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CarlOwen

Greens fees and expectations

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Originally Posted by Phil McGleno View Post


That does not surprise me. The point was that ALL players are guests at the club. Seriously the only difference is what-He had to hit from a different section of the range? So what? Why is that even an issue?

The members are guests at the club too. And they are not paying by the month for their membership fee: http://www.tpc.com/sanantonio/membership .

So you can be a member in a non equity club but you do not pay by the month for your membership?

I went thru the link and I could not see where they stated this but I will take your word for it as you obviously know this.

So how do members pay for there membership? On a daily basis?

My original point was still that having lots of daily play golfers paying a healthy green fee is a benefit to the members (of the non equity) club as it still ensures a higher level of profit for the owner of the non equity club and therefore the owner will be less likely to increase monthly dues to the members.

I suspect that given the broad ownership base of the TPC the bottom line of any course is irrelevant to the determination of membership fees.

I am still confused on the concept of membership in these non equity courses -

The members are guests at the club too. And they are not paying by the month for their membership fee: http://www.tpc.com/sanantonio/membership .

Thank you for the clarification Phil.

I am certainly going to look into joining when I get down to Phoenix cause that is potentially a great deal.

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So you can be a member in a non equity club but you do not pay by the month for your membership?

Yes. You can pay for a year. Some places have memberships that are more like a season pass or a yearly membership. Besides you are missing the point-The point is that the ONLY thing he got that a member did not get that he did not like was what? He had to hit from a different spot on the range. That is NOT a big deal. [quote name="ay33660" url="/t/81396/greens-fees-and-expectations/36#post_1130637"] My original point was still that having lots of daily play golfers paying a healthy green fee is a benefit to the members (of the non equity) club as it still ensures a higher level of profit for the owner of the non equity club and therefore the owner will be less likely to increase monthly dues to the members.[/quote] Maybe. Maybe it is not. Maybe the ideal is to have very little public play because they have enough members to fill the tee sheet and if members are not able to get tee times while public players are teeing off they may lose members. You are making assumptions.-And again the only thing he did not get was a spot on the closer range. That is all.

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And again the only thing he did not get was a spot on the closer range. That is all.

Next time I go to the range by me I think I'll finish my bucket of balls and then after I'm done, go pitch a fit in the pro shop that I was insulted that I didn't get to use the first 6-8 spots on the range, even though they weren't being used, because they say "reserved for instruction" on them.  I had to walk 50-60 feet further.  Then if they actually are nice enough to give me my money back, I'm going to go elsewhere and spin tales of what crazy douchebags they were.

Seems fair.

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Which course has 12 min tee time intervals these days?  Not many.  The longest tee time interval I've seen (CA, Oregon, Nevada courses I played) was 10 minutes.    Regardless how expensive a green fee is, the course need to generate enough revenue/profit and 12 min tee time interval may not do that.

The only time I played the Pebble Beach course, I think it had 10 min tee time interval, was twice more expensive the the OP's course, was raining but they won't change my prepaid tee time to another time slot, service was good but not 5 times better than other courses I frequent, but no one seems to mind the waiting.    Ditto for other upscale courses I had privilege to play.   Getting the money back b/c of tee time being stacked never occurred to me.  If I did (after playing 3 holes), most likely, I would not have gotten my money back and am pretty sure, there would have been a few rolling eyes behind my back as I walk away from the golf shop.

The OP is disappointed with his experience with a TPC course but sometimes that happens.   He learned a lesson of sort (not so expensive one at that since he got his money back).

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There's an expensive course by me that does 15 minutes between times so that people don't have to wait, or greatly reduces the chance that there is a waiting issue.   It's more money for precisely that reason.

I sympathize with the OP.  When you pay a premium for something, you don't expect it to be a bad experience.   Generally the nicer the course, the higher the greens fee because you are being charged for the experience of that.  Unfortunately when you start going to the really higher end courses, you can have really big slow play problems.   One bit of advice would be to call ahead and ask what the normal time for a round is.   We all know Pebble Beach is slow, but I doubt there are many courses in the world where someone knows that off the top of their head.

In my experience, after I've played a course a couple of times I get a sense of how fast it is, as well as what the general culture is.   Every course is different, and there are courses that are notorious for slow play.

However, I think it was very nice of the course to give a refund the way that they did.   If they were being ungracious, I don't think that's right.   But a lot of courses don't give refunds if it pours un-expectedly.  It sounds like the course may have issues with slow play in general (or maybe it was a bad day).   I suspect if they are giving that kind of refund when asked, that it's kind of a problem there.

No reason that the members there can't have their own section of the range.   That shouldn't be a complaint.  Although probably just lumped in because the overall experience was negative from the OP's point of view.

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OP, at the end of the day, this is all about feelings. You have right to your feelings of not having treated stellar having paid probably an upper 90s percentile daily fee. Others may or may not feel the same way. At some courses (not always necessarily elite level) the staff  is just too proud of their course, but the fella might have been genuinely perplexed about what your gripe was about and it is possible (you haven't mentioned) that you were less than pleasant when you talked to him to start with. HE might feel he is employed at an elite level course and that warrants same amount of respect from the guests too.

