Want to host a golf tournament without all the fanfare? Hide the trimmings.
• Lose the signs. "We can design an event without the client's logo," says Roger Caldwell, president of Great Golf Events in Mission, Kan. Golf carts can display participant names without an imprint, or be logoed with an event name that has nothing to do with the host. Carts also can be marked by team name only, such as "17B" for the foursome that hits second at the 17th hole when a shotgun tournament begins. Just be sure the players are informed of their spots in plenty of time, so there's not a lot of scrambling before the tournament begins.
• Put a third party's name on all the contracts. "We'll build a client's event however they want it to look, and we'll pay for the golf course and the prizes," says Caldwell. "We become the bank."
• Protect the players. Sometimes, people want to support a charity or be part of a tournament, but they don't want to be a sponsor or don't want their names visible. "We've had that happen this year with the banks during charity events," says Caldwell. "They will sign up a foursome, but it's the Roger Caldwell foursome, not the bank's foursome."
• Give unmarked gifts. You can still give away sleeves of Titleist Pro V1 balls and Nike golf shirts, just don't put a logo on them. Do the same with trophies, simply engraving the tournament name and what the prize is for.
• Host a stealth tournament. An event like this can go on for a couple of days. Choose a format in advance (such as match play, stroke play, scramble or best ball) and scatter tee times over several days. It looks like people are merely going out to play some friendly rounds, but their scorecards are handed in and winners are calculated behind the scenes. "Let's say 40 people register for the tournament, so 10 groups of four are registered for a tee time on three different days," says Caldwell. "We would hold those cards, and on the fourth day we could do the scoring and determine the prizes."