I used to play all the time as a single (not as much anymore). I never had problems like the ones you describe. I've had the occasional group not let me play through, and an occasional three-ball who didn't invite me to play with them, but nothing like this.
I've found more issues when I'm walking. People assume you are going to be slow, or hit into you because they don't see a cart...stuff like that.
My advice is play w what you are comfortable w and what you like the most. I almost didn't get my ap2 irons last year because I was scared into thinking it was more of a better players club. I hit them fine and love the way they fee and look and might end up getting a set of muscle back titleists next year when they release new ones.
I have had somewhat similar issues with league people a time or two. Basically I walked in to the club house, they gave me a tee time that was after their league started, let me know I wouldn't be able to start until around 5 pm. I was fine with that as I just used the time to hit the range first which was by the first tee. I even gave a good buffer after the group before me teed off to just try to give myself extra room before I would catch up by finishing out the bucket of balls I had purchased. As I was getting ready to go over to the tee box which was right next to the range I see two carts pull up and people teed off. I thought I had screwed up by waiting and that another group had come in and gotten the tee time after me. No big deal, my fault I'll deal with it. I let them play up to the green before teeing off, I hit a good drive down the middle, drive up to it and proceed to sit in my cart for probably 10 minutes waiting for them to putt out. Hit the green on the next shot and putt out. As I finish putting the flag in I see they are still not off the next tee which is a par 3. Rinse and repeat the extra long wait on that hole. Then the third hole. Somehow I was actually playing pretty well even with the waiting so I wasn't bothered too much. After finishing up on the third hole and driving over to the tee on the fourth one of the guys in the group turns and tells me "we're in a league so it's going to be slow buddy". I responded that it was fine, I didn't mind. But the problem wasn't that they were in a league, it was that they were just slow players. There was at least two complete holes in front of the one they were on that were open, unfortunately it would have done me no good to jump ahead because then I would have just gotten stuck behind the rest of the league anyway. The wait got so long behind these people that I literally laid down on a couple of the tees and took some mini-naps. Needless to say, eventually it screwed up my game and my score tanked. Good thing the scored didn't count for anything.
That's a bit strange that they guy caught up to you but somehow you ended up having to wait on him after that.... I can tell you right now if you let me through I'll typically be off the green before you even get ready to play your extra shot and you end up waiting very little time overall compared to how much time I'll have to wait on your group. I never ask to play through and sometimes I'll even refuse the offer, especially since my single rounds don't count for handicap anymore. As for your last comment, well I'll just have to disagree there because I have just as much right to be on the course as any group out there.
Please see the following comment:
So yeah, a single has just as much standing on the course as everyone else.
Never the right thing to do, though I admit to having the idea cross my mind a time or two I never actually do it.
drmevo, do you mind if I ask where you live (just a general idea)? I live in northern Minnesota, and play all over the state and in Wisconsin, quite often as a single. I have had no issues I can remember about either being allowed to play through, or asked if I want to join if it is 3 or less in the group. I do walk often, using a push cart, or sometimes carrying if I am only playing 9.
Could have scored better, but couldn't buy a putt. Burned the edges of more than a few, didn't really get the greenside shots to tap-in distance either which didn't help. Ended up with 39 putts and 0% scrambling.
Funny, at the time of the round, I thought I was hitting it pretty poorly since I didn't put any pars on the board until the back. I struggled some off the tee but how bad could I have possibly been hitting it with 7 GIR?
Just want to add that the greens were slow and didn't break much, which threw me off all day. Not sure if it is due to all the rain recently or the greens just are slow here, but my partners did mention this course typically has slower greens compared to the rest of the county. Not a fan.