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4 Hour Round and Harassed by the Marshal


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I was standing on the 10th t box (blue) talking to my partner when the marshal pulls up all huffy .he yells at us to get moving I tell him to go ahead and yell 4 for me as the group on the white t box isnt done  . he turned around and looked , pursed his lips and rode away. that is also coincidently,  the last time I played that course .

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Some marshalls try far too hard to be course nazi's.

My run in with a marshall was during 4th of July last weekend.  As a 4some, we're staying right with the group in front of us but since a bunch of the old geezers saw a group of "yound kids who can't play" as I'm sure they said...the marshall drives up on us and says we need to speed up.  We asked him how to play faster when we are waiting on every tee and on every approach but he didn't want to answer that. We finished the round in 4:20 on a holiday weekend while staying right on the group in front of us.  The group behind us was never close to us the entire day but we were the ones told to speed up.  I won't play there again.

Luckily my home course are all people who get to know the regulars personally, who will take time to have a conversation with ANYONE who comes to the course..will do whatever they can to help people in whatever way possible.  I once called the clubhouse to report a guy driving all around the tees and greens...come to find out the guy needed a handicap flag but someone forgot to put one on his cart.  The guy came back to me and apologized that a flag wasn't put on and thanked me multiple times for looking out for the course.  Thats the way paying customers should be treated.

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My kid brother (he's 17) and I were playing and we were about 15 minutes ahead of pace after 12 holes, but the threesome in front of us was about a hole ahead of us. The marshal rolled up and told us we needed to speed up. I firmly told him he needed to recheck his math figuring out the pace. He started to argue with me there on the tee about how I was slowing down "his" course. I walked over to my cart and called the clubhouse on my cellphone and explained what was happening and I that I either wanted for them to get him away from us, or for my money back as I didn't feel like being berated without violating any of their policies. Not only was he gone quick, someone from the clubhouse came out and apologized to us.

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Originally Posted by wmiller

Lived in Orange County many years ago, and played Mile Square a few times. The last, I was waiting for the green to clear on a par 5. My drive had gone about 320, and I'm standing there with an iron in hand. The marshal drove up, told me I couldn't reach the green and that I should hit. I politely told him I could indeed reach the green, and that I was going to wait. Again, he told me to hit.

So I did, right into the green and almost hit one of the guys. I was screaming my head off to warn them, then angrily swung around on the so-called marshal and told him he better get his arse up there and apologize, because it was his blinking fault. (I cleaned that up, as I had used slightly more colorful language to his face)

I also apologized to the guys later when we caught up to them. Told them what happened, and one of the guys said something like "yea, that guy's a complete jerk", or something like that.

Never played there again. Didn't want to have to kill a marshal... ;)

Thankfully, we don't have them here. Don't need 'em for the most part.



That Marshal should be out of a job. Their priority-one should be maintaining safety on the course. This idiot was the opposite, he’s demanding you hit into the group in front of you without any idea of your skill level/length. Absolutely incredible.

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If there's no group behind you waiting, I don't care how slow you play. However, If there's space ahead of you and people waiting behind you, I think it's your responsibility to speed up or get out of the way. I understand that it will take some people longer to play than others, but be nice about it. My buddies and I will play a round in 2:45 - 3:00 on an empty course, but if someone's flying up behind us, we will get out of the way.  I actually had it happen a couple of weeks ago, where 3 of us were walking (played in about 3 hrs) and a twosome in a cart came flying up behind us, and outright asked us to play through before we could even offer. It could have been ugly, but we just laughed and stepped aside.  I think it's the Ranger's job to make sure no one is waiting to hit if they don't have to, but If you were playing a 4 hour round and no one behind you, the Ranger was in the wrong.

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So what happens in a situation where you're part of a 4-ball and the guys in front are a 2-ball and therefore faster than you on the round? Do you have to run between shots, take a provisional for any shots that aren't on the fairway and pick up if you take more than 5 seconds per shot? What about if the guys in front are using a cart and you're carrying? You have to run to keep pace? How about if you're a 70-something guy in a 4-ball with your other retired mates and you all play to 100ish and you're behind another 4-ball with young fit guys playing scratch golf?

