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i think the local driving range lost my business

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Okay is this normal business practices for a driving range? Remember I am pretty new to golf. Showed up at my local range today about 1 p.m. close to my home on the way to the course to hit a small bucket and loosen up before I played. This is a pretty narrow range and kind of rinky dink compared to most ranges but it is convenient and I have been there many times over the past few months. The owner is out on the range picking up balls manually and I wait for him to come up to the building. He gets there and asks me if I'm a good golfer to which I respond no far from it and laughingly tell him that "I have a lot of fun playing though". I think the guy is just trying to make conversation or offer to sell me lessons or something. But no, he asked this for a reason. He then asks me to walk up to the bays/mats (whatever you call them) with him, and tells me he is getting ready to mow the right side of the range and that I should make sure that under no circumstances any balls travel right of some imaginary line he had conjured up. As I mentioned before this is a pretty narrow range and even hitting from the farthest mat to the left, if my ball sliced right say an estimated 30 or 40 yards I would risk violating his "no fly zone". So I hit about half a small bucket with my 7-9 irons, not even really fully swinging in fear of a mishit. The whole point of me going was to make sure I got my driver dialed in before playing so I didn't slice badly on the course during my game. I was so irritated by the whole thing I just left the half bucket laying and left. Is this normal practice at 1 p.m. while a range is open for business? Personally if it was my business I would try to get mowing done either VERY early or VERY late at dusk after I closed the range.
post #2 of 25
Sounds very strange to me. Nothing like any range I've been to but this might be common practice for smaller, but I doubt that.

I'd go back and maybe you won't encounter the same situation again but if you do just ask the dude what's going on.
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpackguy View Post

Okay is this normal business practices for a driving range? Remember I am pretty new to golf. Showed up at my local range today about 1 p.m. close to my home on the way to the course to hit a small bucket and loosen up before I played. This is a pretty narrow range and kind of rinky dink compared to most ranges but it is convenient and I have been there many times over the past few months. The owner is out on the range picking up balls manually and I wait for him to come up to the building. He gets there and asks me if I'm a good golfer to which I respond no far from it and laughingly tell him that "I have a lot of fun playing though". I think the guy is just trying to make conversation or offer to sell me lessons or something. But no, he asked this for a reason. He then asks me to walk up to the bays/mats (whatever you call them) with him, and tells me he is getting ready to mow the right side of the range and that I should make sure that under no circumstances any balls travel right of some imaginary line he had conjured up. As I mentioned before this is a pretty narrow range and even hitting from the farthest mat to the left, if my ball sliced right say an estimated 30 or 40 yards I would risk violating his "no fly zone". So I hit about half a small bucket with my 7-9 irons, not even really fully swinging in fear of a mishit. The whole point of me going was to make sure I got my driver dialed in before playing so I didn't slice badly on the course during my game. I was so irritated by the whole thing I just left the half bucket laying and left. Is this normal practice at 1 p.m. while a range is open for business? Personally if it was my business I would try to get mowing done either VERY early or VERY late at dusk after I closed the range.

We had a similar range here. A very small range with crappy balls, crappy layout, incorrect yardages, cheap mats, etc. etc. Needless to say, they operated in this type of hack-fashion and they closed just this year before golf season started. They're now a dedicated part of the "protected marshlands". 

http://www.yelp.com/biz/fennway-golf-range-medina

post #4 of 25

Maybe he doesn't have a cage on his mower and didn't want to get hit... and his ball picker-upper (highly technical term) is broken/nonexistant...

 

Give it another shot and see if you get the same treatment... if so, vote with your feet and $$ and go elsewhere... just my opinion

post #5 of 25

Middle of the day, middle of the week on a small driving range. Maybe it was the best time he had to do the mowing?

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop View Post
 

Middle of the day, middle of the week on a small driving range. Maybe it was the best time he had to do the mowing?

That's still not really an excuse. If you're a dedicated business owner, you're not going to do anything that would impede on your customers' experiences. A restaurant owner is not going to ask you to sit outside because 1 PM is the best time that he has to paint inside. I'm exaggerating of course, but it's the same principle. Mow early and you're all set, period. If you didn't have time, then the mowing waits a day or you buy proper equipment to do it (a cage) rather than a push mower.

post #7 of 25

I've never seen anyone mow a range in the middle of the day or pick up golf balls manually. Under these circumstances, they should have never sold you the balls to begin with. I don't care how good a golfer you might be. I wouldn't take a romp down range unprotected. This guy is asking for trouble.

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
 

That's still not really an excuse. If you're a dedicated business owner, you're not going to do anything that would impede on your customers' experiences. A restaurant owner is not going to ask you to sit outside because 1 PM is the best time that he has to paint inside. I'm exaggerating of course, but it's the same principle. Mow early and you're all set, period. If you didn't have time, then the mowing waits a day or you buy proper equipment to do it (a cage) rather than a push mower.