For me, the full refund would have diffused any and all bitterness (unless there was an altercation). Now, I got to see and partially experience an elite level course and kill some time, all for free.

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We have far less expensive courses that have members only areas on the practice facility. The reason is most of the time the courses will have more non-members than members there. The exception would be the prime tee times reserved for members and their guests. I get it. If I was paying the nearly 4k annually to be a member at these courses I wouldn't want to have to fight for space with the guy that is only going to play there once that year hacking the range to bits.

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I have played a number of semi-private resort courses where there are separate areas on the range for members and daily-fee players.  That has never bothered me, it seems appropriate to take care of the members who provide long-term support to the club.

In my experience, 9 to 10 minutes tee intervals are common at many resort courses.  12 minute intervals seem to be pretty rare.

I do find it odd that a two-ball was put on the course amid a bunch of fourballs.  I know when my wife and I play, we always make it clear that we're happy to be paired up with two more players.  We do this both because we enjoy meeting people, as well as knowing that the pace of play will feel better if we have a full group.  If the OP chose to play as a twosome, and I have no idea if that's the case, he set himself up to be aggravated by the pace of play.

Again, there's no mention of a course marshal trying to improve the pace of play.  In my opinion, its essential that a resort course, especially an expensive one like this, make significant efforts at keeping the play moving.  Again in my experience, Pinehurst is one of the best at this.  They call their on-course staff "Player Assistance", and they have iced towels and water with them, but they'll also let groups know that they're falling behind, and urge them to catch up.  This is one area in which I expect more effort from an expensive place than from a budget-conscious course.

Last, I'm really surprised the OP got a refund due simply to slow play.  That should have taken care of most of the complaints.  I do understand the frustration, tho, of looking forward to something special, and having it turn out to be way less than he anticipated.

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I have played a number of semi-private resort courses where there are separate areas on the range for members and daily-fee players.  That has never bothered me, it seems appropriate to take care of the members who provide long-term support to the club.

In my experience, 9 to 10 minutes tee intervals are common at many resort courses.  12 minute intervals seem to be pretty rare.

I do find it odd that a two-ball was put on the course amid a bunch of fourballs.  I know when my wife and I play, we always make it clear that we're happy to be paired up with two more players.  We do this both because we enjoy meeting people, as well as knowing that the pace of play will feel better if we have a full group.  If the OP chose to play as a twosome, and I have no idea if that's the case, he set himself up to be aggravated by the pace of play.

Again, there's no mention of a course marshal trying to improve the pace of play.  In my opinion, its essential that a resort course, especially an expensive one like this, make significant efforts at keeping the play moving.  Again in my experience, Pinehurst is one of the best at this.  They call their on-course staff "Player Assistance", and they have iced towels and water with them, but they'll also let groups know that they're falling behind, and urge them to catch up.  This is one area in which I expect more effort from an expensive place than from a budget-conscious course.

Last, I'm really surprised the OP got a refund due simply to slow play.  That should have taken care of most of the complaints.  I do understand the frustration, tho, of looking forward to something special, and having it turn out to be way less than he anticipated.

+1.   Also, if marshals do their job, the pace will catch up later.   At my course, when tee times become stacked, the pace may get quickened toward the 2nd half as the marshals push the slow groups ahead.   I've actually seen a marshal force one group to skip a hole to get them back to a normal pace.   I don't believe the OP contacted the golf shop to help with the pace (they may be already doing that for all I know).

Doing a Monk impression, here's what happened.   The OP paid good money for the round, went to the course with high expectation.   From the start, he felt he was discriminated with the course's separation of the ranges for the members and non-members.   Then, he ran into tee times which are stacked, tried to play through but the pace was extremely slow.   At that early pace, he is looking at 6 hour round and said he deserved better and went back and got his money back.   Good for him.   IMO, he "won" this round against the rich golf establishment.   He shouldn't still feel too bad (enough to post here to complain about the course).

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Aside from Phile Mcgleno churlish comments, thanks for your responses.

The criticism of the driving range in and of itself is not really an issue. The issue is, it seemed the segregated area for non members signaled an attitude they have toward their guests. It's as if they are saying, "we really don't want non member guests here, but we like the money, so we'll deal with it."

Driving up to the starter and waiting 10 minutes past your tee time while simultaneously watching the group ahead of the group you're waiting for take approach shots onto the 1st green is not accidental, I say- It's purposely stacked and I say it reflects a poor attitude toward your non members.

I don't think my observations and complaints are unreasonable. I also think they could have been more gracious about it, nevermind having spent thousands of dollars over the course of the week at their hotel as well as $400 on dinner the night before at 18 oaks.

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The criticism of the driving range in and of itself is not really an issue. The issue is, it seemed the segregated area for non members signaled an attitude they have toward their guests. It's as if they are saying, "we really don't want non member guests here, but we like the money, so we'll deal with it."

