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imsys0042

Country Club culture

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  1. 1. What's the culture at your private/semi-private/regular course?

    • Nice
      26
    • Stuffy
      2
    • Neither here nor there
      10
    • Rude
      2
    • Awful
      0


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Something that's been bothering me for a long time. The culture at my country club, It's a corporate owned course. It's a nice course, but barely a car payment once you pay the initiation fee, so it's not Pine Valley, but it's one of the nicer courses in the area. I caddied at a place when I was a kid and it seemed really nice. Members were mostly kind and relaxed and I rarely saw a temper tantrum and only once a club thrown, and that was from someone 100 yards away from anyone. In four years, I've almost been hit by a club twice by members at my place, among other things. There are numerous examples where people scream at one another, make racist remarks and generally act badly. When I first got there I hadn't played much golf in a few years. It's a hard course and I struggled to break 100. About two months in the season I heard someone in the pro shop they'll them to never pair me with them again because "he sucks". I feel pushed around, and concerns to the club management have mostly been unanswered. I recently escalated to the corporate office. I have really been more assertive and pushing back on people. However I feel like its money wasted if that's what it's like. Today's example is kind of typical. I was by myself because the Saturday guys were having their championship and I didn't qualify. I went out early and on the back nine I hit a bunch of foursomes. A twosome came up behind me and I waved them to hit. One man was playing from the normal tees and the other from the senior tees. They hit and we drove to our balls. I was hitting first and while lining up my shot they pulled in front of me and played their balls. They never said anything but ignored me and played their shots leaving me back on the hole. Even if they thought I was waving them thru (which would be dumb since there were 3 foursomes on the hole), they didn't even acknowledge me after I waved them to play with me. That's pretty typical behavior for a lot of people. I've heard this one playing late in the day "foursomes have priority, I'm not letting you through. You should find friends to play with" What's your experience? My wife and I might leave and go elsewhere if it keeps up. Met some nice people but it's a really bad culture.

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Is it the type of place where you forego your initiation, or does the club buy it back from you (or you can sell it to someone)?

What's your Plan B if you leave? Join another club? Keep it "Public" for a few years?

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That sounds pretty lame . .I bet the place is pretty crowded most of the time?  That seems to bring out the worst in people.  I go out of my way to find relaxed places to play.  I start with the list of top courses in my city . .and mark them as places never to visit.  The worst thing about golf is golfers, man . .lol.

If I were you I'd move on.  Going to the club management or putting up with people you find annoying are both going to suck the enjoyment right out of it . .and then what would be the point?

I used to belong to a private course that was awesome.  Super-relaxed.  The bulk of the membership played during the day so it was wide-open in the afternoon.  It was cheap, too - like $150 per month or something like that.

Unfortunately, I moved away or I'd still be a member.  BUT - I would not settle for less than that so I don't currently belong anywhere . .I found an under-appreciated public course in my area that is usually cheap and uncrowded.  And of course it's not snooty . .because you can't really pull off snooty when you're charging $12for unlimited walking, lol.

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Is it the type of place where you forego your initiation, or does the club buy it back from you (or you can sell it to someone)? What's your Plan B if you leave? Join another club? Keep it "Public" for a few years?

I would lose the initiation fee. However I get a credit at another affiliated club for an initiation fee. I got in when they were hurting so it's a lot lower than it normally would be. I have an issue where most courses around here won't take time as a single and my work schedule gives me flexibility to do once per week I'm the morning. I would lose that ability if I left. My plan B is a place that is a little further drive for about the same money, but less amenities for the family. Although I don't think she cares much. We've had to pull our three year old girls out of the pool there because other kids are too rough, or hit them by throwing balls, and the pool manager and lifeguards don't do anything. The food also has declined so we don't eat there anymore. Funny random story from 2 weeks ago. I pull up to the driving range and some guy is yelling. Thinking he was calling over to someone I didn't notice until I heard "you jog here all the time! I hope you get hit by a car'". He was yelling at a jogger running down the street. It's a public street. Weird people.

