LOGIN  |  JOIN  |  INFO
Giving Thanks to Tournament Directors like Ed Toledano

by Asher Wildman

ATLANTA, Georgia -- Ever wonder what it is that tournament directors actually do, aside from being the main voice on the walkie-talkie? As Edward Toledano, tournament director for the Dogwood Invitational, can tell you, the job is anything but boring.

Toledano has been a member of Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta since 1993 and has volunteered for the tournament since 2000, when he was then the sponsorship director. Since then, he has helped continue to build the Dogwood Invitational into an elite amateur tournament that players hope to add to their schedules.

Here are six things you might not have known about a tournament director’s job, as told by Toledano.

1. It’s a big checklist. We begin the tournament planning in July, when we do a full debrief by all committee heads, and list ways in which we can improve and how we execute. We discuss everything from locations of volunteers on course spotting to the type of food that is served. We also review with the club staff all the aspects of service and running of events outside the tournament proper (Am-Am, practice round and sponsors event, junior clinic and long drive, members-players long drive on Friday night and the “Between the Tees” party that follows).

2. We want repeat customers/players. We review the field, how the course was set up and how the scoring went - all this in an effort to improve and smooth out the next year. Our biggest focus is to run a fun tournament that allows players to enjoy the elite competition on the course, while ... enjoying the Southern hospitality that we have been known for. It is my belief that if we run a top-notch event that provides for the enjoyment and camaraderie to prevail, the competition of the best amateurs will shine, and bring them back to us year after year.

3. Preparation is key. We go into full-bore tournament prep in January, refining our Web site and reviewing the amateur player landscape. Our sponsorship sales begin in February and continue until mid-June. Volunteer registration kicks off in May, as does our media push for coverage. Golf course preparation begins in April. Invitations are sent to players in mid-March based upon rankings, major events won, prior play in the Dogwood and amateur record.

4. Odds and ends. We offer housing at our members’ homes for all players, and have nearly 50 of the 84 players accept. We have a tournament hotel as well. Our members become lifelong friends with many of the players (i.e., Ray Beaufils, now a pro on the Nationwide Tour is playing out of Druid Hills and stays with the family that housed him for the three years he played in the Dogwood). We also provide breakfast, lunch and two dinners for players during the week, have a junior exhibition clinic for our junior golfers where players put on an exhibition, host a junior long- drive event and have a members/players long drive and “cut” party (between the tees).

5. We like to help. Two other very important things (and perhaps the most unique): We are a charitable foundation and raise funds to support Atlanta Junior Golf and the Wayne Reynolds Scholarship Foundation. Atlanta Junior Golf holds over 100 tournaments in Atlanta from May until November for 1,200 junior golfers ages 9- 16. The Reynolds Foundation provides college scholarships to junior golfers from the state of Georgia. Twenty-four recipients of the $12,000, four- year scholarship have been selected since 1994.

6. Lots of thank yous. I get to work with a great committee. I have chair people of invitations, media, player housing, qualifying, food and beverage, officials, entertainment and volunteers, tremendous staff support at Druid Hills, and a very supporting membership. It’s that collaborative team effort that makes our event great.

ABOUT THE The Dogwood Invitational

The first Dogwood Invitational, held in April 1941, validated Druid Hills Golf Club as a challenging venue for amateur golf tournaments. The Club has hosted eight Georgia State Amateur Championships over the years, and the tournament continues as a staple on the major amateur golf circuit. The Dogwood was discontinued in 1973 and did not return until 1994 when a new tournament format was introduced. The new format included entrance into the tournament by invitation only and added an 18-hole qualifier for five to eight open spots prior to the tournament start. A Senior Division was added in 2005.Participation in The Dogwood Invitational is by invitation from the Dogwood Tournament Committee. The tournament is 72 holes of stroke play with a 54 hole cut to low 40 and ties for final round. Players are required to walk during tournament play and may carry their golf bag themselves or take a caddie. 8-spot Qualifier is held Monday of tournament week, prior to the event.

View Complete Tournament Information

Comments
Latest in 

Amateurgolf.com, Inc.
6965 El Camino Real 105-631
Carlsbad, CA 92011