Tournaments offer a way for women to have fun on the golf course. They don't have to be hard or only for good golfers. But tournaments introduce a touch of competition and encourage some women to concentrate a little more and play a little better. I have a friend who plays her best if offered 25-cents (a very small amount in US currency) if she can make a long putt.
At some clubs, every weekly "ladies day" has a competitive format. But at other clubs, an effort is made to reduce competition especially if playing in foursomes. (Of course, we all want to play our best... so it's really impossible for a person having a "bad-golf-day" not to feel badly. It's up to the team to remind that player that we all have our "bad-days".)
The most important feature of selecing tournament formats is that the golf professional who manages the women's golf schedule is on board with "fun" and is willing to be creative.
Here are some of the most common formats and a brief explanation: [Your golf professional will be very familiar with these]
Scramble [everyone plays a ball on every shot from tee to green] -- always picking the best ball to hit from and just counting the "good shots" for the score on the hole. Often it is required that everyone in the foursome (or could be a threesome or even a two-some) uses their drive a certain number of times. I have introduced 6-person scrambles for women's golf day. (The fastest tournament format!!) Three players on each team tee off -- the best ball selected -- all the way into the cup. It moves very fast and is a great men and women format when men are required to hit from a longer tee.)
SEE this article I arote about the scramble format: http://www.golfforher.com/how-to-play-a-scramble/
Step-aside Scramble: The person whose ball was selected [usually the best shot] "steps-aside" and does not hit that shot. Usually it's common practice for all the players to putt on the green.
Shamble: The player who hits the farthest drive, does not play the next shot -- only the other players in the foursome do and from then on it is played as a scramble.
"Life's a Beach" format (can be used in any Scramble also). Put a beach chair in every bunker. If a ball goes in a bunker, the player may just toss it out and count one stroke. (Yes, it's not a perfect score for posting your handicap, but if posting is required, use a "probable" score when you post and perhaps give your self two shots for hitting out of the bunker if playing from a sand bunker is not your favorite shot.)
Another team fun tournament is a "color war". A foursome can all be on the same team and their lowest team score is entered for the color-team. [If at the end of tournament, the total Blue team scores are better than the total Red team scores, all players on the Blue team would get some prize.] OR if playing in pairs but riding or walking in foursomes, two women can be on a blue team and two women on a red team. ALL of the red teams' best scores are matched against all of the blue teams' matched scores and the team with the lowest TOTAL score wins and all the teams playing for that color win. (That puts a little more compeitition into the round.) What's good about that color-war format as I've described it is that no single two-some is ever responsible for losing -- it's a team event.
And, one of the reasons I like to introduce a little "team" play into ladies days is that three women's golf professional tournaments played by LPGA Tour players are "team" formats: The Solheim Cup, the UL International Cup, and of course, the Olympics.