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Promotional Golf Items for Outings: Buying Tips

Updated on November 16, 2014
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Heidi Thorne is a promotional products expert and author of SWAG: How to Choose and Use Promotional Products for Marketing Your Business.

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Hosting or sponsoring a golf outing? You've got a lot of choices to get your brand seen on the green with promotional products. Read on to discover the most popular promotional golf items, along with buying tips.

Promotional Golf Ball Buying Tips

How to Figure Quantity of Logo Golf Balls to Order

Logo Golf Balls

Logo golf balls are a more expensive, but much appreciated, golf promotion. But care must be taken when selecting the right one for an outing. It begins with selecting a ball that's right for the level of golfers attending:

  • Pro and skilled amateur golfers want the top brands, such as Titleist, Callaway and TaylorMade. Many very competitive golfers will also bring their own balls.
  • Inexperienced and less skilled golfers don't often care about brands... they're often just glad they got some free balls to replace those that got lost in water hazards and sand traps! Low-priced branded or even generic, non-branded balls might be acceptable for these crowds.
  • If this is a first-time outing and golf skill level is not known, select a mid-range price, but recognized brand name ball. Some good brands to consider would be Pinnacle (which is made by Titleist), Nike or lower-priced models in the top brand lines.

Similar to tees, balls could end up somewhere on the golf course and not in golfers homes or offices after the outing, reducing their advertising value. So carefully evaluate whether it's worth the investment.

Packaging and Distribution

Though generic no-name balls can often be offered individually, typically golfers are given a sleeve (small, vertically oriented box) of three balls for an outing. Branded golf balls are typically packaged in these sleeve boxes when you receive your imprinted order. The sleeves are usually distributed to golfers prior to teeing off, at check-in or welcome area.

Peak Season Ordering Tips

While many golf ball suppliers are getting very good at turning around orders, during peak golf season of May through September, expect to wait a bit longer to receive your imprinted golf ball order. Printed golf balls are printed at the golf ball factory, not your promotional product distributor. Plan accordingly!

Tees come in two sizes: 3-1/4 inches (top) and standard 2-3/4 inches (bottom).
Tees come in two sizes: 3-1/4 inches (top) and standard 2-3/4 inches (bottom). | Source
Imprinting in the cup portion of a tee is possible, but due to the small size, minimal text and graphics are required for best results.
Imprinting in the cup portion of a tee is possible, but due to the small size, minimal text and graphics are required for best results. | Source
Golf ball markers generally come in two sizes, quarter (left) and dime (right), following golfers' practice of using coins to mark.
Golf ball markers generally come in two sizes, quarter (left) and dime (right), following golfers' practice of using coins to mark. | Source

Custom Golf Tees, Ball Markers and Divot Fixers

Custom printed golf tees, ball markers and divot fixers can be a very inexpensive promotion. However, like golf balls, consider that golfers will likely use them only while at the outing and may bring very few leftovers home with them, thus limiting advertising exposure. Of the three products, divot fixers have the greatest chance of being retained after the event.

Tees and markers are commonly made of wood or plastic materials. Due to environmental concerns, biodegradable plastic choices are now offered. Some markers can also be made of metals for extended use. Divot fixers, with a fork-like tool to repair greens, are typically either sturdy plastic or metal.

Tees typically come in 2-3/4 (standard) and 3-1/4 inch lengths. Markers come in either dime or quarter size (U.S. currency), following the golfer practice of placing a coin to mark ball placement. Divot fixers are usually only a few inches in length and a couple inches wide, but there is no specific standard size.

The imprint areas on these items are very small, so simplify your artwork as much as possible and reduce amount of text. Multiple color printing may not be available, so interpret your design into black and white (no grays) vector art (usually an Encapsulated Postscript, .eps, file). To see how an imprint will look, print out proposed artwork and text at 100 percent size without scaling.

For tees:

  • Text only imprints are perfect for the shaft of the tee since printing area height can be as small as 1/4 to 1/2 inch and width as small as 1 to 1-1/2 inches.
  • Logos inside cup of tee can be as small as 3/8 inch or less. Reduce detail to absolute minimum for best readability.

For markers:

  • Imprint area on dime-sized markers is around 5/8 inch.
  • Imprint area on quarter-sized markers is around 7/8 inch.

For divot fixers:

  • Imprint area varies depending on tool's design, but typically range from 1/2 to 1 inch in width and height.