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That sounds pretty lame . .I bet the place is pretty crowded most of the time?  That seems to bring out the worst in people.  I go out of my way to find relaxed places to play.  I start with the list of top courses in my city . .and mark them as places never to visit.  The worst thing about golf is golfers, man . .lol.   If I were you I'd move on.  Going to the club management or putting up with people you find annoying are both going to suck the enjoyment right out of it . .and then what would be the point? I used to belong to a private course that was awesome.  Super-relaxed.  The bulk of the membership played during the day so it was wide-open in the afternoon.  It was cheap, too - like $150 per month or something like that.  Unfortunately, I moved away or I'd still be a member.  BUT - I would not settle for less than that so I don't currently belong anywhere . .I found an under-appreciated public course in my area that is usually cheap and uncrowded.  And of course it's not snooty . .because you can't really pull off snooty when you're charging $12for unlimited walking, lol.

It's a large membership. When things are busy there are 2 groups that play that suck up a lot of tee times in the morning which hurts. I play in a third that doesn't play when a tournament or something else is playing, but the other groups take times on holidays and Sundays and other people are crowded out. One of the groups refuses to let anyone who is over a 18 handicap, even if they are the nicest guy in the world. Believe me, getting very close to leaving.

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I know some club members that are aloof (especially toward higher handicap golfers) but not quite as bad as the OP describes. My son was playing with me one day and a couple of really good golfers were a couple of holes in front of us. When they saw me they rode over to say hello and asked us if we wanted to join them. Since it would have meant skipping a couple of holes we declined but as they drove away my son said "Wow those are some really nice guys to be such good golfers." Pretty sad but that's not the case many times and how you are treated depends on how well you play.

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I feel bad for you. You caddied at the place, thought it would be "great" to be a member, but find the people abrasive.

Of the two places where I caddied at (circa 1970s), one is way out of my price range and the second - if I lived closer - might be OK if I could dodge the semi-rich poseurs. But, I'm more of a semi-private golf club person: Give me good golf and bratwursts in the snack bar, and you can keep your tennis courts and swimming pool.

I'm not sure what to make of your club. Any chance it was fairly exclusive at one time, but changed its fee structure and cut the initiation fee to survive? If yes, expect backlash from long-time members who feel riff raff have crept in. Also, at mid-range clubs you have a problem with people who can barely afford to belong, and they tend to be snippy about the experience - the kind who are never happy.

Also, some clubs have a problem with long-time members who retire and think the club is their own private fiefdom. You have this at private, semi-p and even some public courses.

At one town in Oklahoma where I lived, the local golfing crowd had too many lunkheads who had never done well at anything but golf. They were ready to ban you from future foursomes if you failed to break 90 on a given day. And, you had these lunkheads at all three types of courses. I had a confrontation one day with a local HS football coach. The starter had told me and another guy to start on No. 10, so we did, and el coacho gets on our case for cutting in front of his group. He claimed the starter would never authorize that. I told him he needed to get in his cart and leave, which fortunately he did.

Sounds like some of el coacho's relatives play at your club.

If it's not fun, find someplace else. Any chance the corporate owner has another nearby club that's more pleasant, and you could shift your membership? The restrictive policies of the two power groups might constitute breach of contract. You might consult a lawyer if the management balks at returning your initiation fee.

=====================

Now, a note on your poll. The choices were mainly negative in nature. You don't offer responders much of a an array for answers. A more engaging poll structure might be:

1. My home course is:

__ Private

__ Semi-Private

__ Public

2. The culture at my course is:

__ Wonderful

__ Nice

__ Neither here nor there

__ Stuffy

__ Rude

__ Awful

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I was a member of a private club, and I quit to join a semi private club. The private club had some big financial problems, yet they acted like the members should feel lucky to play the course. They did allow a small number of outside tee times, but the pro called the non members "riff raff". I told him he should treat everyone that walked in like a new member. The semi private club is a lot more relaxed. There is no pool, tennis courts, or food requirements. The pro and his staff are some of the greatest guys I've met in the golf business. I doubt if I ever go private again.

