With the nights getting lighter and golf clubs across the country preparing for the start of the season and those qualifying competitions we asked Golf Monthly's Jezz Ellwood for his thoughts on what are the best golf prizes?
You would hope that prizes would never be the core reason for any handicap golfer to play the game, and it goes without saying that nobody likes a pothunter among the club ranks. But assuming that our handicaps are fair, who among us doesn’t countenance at least the thought that if we play a decent round of golf, we might just be in with a chance of a winning something?
But what sort of prize? When it comes to the prize table at golf days and club events, obviously budget comes into it, and golf prizes will vary in value and prestige according to venue and the importance of the occasion. But having played the game for more years than I care to remember, it’s become fairly obvious, to me at least, what the “dos and don’ts” are, even for someone who is now an all-too-rare visitor to the golf day prize table.
A little tipple
Unless it's the Abstinence Society Golf Day, you can’t go wrong with an alcoholic beverage of some sort. Champagne is the pinnacle, but who among us would be disappointed to walk off with a couple of bottles of nice wine, or a crate of beer on a lads’ weekend?
No golfer is ever going to spurn some nice gleaming white golf balls as golf prizes, but tailor the brand to the quality of the field. A Category 1 golfer playing in a premier event is not going to appreciate anything less than the tour-calibre ball he almost certainly plays.
These are almost always good, whether for the local pro shop, a major High Street retailer, a fourball somewhere nice, or perhaps even an overnight stay or weekend break on bigger golf days.
If you’re playing at a well-regarded course, nice logo’d mementoes always go down well as bespoke golf prizes, whether something as inexpensive as a classy ballmarker or as premium-priced as a top-of-the-range waterproof jacket. Golfers like logos!
Something from the pro shop
What golfer couldn’t find at least something they either like or need in a shop devoted to their passion… as long as the pro shop stays open long enough for any swaps after the prize-giving, especially on Open Days when the winners could potentially live many miles away.
So what about the big days, when trophies and something closer to The R&A’s upper limits for amateur golf prizes are up for grabs? Big events will often have a magnificent trophy donated by some kindly benefactor decades ago, but although you’ll get your name engraved on it, the most you’ll get to keep it for is a year (barring a successful defence) and often you won’t even be allowed to take it off the premises once the obligatory photos have been taken.
So a big win also deserves a fittingly nice trophy or keepsake of some kind as a permanent reminder of your golfing prowess, and I don’t mean a nasty plastic golfer mounted on an MDF plinth with a skewiff engraved plaque – something surely destined for that box tucked away farthest from the loft hatch in most households.
This could be where Etiqus comes into the equation. One of its 72 stylish and diverse timepieces would, of course, make an excellent and desirable golfer’s prize in itself, but a watch is also one of those things that can be suitably engraved with a permanent reminder that you were once a player!
One company to see the desirability of Etiqus golf timepieces as fitting golf prizes for a major club golf achievement is MyGolfRanking. This free rankings service offers club golfers the chance to pit themselves against others in their club, county or even nation, relying on the same mathematical brainpower behind the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
MyGolfRanking has teamed up with Etiqus to offer a watch as the prize in each of its recently announced Home Nations Ranking Competitions. Provided they have signed up to MyGolfRanking’s individual MGR Experience, the man or woman who tops the rankings for Welsh, Irish, English and Scottish clubs on each nation’s Patron Saint’s Day will walk off with an Etiqus watch of his or her own. A fitting prize for a fine achievement.
Finally ones to avoid…
Just a few tips on things to avoid, as winning a prize only to discover it’s not really a prize in your eyes can be just a little disappointing! Items ‘looked down on’ by the wider golfing fraternity for various reasons should be avoided at all costs.
Gary Player Golf Ball Monogrammer, anyone? No thanks, and that goes for putt returners, black golf gloves, novelty golf balls, cheap acrylic golf jumpers and any other staples of the non-golfer’s Christmas list for golfers, to which almost all of us have fallen foul over the years!
I wish you well for the coming season and trust that when it proves to be 'your day' you are suitably rewarded with something you'll truly appreciate as your golf prize.
Contributing Editor, Golf Monthly
To find out more about MyGolfRanking and the golf prizes from ETIQUS on offer in its Home Nations Ranking Competitions, visit MyGolfRanking.net
To enquire about ETIQUS Prize Packs including details and costs for your special event please email firstname.lastname@example.org