I get it if you're spending 5 minutes after every shot looking for errant balls, you're 3-putting every hole and standing around chatting when you could be getting on with the game, really I do but sometimes it's not possible to play any quicker.

This one's as annoying as idiots that yell from behind that they want to play through even though you yourself are waiting on a group ahead of you to clear.

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Wow, 4 hours at Mile Square?   That's pretty amazing - last time I played there it was more like 6 hours.     In my opinion, the marshal may have felt he was doing his job trying to keep everyone moving but he also has to recognize what is a reasonable pace of play and not whip people into a pace too fast.    If the group ahead of you was into speed golf and finishing in 90 minutes, does that mean that if you're falling behind them then you deserve the marshal's wrath?   Of course not - there is a reasonable pace of play, and 4 hours certainly is well within reason.

I really don't like that golf courses have "marshals" in the first place.    By definition, a marshal is law enforcement or military position charged with keeping the order and ensuring the law of the land is obeyed.      C'mon, it's recreational golf, not the Bataan Death March.    It's supposed to be fun.    And those who play it are customers of the establishment, not a group of dissidents trying to overthrow a dictatorship.      Courses should take a lesson from other businesses that have general public customers who are paying a significant portion of their income and dedicating a lot of their time to play your particular course.      Have ambassadors or customer service advocates - people who try and make the customer's precious time more enjoyable and not feel like they are a galley slave being whipped constantly to row faster.

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I was watching for the group behind like a hawk on every shot, thinking they were about to bear down on us and we had to let them thru, which really distracted me and ruined my round.  They waited for us twice after the 4th hole, once on a par 3 for a couple of us to putt out and a par 5, they were waiting to get on in two.  Not really reasons to let them thru and both were on the back nine.  Not in the front where the marshal was working.

It really bothered me that not only did the marshal not understand why we only appeared to be behind, he didn't even see the group behind were playing at the same pace.  Not to belabor the point but, 4 hours on a Saturday!  Even if they wait on every shot, can they really complain anyone was slow?  Besides, isn't that the most any golfer can realistically want from a weekend round ~4 hrs, no waiting, and no one pushing from behind?

Like someone mentioned before, we're paying customers playing a recreational game.  If I was treated like that at a restaurant, the manager would have apologized and comped us some drinks.  The GM at Mile Square, however, doesn't give a flea on a dead horse's back about its patrons.  Not suggesting what anyone should or should not do, but be warned if you are thinking about going there.

It's a shame that it's come to this, but bext time anyting happens on a course anywhere, I'll be calling the clubhouse right away.  If courses are not monitoring their employees, we patrons can only complain to let it be knowd.

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Originally Posted by wmiller

Lived in Orange County many years ago, and played Mile Square a few times. The last, I was waiting for the green to clear on a par 5. My drive had gone about 320, and I'm standing there with an iron in hand. The marshal drove up, told me I couldn't reach the green and that I should hit. I politely told him I could indeed reach the green, and that I was going to wait. Again, he told me to hit.

So I did, right into the green and almost hit one of the guys. I was screaming my head off to warn them, then angrily swung around on the so-called marshal and told him he better get his arse up there and apologize, because it was his blinking fault. (I cleaned that up, as I had used slightly more colorful language to his face)

I also apologized to the guys later when we caught up to them. Told them what happened, and one of the guys said something like "yea, that guy's a complete jerk", or something like that.

Never played there again. Didn't want to have to kill a marshal... ;)

Thankfully, we don't have them here. Don't need 'em for the most part.


That is an interesting case.  No doubt if you would have hit somebody and they sued for damages, the Marshall wouldn't bear much of that burden.  So it's really unprofessional of him to force you to hit into them like that.  It's either defy him and run the risk of them asking you to leave the course, or run the risk of causing actual harm to somebody.  Not good.

Brandon

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Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon

So what happens in a situation where you're part of a 4-ball and the guys in front are a 2-ball and therefore faster than you on the round? Do you have to run between shots, take a provisional for any shots that aren't on the fairway and pick up if you take more than 5 seconds per shot? What about if the guys in front are using a cart and you're carrying? You have to run to keep pace? How about if you're a 70-something guy in a 4-ball with your other retired mates and you all play to 100ish and you're behind another 4-ball with young fit guys playing scratch golf?