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That sounds horrific; I'd give up golf, or lose my mind one day and beat the tar out of someone.

I was just looking into joining a local country club. I never considered the possible downside.

I'm a relative newcomer to the game, but I'm always blown away by how nice everyone is, and how easy it is to make friends. I've yet to be paired up with someone who wasn't fun to golf with. Some really good players, some horrible ones, and the rest somewhere in the middle. All of them fun to hang with for a 4 hours.

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I feel bad for you. You caddied at the place, thought it would be "great" to be a member, but find the people abrasive. I'm not sure what to make of your club. Any chance it was fairly exclusive at one time, but changed its fee structure and cut the initiation fee to survive? If yes, expect backlash from long-time members who feel riff raff have crept in. Also, at mid-range clubs you have a problem with people who can barely afford to belong, and they tend to be snippy about the experience - the kind who are never happy.

I might not have written that clearly. I caddied and grew up in NJ and it was a different course. The people there seemed nicer and more relaxed than where I am now. The place where I am a member is the first place that I have joined and is in PA. All clubs are different but I didn't expect such a culture shock. My place was independent and was on the verge of closing years ago. A corporation bought them and rescued the place, adding another nine holes after they bought it. However it's not an expensive club by any means. It's a beautiful Palmer design and they keep it nice. However it's not like a $25000 or $100000 to join and high dues per month. There certainly are a lot of people there who live in the shadow of the exclusive clubs in the area and want to be big fish here. They did cut the initiation back in 2008-2010 because they lost of a lot of people. Currently they are 25 below full membership and they seem to be losing more than normal. I encourage people to tell the club what bothers them when I hear it. My wife and I felt lucky to join a country club. It's something we did and knew that that would be where we focused our time off since we wouldn't spend much on anything else. I think a lot of people there take it for granted,

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That sounds horrific; I'd give up golf, or lose my mind one day and beat the tar out of someone. I was just looking into joining a local country club. I never considered the possible downside.  I'm a relative newcomer to the game, but I'm always blown away by how nice everyone is, and how easy it is to make friends. I've yet to be paired up with someone who wasn't fun to golf with. Some really good players, some horrible ones, and the rest somewhere in the middle. All of them fun to hang with for a 4 hours.

I've often come home from playing other places and felt that there are nicer people, even if they are less experienced or someone who plays a couple of times a year at both. I remember there was a book called "And if you play golf, you are my friend". And I've had a lot of good times with people I've been paired with. And of course not everyone at my club is bad. There are some nice people. But a very high jerk ratio to be sure.

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I would lose the initiation fee. However I get a credit at another affiliated club for an initiation fee. I got in when they were hurting so it's a lot lower than it normally would be. I have an issue where most courses around here won't take time as a single and my work schedule gives me flexibility to do once per week I'm the morning. I would lose that ability if I left. My plan B is a place that is a little further drive for about the same money, but less amenities for the family. Although I don't think she cares much. We've had to pull our three year old girls out of the pool there because other kids are too rough, or hit them by throwing balls, and the pool manager and lifeguards don't do anything. The food also has declined so we don't eat there anymore. Funny random story from 2 weeks ago. I pull up to the driving range and some guy is yelling. Thinking he was calling over to someone I didn't notice until I heard "you jog here all the time! I hope you get hit by a car'". He was yelling at a jogger running down the street. It's a public street. Weird people.

Are you sure you not being too picky or dare I say whining? You think people are talking about you You seem to think the members are mean You don't like the kids in the pool You don't like the lifeguards You don't like the food You don't like the members that play in tournaments You don't like the management You don't like groups that play on holidays or Sundays. Are you sure you're not expecting too much?

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I've had 2 private club membership in the 1990s. The experiences were both good and I'd still probably be a member had I not moved out of the area.    I am now a public course golfer with no plans to re-join a private club.   Golf course proximity to where I live has a lot to do with that.  The best courses near me are the public courses and it's a no brainer to play one of these.  I don't want the long term commitment and would rather choose where to play on a year-by-year basis.