Though an option, including a grommet and hook (clip) to an imprinted golf towel increases the chance of golfers attaching to golf bags and spreading your brand around the course.
Though an option, including a grommet and hook (clip) to an imprinted golf towel increases the chance of golfers attaching to golf bags and spreading your brand around the course. | Source

Custom Golf Accessories

In addition to commonly used golf balls, tees, markers, and divot fixers, there are many other golf accessories that would be welcome golfer gifts. Golf accessories have a much greater chance of being retained after the outing for increased advertising exposure.

  • Golf Tools. Brushes for cleaning shoes, tools for cleats and other convenience gadgets.
  • Valuables Pouches or Bags. Small drawstring or zippered bags to hold tees, coins, markers and other small items, often featuring a clip to attach to golf bags.
  • Golf Towels. A perennially popular choice. May be made of either standard terry cloth or plush velour; prices increase as the weight and plushness of the velour increases. Can be imprinted or embroidered, with embroidery suggested for more plush velour towels for best readability. Though optional, attaching a grommet eyelet hole and clip to attach the towel to a golf bag is highly recommended.
  • Beverage Containers. Many outings provide beverage service throughout the course, but some golfers may wish to bring their own beverages. Providing water bottles or bottle holders can be appreciated, especially those that clip to golf bags.
  • Beverage Coolers. Can coolers, a popular item for many years, are less preferred today as bottled water and non-soda drinks have increased consumption. So choosing bottle-sized coolers, for either water or beer, is a more suitable choice these days. Insulated cooler bags which can hold a six-pack or other drinks, as well as cooler jugs that fit in a golf cart, are other options.
  • Personal Care and Convenience Items. Promotional hand sanitizers, first aid kits, sunscreens and breath mints come in handy during a long day outdoors.

Golf hats for sun protection can provide long term advertising exposure both on and off the course.
Golf hats for sun protection can provide long term advertising exposure both on and off the course. | Source

Hats, Visors, Golf Umbrellas and Sun Protection

Since golf is typically played during the sunny spring, summer and early fall months, as well as in resort destinations year round, promotional hats and visors can provide protection from the sun. Usually lighter weight cottons and cotton blended fabrics are suitable for warmer weather, with heavier versions for fall and early spring outings. Embroidered or silkscreened ink imprinting can be used to decorate, with ink imprinting being the less expensive choice.

Golf umbrellas can help protect from both sun and rain. They are typically larger than a standard rain umbrella, with an arc of around 60 inches or more compared to around 36 to 48 inches for rain use versions. While a more expensive promotional item, it is likely one that will be kept and used, possibly even for years.

While these items can help protect golfers from the sun, sunscreens can protect bare arms, necks and faces. Bottles that clip to golf bags are especially handy and budget-friendly.

2 Things to Never Give Away at Golf Outings

Ironically, some items that are must-haves for golfers are some that are not effective or cost effective choices for golf giveaways at outings. These include:

  • Polo (Golf) Shirts, Windshirts or Jackets. When golfers arrive at the course for an outing, they are already dressed for the occasion. So there is no need to provide shirts, windshirts or jackets for your attendees. Chances are they are wearing their own logo apparel to promote their own companies while they golf! On top of that, the sizing issues can be a nightmare if you don't know everyone's size in advance. However, planning to provide matching shirts or jackets for your own staffers who will be working at the event is a good idea that will promote your company and brand. Likewise, providing golf wearables for your sales team to wear when attending other outings is also recommended to promote your brand with potential clients.
  • Golf Equipment. Clubs, bags, carts, golf gloves and other equipment are very personal choices for most golfers. But these do make good prizes! Try to get sponsors to donate these items to help defray outing costs.

Disclaimer: Any examples used are for illustrative purposes only and do not suggest affiliation or endorsement. The author/publisher has used best efforts in preparation of this article. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered or allowed and all parties disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for your particular purpose. The advice, strategies and recommendations presented herein may not be suitable for you, your situation or business. Consult with a professional adviser where and when appropriate. The author/publisher shall not be liable for any loss of profit or any other damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. So by reading and using this information, you accept this risk.

© 2013 Heidi Thorne

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    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      My hubby works for a huge company and they are always looking for things to give their clients. I will pass this on to him.

    • heidithorne profile image
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      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      Aw, thanks, Sheri! Promo, especially for golf outings, can eat up a budget fast. Hope he finds the tips helpful. Cheers!

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