I get it if you're spending 5 minutes after every shot looking for errant balls, you're 3-putting every hole and standing around chatting when you could be getting on with the game, really I do but sometimes it's not possible to play any quicker.

This one's as annoying as idiots that yell from behind that they want to play through even though you yourself are waiting on a group ahead of you to clear.



Every group plays at different paces at different times during the round and therefore there are different gaps between groups.  Unless the gap in front of your group is more than 1 hole or continously getting larger, and the group behind is waiting on every shot, I'd say you are probably playing to the pace you should.  Otherwise, you should probably let them play thru.

I just don't see the benefit of rushing to be right behind the group ahead only to have to wait on every shot.  If the course is playing a 5 hr round because of overbooking, why pretend it's not?

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Originally Posted by j_moo

Every group plays at different paces at different times during the round and therefore there are different gaps between groups.  Unless the gap in front of your group is more than 1 hole or continously getting larger, and the group behind is waiting on every shot, I'd say you are probably playing to the pace you should.  Otherwise, you should probably let them play thru.

I just don't see the benefit of rushing to be right behind the group ahead only to have to wait on every shot.  If the course is playing a 5 hr round because of overbooking, why pretend it's not?


One thing is that if the course is packed start-to-finish, it's then more important to keep up and, if you lose some time, catch back up quickly.  In cases like that, the run-away fast group won't have anywhere to go, so they won't be speeding away from a more normally-paced group.  When it's really full, the slowest group out will set the pace for everyone behind them, so in that situation I think vigilant marshals (or Pace of Play Ambassadors or whatever we want to call them :-) ) are warranted.  Ideally, you should be waiting for a short time on about half your shots, because that means that on average you're playing at exactly the speed of the group ahead: sometimes you're a little ahead and wait, sometimes you're a little behind and don't wait.

If it's less than packed full, then a faster group (or a smaller group) will run away and/or one behind will catch up.  Then you can let them through... that doesn't work when as well when it's full, though, since passing tends to take a bit of time.

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Originally Posted by zeg

One thing is that if the course is packed start-to-finish, it's then more important to keep up and, if you lose some time, catch back up quickly.  In cases like that, the run-away fast group won't have anywhere to go, so they won't be speeding away from a more normally-paced group.  When it's really full, the slowest group out will set the pace for everyone behind them, so in that situation I think vigilant marshals (or Pace of Play Ambassadors or whatever we want to call them :-) ) are warranted.  Ideally, you should be waiting for a short time on about half your shots, because that means that on average you're playing at exactly the speed of the group ahead: sometimes you're a little ahead and wait, sometimes you're a little behind and don't wait.



My sentiment exactly. Hate groups that see no harm in falling behind and refuse to catch up saying "why should we hurry up just to wait? So, your group may not have to wait but every group behind you does?  WTF? That's why marshals are a necessary evil at crowded public courses. .. on a crowded public course. at

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Twice a year when my friends come into town we choose a course within a half hour drive and go play a money match, two of my friends take it VERY seriously. We were playing at Sarasota National, near Venice FL. We got to the 5th hole and one of the guys in our group and a "blow up" hole and we fell behind the group in front, the group behind waited a little but not too much, when we got to the 6th tee we decided to let the group behind through as we didn't want to hold anyone up and things were getting a little tense with money on the line!

The group behind tee'd it up and went ahead, two of the guys of that group were all over the place and we waited probably 10-15 mins for them to clear the fairway. we finally tee'd off and got back under way realizing we had made a bad decision letting them through. we finally got to the green and I was just getting my putter from my bag on the cart, when the ranger came up to me YELLING in my face,"What the hell do you think you are doing?" I explained that we thought we were doing the right thing and didn't want to hold anybody up etc. still yelling in my face he said that the only time anyone gets lets through is if he says so. I stood my ground and didn't back down, but apologized if we had done anything wrong against local rules etc. when he realized that he wasn't going to get anywhere with me he walked up onto the green and started yelling at the other in my group, they basically said the same as me one of the guys ended up raising his voice at him and told him to politely go away.

At the turn all four of us went into the clubhouse and asked for the manager, we explained to him what had happened, totally agreed with us and he said "Leave it with me". when we finished our round, the mouthy ranger was nowhere to be seen, I don't know whether he was fired or not but I have a feeling he was!