There are 2 private courses close enough to me to consider joining (within a 15 minute commute), and neither of them measure up compared to the public alternatives......IMO    The course I play at is a Greg Norman design rated the 3rd best public course in the state........and it's an 8 minute commute from my garage to golf course parking lot!!

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Sounds more like an insane asylum than a country club.

Oh yes. When I spoke to the corporate people I told them I could go on and on. (And I usually do). I've seen all of these, and it's painful. 1 someone having a bad day, dubbing a drive and getting mad enough to drive his cart over two tee boxes to hit his next shot. 2 someone having a bad day of the tee and on the 8th hole smashing his driver into the ground, breaking the shaft, 3 one day I came up on a threesome on a par 5. One of the gentlemen was a PGA pro. Not tour, but someone who spends their lives helping people like us. It's a challenging tee shot and hard to know how far to hit. He had hit and his ball rolled near a twosome in front of him. The hole is designed to take a hill on the right and throw it let and forward. Nice guy from what I could tell, just didn't know since he hadn't been there before. He said he called out sorry and waved, One of the guys out there (like at 280) smacks the ball back to him. Let's just say it wasn't as good of a hit back since the guy picked it up halfway out there. 4 member found in the locker room, drunk and passed out, naked on his back. 5 member so drunk at the bar he had the staff looking for his coat for 10 minutes, He staggered out and they told my wife and I, "he didn't have a coat". Found out later the waitresses were afraid of him because he got mean drinking a lot. And my new personal favorite since my wife reminded me of it.... There is a father/daughter dance every March and I have twin girls who are 3 right now. At three they are not there too long and they just want to run around and have fun. So I took them on the dance floor and some of the older kids (9 or 10) we're making comments that they shouldn't be there and they were taking up too much room on the dance floor by not dancing right. Truly jerks, the next generation.. Ugh, It feels good to get this more out in the open, The more I type, the more I want to either troll the heck out of this place and leave. Or just leave.

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Are you sure you not being too picky or dare I say whining? You think people are talking about you You seem to think the members are mean You don't like the kids in the pool You don't like the lifeguards You don't like the food You don't like the members that play in tournaments You don't like the management You don't like groups that play on holidays or Sundays. Are you sure you're not expecting too much?

If it was isolated incidents, then yes, I would be. However to your points, I overheard people talking about me...didn't think it. I don't like the way the kids in the pool are breaking the rules and that the lifeguards are too intimidated by the members to blow their whistle. I actually like the lifeguards. But no 17 year old is going to pick a fight with a 45 year old guy in that environment. The management is not bad, but doesn't respond and they don't enforce the rules on the books. And the groups that play on holidays and Sundays never have to worry about getting a tee time and other people get shut out at those times. I actually know many of them and they aren't bad people, but the fact that they can get preferred times when I pay the same dues annoys me. Whether members play in tournaments or not doesn't concern me. If they act bad, I get tired of it. I'm going with yes on the members are mean and the food is terrible. It might come off as whining, but when you pay money to be somewhere and don't feel welcome, there's not much positive in it.

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If it was isolated incidents, then yes, I would be. However to your points, I overheard people talking about me...didn't think it. I don't like the way the kids in the pool are breaking the rules and that the lifeguards are too intimidated by the members to blow their whistle. I actually like the lifeguards. But no 17 year old is going to pick a fight with a 45 year old guy in that environment.

The management is not bad, but doesn't respond and they don't enforce the rules on the books. And the groups that play on holidays and Sundays never have to worry about getting a tee time and other people get shut out at those times. I actually know many of them and they aren't bad people, but the fact that they can get preferred times when I pay the same dues annoys me. Whether members play in tournaments or not doesn't concern me. If they act bad, I get tired of it.

I'm going with yes on the members are mean and the food is terrible. It might come off as whining, but when you pay money to be somewhere and don't feel welcome, there's not much positive in it.

You are starting to sound like a Judge Smails!

...gambling is illegal at Bushwood!!

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