What's in a Name?

When choosing a celebrity pro for your event, bigger is not always better

So, it's up to you to find a professional golfer for your company golf outing. At first, choosing from all the possible names can seem intimidating. The following tips will help to guide you along the way.

Realize that Tiger Woods doesn't do golf outings

Tiger has huge demands on his time from tournaments, sponsors, his foundation, and working on his own game. He has told his manager that he simply will not do any special events.

Remember: The best-known players aren't always the best entertainers

Many companies pay $75,000 for last year's Ryder Cup hero, and he ends up being a huge disappointment. Many PGA Tour players are reluctant to give up their Mondays off to participate in a corporate event. A great alternative is an LPGA player or Senior PGA Tour player. You will find that they enjoy interacting with your customers and, more importantly, that your customers enjoy them.

Ask for references

Most management companies will suggest pros based on your needs. After you have narrowed the list to one or two players, ask for references from people in similar positions to yours.

Move your event to a Monday

Save yourself a headache by scheduling your event on a Monday. Most tour pros play their tournament practice rounds on Tuesday, the Pro-Am on Wednesday, and the actual tournament Thursday through Sunday.

Maximize attendees' time with the pro

Don't leave too many gaps in the event schedule, which will make the pro's day longer than necessary. Try scheduling a clinic, immediately followed by lunch, then golf followed by your awards reception.

Pat Leahy is an account executive in the Golf Division at IMG, the world's largest sports management company, which is based in Cleveland. IMG's list of clients includes Tiger Woods, Joe Montana, Derek Jeter, Serena and Venus Williams, and Heidi Klum. Contact Pat at (216) 436-3248, or e-mail him at [email protected] [2].