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Originally Posted by Elvisliveson

My sentiment exactly. Hate groups that see no harm in falling behind and refuse to catch up saying "why should we hurry up just to wait? So, your group may not have to wait but every group behind you does?  WTF? That's why marshals are a necessary evil at crowded public courses. .. on a crowded public course. at



There is a difference between gap and pace.  There can be no gap and no waiting if all groups play at the same pace, which rarely, if ever, happens.  What usually happens is the course is overbooked so that everyone is playing at the pace of slowest group in front of them at the time, which can be multiple groups.  Kind of like how traffic jams happen without an accident, too many cars stepping on the breaks.  Slow play is not always due to players being slow, most of the time, it's courses being overbooked.

If the course is playing at a 5 hour pace, it doesn't matter what gap is between two groups as long as they all play at the same pace.  It is often interpreted that the group with the gap in front is playing at a slower pace.  We played in 4 hours and the group behind didn't wait.  We didn't slow anyone down.  We could have closed the gap but the overall pace of the course would still be 4 hours.

Nobody likes to be stuck behind the slow truck in traffic.  However, even if you pass the truck, you're still stuck in traffic.

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Originally Posted by montru

Twice a year when my friends come into town we choose a course within a half hour drive and go play a money match, two of my friends take it VERY seriously. We were playing at Sarasota National, near Venice FL. We got to the 5th hole and one of the guys in our group and a "blow up" hole and we fell behind the group in front, the group behind waited a little but not too much, when we got to the 6th tee we decided to let the group behind through as we didn't want to hold anyone up and things were getting a little tense with money on the line!

The group behind tee'd it up and went ahead, two of the guys of that group were all over the place and we waited probably 10-15 mins for them to clear the fairway. we finally tee'd off and got back under way realizing we had made a bad decision letting them through. we finally got to the green and I was just getting my putter from my bag on the cart, when the ranger came up to me YELLING in my face,"What the hell do you think you are doing?" I explained that we thought we were doing the right thing and didn't want to hold anybody up etc. still yelling in my face he said that the only time anyone gets lets through is if he says so. I stood my ground and didn't back down, but apologized if we had done anything wrong against local rules etc. when he realized that he wasn't going to get anywhere with me he walked up onto the green and started yelling at the other in my group, they basically said the same as me one of the guys ended up raising his voice at him and told him to politely go away.

At the turn all four of us went into the clubhouse and asked for the manager, we explained to him what had happened, totally agreed with us and he said "Leave it with me". when we finished our round, the mouthy ranger was nowhere to be seen, I don't know whether he was fired or not but I have a feeling he was!


Definitely sounds like that guy (ranger/marshal) went overboard.

Brandon

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The Manager said he totally agreed, and would take care of it. I mean, I don't like to see anybody lose their job but there is defo a right and a wrong way to a go about things!!!

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I think marshalls should be more concerned about conduct on the course such as driving carts where they're not supposed to go etc foul language and overall unprofessional, dangerous and offensive behavior and littering.   Better golfers will generally play better than bad golfers but some expect everyone to play fast.  I guess its fortunate I play in southern Illinois, i have never been berated by a marshall for any reason, one even tried to give me a quick lesson once after he watched me play a few holes as he saw i was struggling a bit.   Around here, as long as you dont tear up the course or get into an argument with another group, nobody bothers you.   I personally hate having to be right behind the group in front of me, i hate waiting when i play and i hate when someone is right behind me waiting on me.  You never know if the group behind you even if they appear to be good players can judge when not to hit into you or sometimes if the course is hilly they may not see you and not know how close you are. I think a marshall should be friendly and helpful, there are a lot of courses even in my area and being treated poorly by any staff will certainly insure no future business from me.   I can always go somewhere else.   Most are very happy that you came and spent your money there.

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Originally Posted by montru

The Manager said he totally agreed, and would take care of it. I mean, I don't like to see anybody lose their job but there is defo a right and a wrong way to a go about things!!!



Did management do anything concrete to make up for your inconvenience?  They appeased you and you were happy with how they handled it.  Fine.  But there's no guarantee the marshal is not still there or at another course yelling at people.

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