Really? All that just because there is a members range? My course has a lesson tee for people working directly with a lesson (or warming up for one). Are we discriminating against other golfers who do not take lessons or are we providing a perk for those who pay to take lessons? You are dead set on seeing it your way which is your right-But very few people here seem to agree with you. Popularity is not always what is right but sometimes it is wise to listen. [quote name="CarlOwen" url="/t/81396/greens-fees-and-expectations/36#post_1130836"]Driving up to the starter and waiting 10 minutes past your tee time while simultaneously watching the group ahead of the group you're waiting for take approach shots onto the 1st green is not accidental, I say- It's purposely stacked and I say it reflects a poor attitude toward your non members.[/quote] Isnt that something the MEMBERS have to deal with too? [quote name="CarlOwen" url="/t/81396/greens-fees-and-expectations/36#post_1130836"]I don't think my observations and complaints are unreasonable. I also think they could have been more gracious about it, nevermind having spent thousands of dollars over the course of the week at their hotel as well as $400 on dinner the night before at 18 oaks.[/quote] They gave you your money back after you hit balls and played three holes, then voluntarily left . They could have been more gracious how? What did you want and do you honestly think it is reasonable? You did not even say they gave you a problem or that you had to beg and plead or raise your voice to get your refund. You sound very entitled. They gave you a full refund. Why do you think they should have done more? They didn't even have to do THAT-Do you realize that?

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They could have been more gracious how?

What did you want and do you honestly think it is reasonable?

Why do you think they should have done more?

They didn't even have to [give refund]-Do you realize that?

These are the questions I'd love to hear answers for as well.

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These are the questions I'd love to hear answers for as well.

I'd guess the OP wanted them to apologize for the course playing slow and making him feel less important than paying members at the driving range.

I've never seen a business be "happy" about refunding money when the customer utilized some of their services.  IMO the offering of a full refund after use of the driving range and playing 3 holes is pretty good customer service.

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IMO the offering of a full refund after use of the driving range and playing 3 holes is pretty good customer service.

LOL ... mine too! ...

.... Look at it this way:  You got to hit a bucket of balls at a nice range and then play 3 holes of a TPC .... FOR FREE.  I'd say that the attitude of the pro shop guy is immediately overridden by his willingness to give me a refund.

:beer:

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The on-course stuff, sure. But when your complaint is that you didn't get an apology, you lose me.

To me the refund was the apology, which was pretty good service on their part.

The range bucket was not free. It was priced into the green fees.  Nothing's free, guys, nothing.  It's just like those dozen of golf balls with an extra 6 for free.  It's not free, it's just factored into the price.

It was free when the players got their money back.

Aside from Phile Mcgleno churlish comments, thanks for your responses.

The criticism of the driving range in and of itself is not really an issue. The issue is, it seemed the segregated area for non members signaled an attitude they have toward their guests. It's as if they are saying, "we really don't want non member guests here, but we like the money, so we'll deal with it."

Driving up to the starter and waiting 10 minutes past your tee time while simultaneously watching the group ahead of the group you're waiting for take approach shots onto the 1st green is not accidental, I say- It's purposely stacked and I say it reflects a poor attitude toward your non members.

Having sections for member and non-members is fairly common with semi-private clubs. It's more about trying to give the members, the guys that pay the initiation fee and monthly dues, a little something extra. In this case the members have a spot to hit balls without having to wait, hang out with fellow members and potentially hit off of good turf. If the course is as busy as you report then the range might get a little beat up.

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The criticism of the driving range in and of itself is not really an issue. The issue is, it seemed the segregated area for non members signaled an attitude they have toward their guests. It's as if they are saying, "we really don't want non member guests here, but we like the money, so we'll deal with it."...

To me, it signals more the attitude they have toward their members.  It's as if they're saying "You pay the big bucks to be a member here and are our ongoing form of support for the club.  We allow non-member guests because we like the money, but you are our primary concern".  Which is as it should be.  It can be a tough balancing act for a semi-private course, but the members have to come first.  Piss off the occasional non-member guest and they'll make some noise about it, maybe go gripe about it on an internet forum or post a bad review somewhere; piss off your members and they start leaving in droves, and then you're hurtin'.

I just can't see being bent about a course having a portion of their driving range reserved for their members.  Maybe if the bays for guests are on crabgrass over next to the dumpsters and there's only three of them while 12 pristine member bays are unused.  As far as the slow play and being behind schedule, it happens sometimes.  Hard to tell if they make a habit of it there, or if you just happened to fall victim to an occasional/rare exception.  Slow play is all but inevitable when a course gets busy - you'll never have 100% fast, considerate golfers on a course and it only takes one group to screw things up.  The accordion effect follows and it just goes downhill from there.  I'd agree with the majority that you were fortunate in that they refunded 100% of your green fees, even if they did so begrudgingly.  I don't know of a lot of courses that would do that.

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Note: This thread is 1650 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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