For your eyes only
Our club’s golf leagues hold annual mystery events, meaning any theme we like. I volunteered a few years ago and thought a REAL mystery would be perfect. Mystery was on my mind, because I’d written two novels, Rim To Rim-Death in the Grand Canyon and Wolf Pack – Mystery on Isle Royale. (Now I’m up to four novels.) The Clue game connection came later as flash of inspiration. I’ve hosted this theme twice and both events were big hits.
Several years ago I posted pictures and information about this Clue Mystery Event on Pinterest and other places. Many people have asked for advice on running their own event with the Clue theme and I emailed each of them back. So, I’m now putting that information on my blog, so anyone can pick it up. The following are my wrap-up notes from the last time I organized the event.
Committee Meeting Notes –
These are some of the committee notes along with suggestions of how I’d do it again.
The title of the event will be Partners in Crime. We will use the Clue game as our theme and for ideas for decorations and game. The golf event will be a four-person scramble in which the team with lowest net score wins.
We cap the event at 120 (30 foursomes) to make the game workable. The Clue game works best on a nine hole league, but could be doubled for 18. If you have an 18 hole league, you could put clues only on every other hole.
Golfers will be asked to dress as their favorite Clue character or as detectives or simply in black and red. Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock, Miss Scarlett, Mrs. White, Professor Plum, Mr. Green.
Budget: Include decorations, prizes, supplies, favors, goodie bags for 120 golfers. The largest expenditure typically is the individual table favors and prizes.
Food and table set up: Work the theme into the menu, perhaps using the character names for menu items: ie: Mr. Green’s Salad. Buffets work with cute mystery names on cards for each type of food.
Find out what linens are available from the club, trying to keep with the red/black on white idea, possibly with bits of purple.
Decorations: Balloons or other creative, inexpensive things. We found on-line a bloody handprint gauzy table covering. Red and black helium balloons on each table. I used a large black lace table cloth and runners for a side prize table. Make black paper footprints to lead through the lobby to the dining room.
Make a Prisoner Line Up background on foam poster board (with heights indicated) for mug shots to be taken with a prisoner’s number card. Take pictures outside before golf, and after golf as players enter dining room.
Check garage sales for Clue games, candlesticks, hand cuffs, or other Clue weapons (plastic knives, guns, noose) to place on table and around the room. Big fuzzy dice?
I made an outline of my husband’s body on black fabric and cut it 1-2” wide all around. It wasn’t practical for outside in the wind, so we used it for a mock crime scene indoors. We roped off the crime scene and body with crime scene tape and added plastic blood splatter and numbered evidence markers.
Additional blood splatters and bloody hand prints were put up around the room, on tables, and in the bathroom. I collected mystery author’s bookmarks (used to market their novels) and spread them liberally on each table.
We bought cheap plastic handcuffs, toy badges, and fake nose/eyeglass disguise for each table.
For centerpieces, we took a photo of a Clue game board and brought it to an office supply place which had a large blueprint printer and made copies the same size as a real game board. The store may also be able to copy directly from a board. The copies were then laminated. A bit pricey, but worth it.
Use the cards from old Clue games. To make cards specific to your event…..(A picture of your dining room, a nine-iron) create new cards from card stock (Print the Clue logo on paper for the back) or use other Clue cards and paste new pictures (such as your golf pro’s photo) over the old. In the end, have 4 suspects, 4 weapons, and 4 crime scene sites.
Before the event:
From your groups of suspects, weapons, and locations, draw one card from each category. Put those three cards into a sealed envelope. These are the answers to the mystery. Keep them secret.
All the other clue cards will be put into nine Clue envelopes (one per envelop).
On the golf course, clip a Clue envelope to each pin pole/flag. Tie them on or use heavy clamp paper clips. Use a sturdy envelope in case of dampness. I used heavy 6×9.
Ask the grounds keeper to draw a chalk outline of a dead body around the hole on one par 3. I believe they used some sort of wash-away paint. We got resistance about this from our pro, but the grounds crew said no problem.
Give each foursome information (put in carts): The scramble rules; the guidelines for playing the Clue game, and a Detective’s Notepad marked Squad 1, 2 etc (according to hole assignments in a Shotgun start). The Notepad is about 3×5, and is simply a folded black paper with a copied Clue card on the outside. Inside, paste a typed list of 4 suspects, 4 weapons, and 4 crime scene sites. Next to each, type a line on which players will place a checkmark or X. Make one notebook for each foursome you have.
Playing Golf: Assign foursomes so that each team has 2 higher and 2 lower handicap golfers. Keep it fair and even. Play a scramble. If a team’s score for the hole is PAR or better, they are allowed to look in the envelope attached to the pin for a clue card. (replace clue for the next foursome.)
For example, if the clue card is Colonel Mustard, put an X next to his name in the team notebook. Same for a weapon and a crime scene location. If you were to par every hole and get every clue, all but 1 of the suspects will be Xed; all but 1 of the weapons; all but one of the locations. Those with NO X are the answers to the entire game.
Since a foursome is unlikely to gets all pars, no one will have all the clues.
There will also be prizes for:
Closest to the Body (chalk outline) on a par 3 hole. – Ask grounds crew to use chalk to draw a body around the hole.
Closest to the Line of Evidence – The usual line down the fairway.
We made putting difficult on one hole by having them putt with the lead pipe. A plastic sword and plastic billy club are too light.
I’d like to locate a mannequin arm to bury in a sand trap with a note telling a golfer who hit into that sand that they may deduct one point from their team’s net score.
Back at lunch, teams will hand in their notebooks after circling who they think the murderer is, the scene of the crime, and what weapon was used. If they didn’t get all the clues, they simply guess.
Or you could let them keep the notebooks, ask them to circle their guesses, and ask for volunteers to offer the three solutions.
Or, for a game with more participation, you could have everyone stand up and ask them to circle their guesses. Then open the secret solution envelope and ask, “Who thinks the murderer is Professor Plum?” “Sorry, that’s wrong. Please sit down.” (go through the names of suspects, leaving the real murderer for last.) Then do the same for crime scene location and then for weapons. Whoever is still standing, should have all three of the right answers circled. Give each a prize or draw names to find one winning foursome.
Prizes: I donated copies of my mystery books and got donations from other authors. Supplement with sleeve of balls, gift cards, etc.
Similar to birthday bags … Evidence Bags (brown paper bags marked “evidence”, tied with red ribbon). Either to hold table favors or to hold door prizes.
Favors: Clue possibilities: key ring, mini-flashlights, ball markers and golf balls printed with “Clue”, or “Get a Clue” or “Clue into (club name).”
I made black paper sleeves in a triangle just big enough and long enough to hold 3 Dove chocolate pieces in their red wrappers. I printed out “Death By Chocolate” on white with a red background and labeled each sleeve.
Participants: Committee members will not play golf or the Clue game, but will set up and decorate during play. We dressed as detectives or Clue characters.
Several husbands were volunteered to help with measuring closest to the body. Two for putting with a pipe’. They may help with bags while dressed as policemen or detectives. Badges are easy to buy.
Assign a photographer to take mug shots before and after play. Maybe put the Prisoner Line up background outside the pro shop before golf and move it in afterwards.
Invite the pros to join us for lunch. One should be the murder victim and one a suspect. Our league president was Miss Scarlet, one of the suspects. Include their real names in the Detective note book. ie: Miss Scarlet (Sally Smith) and Professor Plum (Bob West).
Create the mystery supplies early, and then enjoy the silliness. Your golf friends will get a big kick out this new twist on an old game.