One Week a Year!

People always ask me if being the tournament director of the HP Byron Nelson Championship is my full-time job?  My typical answer is, “Yes, it’s really cool; I get paid and I only have to work one week a year!” Of course, that isn’t true. Staging a professional golf event is a full-time job, and we spend our entire year preparing for the annual rite of spring that all of you enjoy.

The 2013 Nelson ended when Sang-Moon Bae lifted the trophy, however we were already in the process of working on the 2014 edition.

In very simple terms if you broke the year’s work down into the four seasons it would look like this:

Summer: Recap, debrief, and pay bills

Fall: Budgeting, planning, and sales process begins

Winter: Sales continue and operational planning gets very busy (and tons of printing during this phase)

Spring:  Sales continue and implementation begins

Some of what happens behind the scenes throughout the year:

  • During the tournament we are already talking to sponsors about the next year.
  • It takes eight weeks to prepare the tournament site and four weeks to bring it all down.
  • There are more than 100 contracts to be negotiated each year.
  • There are more than 20 major vendors that work on-site, and staff works with each of them.
  • It takes approximately three months to pay all the bills related to the tournament.
  • There are over 100 volunteer committees and over 1400 volunteers. These positions must be recruited, scheduled and trained, and communication with them is ongoing.
  • We travel to approximately five other tournaments each year to recruit players to come play the Nelson.
  • Countless planning meetings with HP, the city of Irving, the Four Seasons, Salesmanship Club committees and the PGA TOUR occur.
  • More than 60 pieces of collateral related to the tournament are designed, printed, and disseminated.
  • Each year we receive approximately 75 requests from players seeking one of our eight sponsor’s exemptions (more on how we choose our sponsor’s exemptions in a future post).

All of this to say, that NO I don’t work only one week a year. It’s a year-round effort of many dedicated people to ensure that we continue to provide “something for everyone” and ensure that YOU have a great time at the Nelson.

If you want to know more about our “off-season work,” feel free to tweet @jddrago and I’ll fill you in.

Until next week,


Jon Drago @jddrago
Tournament Director
HP Byron Nelson Championship