I'd say he should have just said the range was closed for the next short while during the mowing, but to quit going because of this single instance I think is a snap judgement. If this happens again then it'd be more of a fair call.

post #9 of 25
Yeah thats pretty strange, but I would give it another go especially if the range is convenient to home or work.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop View Post
 

I'd say he should have just said the range was closed for the next short while during the mowing, but to quit going because of this single instance I think is a snap judgement. If this happens again then it'd be more of a fair call.

Yeah I wouldn't write off the range. Our range that closed was where my dad always took me when I was a little kid. It kind of sucks to see it close down, but the business practices were ridiculous. The owner would close the place down with a sharpie-written sign saying "Too Hot Out" or something ridiculous at noon in July. One time it just said "Be Back Later" with no honor system in place so that people could at least practice. Guys were standing around in the parking lot just laughing and taking pictures of the sign. Driving ranges like this usually don't last very long unless there's no competition nearby.

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcanadiens View Post
 

I've never seen anyone mow a range in the middle of the day or pick up golf balls manually. Under these circumstances, they should have never sold you the balls to begin with. I don't care how good a golfer you might be. I wouldn't take a romp down range unprotected. This guy is asking for trouble.

 

I have - both.  My home course picks by hand when it's too wet or snowy to use the tractor.  The range is closed for 2-3 hours when they have to hand pick.  Normally, picking is done throughout the day with a caged tractor.  

 

Mowing is done usually after the course mowing is finished.  They don't have the luxury of mowing at dusk, because the range is lighted and is open until 11 PM.  In the morning, the focus is on getting the 3 courses ready for play.  I think that they only mow the range once a week anyway, so it's not exactly a big deal if they have to close for an hour to do it.  

post #12 of 25

I think you should talk to him and explain your side.  Maybe he will give you a free bucket?

post #13 of 25

personally i probably wouldn't go back. if hes making you hit from certain areas and telling you not to miss hit balls hes probably an a**hole and doesn't care about his customers. and im with you. mow the lawn before you open or once you close. my guess is if you went back and asked him what was up with that he probably wouldn't have a legit answer for you wont refund your money and doesn't care if you return in which case he doesnt deserve your business (but thats my guess) and it could have been a one time freak accident on his part. maybe he was just having a bad day. 

post #14 of 25

I never hit anything but a PW at most ranges anyway so wouldn't bother me, range balls usually suck.

post #15 of 25
The range by my house closes early on Mondays for maintenance, which I assume includes mowing. It seems odd that the owner would continue to operate the business while he has to mow. I'd think the negative impact to his business would be less if he were just closed for maintenance, as opposed to making a customer feel uncomfortable and irritated.
post #16 of 25

First of all, I think the guy should hang out a Closed sign if he wants to go out and pick by hand then mow in the middle of the day.  I can understand a person trying to run a business like that on a shoe-string, but in that case, he should thank God he's got a customer and wait 'till you are done to do his mowing.  Hate to say it, but I wonder if he isn't hoping to get hit and get out of a failing deal with an insurance claim/liability suit ("I told him I had to mow and he said he could keep his shots on the other side of the range!") then live off the government on disability.

post #17 of 25
The more stories I read like this the more grateful I am for my local range.

It's basically two separate ranges, with the parking lot between the two. Usually one side will be for hitting off grass, and the other side for hitting off mats.

If they mow they'll close the one side, but you still get to hit on the other side. Range ball machines are unattended, so no worries about waiting to pay for balls.

And it's only a 10 minute drive from my house, and on my route home from work.

Yes, I know I'm bragging but man I love the place. Sorry you had such a bad experience at yours.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
 

Yeah I wouldn't write off the range. Our range that closed was where my dad always took me when I was a little kid. It kind of sucks to see it close down, but the business practices were ridiculous. The owner would close the place down with a sharpie-written sign saying "Too Hot Out" or something ridiculous at noon in July. One time it just said "Be Back Later" with no honor system in place so that people could at least practice. Guys were standing around in the parking lot just laughing and taking pictures of the sign. Driving ranges like this usually don't last very long unless there's no competition nearby.

this describes the place to a tee!!!  your post just reminded me that a couple of months ago of the "be back later" sign that he posted on the door. I agree also as another poster said I would have been more pleased to have just seen a closed for maintenance sign posted and I would have written it off as no biggie and went on my merry way.  Or even better yet set aside specific hours each week to mow, post those hours and customers can plan around it. Told him I wasn't going to be long that i really wanted to just loosen up before I played so I don't think it would have put him out any to have waited the 15 to 20 minutes that it would have taken a paying customer to do that.  I would have even been alright and not irritated with his stipulations had he just said something to the effect of "hey your a good regular customer so just take a small bucket for free for your inconvenience".  If I do go back it will be purely for the convenience thing, however I am tempted to just drive the 36 miles round trip to the next closest but much better range just to spite him. lol  Thanks for allowing me to vent my frustration and for all of your input guys. 

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