them, but also to consult as many other schedules (other courses, tours, clubs, etc) as possible to avoid conflicts. Conflict is inevitable, but it is always better to find a free date than compete with another event for players. Obviously the sooner in the season you plan, the better your chances of getting your first choice of date.
3. Clear the date with PDGA state coordinator
Contact the state coordinator. Inform them of the date you intend to use. Wait for their blessing before proceeding any further. After step #2, it should be a simple, problem-free process for date approval.
4. Sanction the event with the PDGA
The sanctioning agreement is available at the PDGA website. Three things are required in order to complete the sanctioning process: a) current PDGA membership, b) being a certified official, and c) paying the sanctioning fee ($50 for C-tier, $75 for B-tier).
5. Set divisions and entry fees
Choose which divisions to offer (or not offer) at the tournament, and how much to charge for each division. Entry fees should include PDGA player fees, a greens fee (to cover any fee needed to reserve/use the course for the day), and any other incidental fees and costs that might exist. The remainder of the entry fee is money that goes toward payouts (prizes and/or player packs).
6. Create an informational flyer with registration info
Include the what, where, when, why, and how much, as well as any and all ways to contact you, the TD, with any questions, concerns, and registrations. Post it at the course, post it online, post it anywhere that is a good place to get the word out.
Alternatively, you can set up an informational web page/site that includes all the info the flyer contains and more. This could be accomplished as simply as creating a public Facebook event.
7. Set up online registration
Online registration has become a must for accepting registrations. Simplest way to set up online registration is to use an existing provider. DiscGolfScene.com is owned by the PDGA and is offered automatically with sanctioning (link in your confirmation email). All that is needed is a Paypal account to accept payments. If you don’t have a Paypal account and/or don’t want to create one, another good option is DiscGolfUnited.com which will process all payments and send a check (or multiple checks) to you after registration ends.
8. Add the tournament to published event schedules
All those schedules you checked verifying the best date to run the tournament…get your tournament listed on as many of those schedules as you can. It serves two purposes: a) spreads the word about the tournament, and b) it should minimize having other tournaments scheduled in conflict with yours.
9. Promote Promote PROMOTE
Get the word out as much as you can. Beyond posting the event on schedules and calendars and posting flyers, talk the tournament up. Mention it if you play a league or another tournament or just a casual round. Post it on internet forums/groups. Facebook it. Tweet it. Hashtag it. Spread the word. The more people hear and read about the event, the more people will play in it.