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Asking For Refund When Course In Poor Condition?


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3 minutes ago, Braivo said:

I believe they are hurting and so they are making a last gasp at increasing revenue. Unfortunately, I don't think their strategy will work. Increasing prices AND improving conditions simultaneously could lead to them becoming a higher-end track. I hope this course cna make it. They hired a new greenskeeper this year and things haven't gone well for him. It is in a desirable area, I'm afraid it might start looking like a really good revenue option for the city to sell the property to a developer. 

The sad thing is, there are some wildly successful goat tracks. They are successful because they are cheap and serve cold beer and that appeals to some people. The world needs goat tracks too. From what you are saying, I would use your rain check soon. I woke up to the news a few years ago that my country club closed it's doors without notice. Hopefully they aren't spraying chemicals this time.

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18 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

The sad thing is, there are some wildly successful goat tracks. They are successful because they are cheap and serve cold beer and that appeals to some people. The world needs goat tracks too. From what you are saying, I would use your rain check soon. I woke up to the news a few years ago that my country club closed it's doors without notice. Hopefully they aren't spraying chemicals this time.

I think there is a difference between less expensive courses and pure goat tracks.

We've both had our share of complaints about the old joint on Wagner Ford, but I'd stop short of calling it a goat track. Think Moss Creek and Hidden Lake.

It comes down to basic playability. You gotta be able to putt the ball on the green. You gotta be able to find a ball that's in play. When those things aren't possible, it's a goat track that needs to cough up refunds on demand.

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28 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

The sad thing is, there are some wildly successful goat tracks. They are successful because they are cheap and serve cold beer and that appeals to some people. The world needs goat tracks too. From what you are saying, I would use your rain check soon. I woke up to the news a few years ago that my country club closed it's doors without notice. Hopefully they aren't spraying chemicals this time.

No doubt, I have a few goat tracks that are staples in my rotation. I go to them when I'm short on time (usually not busy), looking to practice different shots, or I want to bring my kids along and not waste money or be rushed. They certainly have their place. 

The courses that seem to be struggling are those that are in between a goat track and a championship course. Those are the ones that are closing near me. Some are converting to high-end, others are stripping maintenance and prices down and becoming goat tracks, few are staying in the middle range. 

The problem with the above referenced round is that it was in worse condition than a typical goat track, but was charging the price of a premium course. 

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9 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

I think there is a difference between less expensive courses and pure goat tracks.

We've both had our share of complaints about the old joint on Wagner Ford, but I'd stop short of calling it a goat track. Think Moss Creek and Hidden Lake.

It comes down to basic playability. You gotta be able to putt the ball on the green. You gotta be able to find a ball that's in play. When those things aren't possible, it's a goat track that needs to cough up refunds on demand.

I'm not just referring to Dayton, but I was thinking of Cliffside. Hidden Lake is dead. I also remember one I used to play in eastern West Virginia. It was a 9-hole POS, but I was just picking up the game and it was perfect place to go hack around a ball.

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You realized the course was in poor shape on the first hole.  That was the time to quit and ask for your money back.....not 7 holes into a nine hole round.

Having said that, it's completely appropriate to stop by the clubhouse on the way out and let them know what you thought of your experience.  As often as not, a concerned club will do exactly what they did, and offer you the opportunity to give them another chance, on the house.

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13 hours ago, David in FL said:

You realized the course was in poor shape on the first hole.  That was the time to quit and ask for your money back.....not 7 holes into a nine hole round.

Having said that, it's completely appropriate to stop by the clubhouse on the way out and let them know what you thought of your experience.  As often as not, a concerned club will do exactly what they did, and offer you the opportunity to give them another chance, on the house.

Did you read the whole thing? I decided to call it on 7 when they were spraying the greens with pesticide just moments before I was going to be using them. Otherwise, I was going finish out the round and let it go. 

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9 hours ago, Braivo said:

Did you read the whole thing? I decided to call it on 7 when they were spraying the greens with pesticide just moments before I was going to be using them. Otherwise, I was going finish out the round and let it go. 

Yup.  You played 7 of 9 holes...after you knew the course was in bad shape.  Kudos to them for offering you the opportunity to come back again, on them.

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If it is a municipal (city owned) course there may be no support from the city to maintain it beyond the absolute minimum.

Truth is, cities have budgets and there is no money appropriated to improve it.  It really is a vicious circle.  Poorer conditions result in fewer rounds being played.  Costs out weigh revenue, rates are raised so even fewer people play the course and that results in less revenue.  It becomes an anchor on the city budget and easy prey for an investor.  So many muni courses have disappeared.

John

Edited by 70sSanO
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Being in Scotland it's the opposite to your situation as in flooded greens.  I've went into pro shop and been given a free second game voucher / ticket a few times over the years.  I don't see it as an issue and as long as your respectful to the staff it's never been an issue with no hard feelings from either party. 

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I usually won't request a refund or rain check for stuff, I usually just don't go back.  I don't think the OP was out of line though, especially since the pro shop admitted the course was in rough shape.

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I don't know what conditions are like in Michigan, but this has been a really tough year for golf courses in the mid-atlantic area.  The combination of plentiful rain and unusually high temperatures has really strained the "good grass", to the point where we have weeds taking over much of the rough, and encroaching into fairways and tees.  We've also had an infestation of some kind of weevil (immigrants from north of the Mason-Dixon line, damn yankees!), which has devastated collars around many greens, and which really aren't visible until after much of the damage has occurred.  The greens are still pretty good, and most of the fairways are OK.  However, many of the members have been quite vocal in their complaints about the course condition.  Several other private clubs in the area are in worse shape, including a couple of  high-dollar places that have a significant number of dead fairways and/or greens.

I say this only to bring out the possibility that the course maintenance is doing a pretty good job, even though playing conditions aren't great.  Its certainly fair to discuss your disappointment over the conditions with the staff, and perfectly appropriate on their part to give you rain checks.  

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I don't think you did anything wrong. Kudos to you for asking for a refund, and kudos to them for giving you a raincheck. 

I played a round a few years ago right behind a guy spraying pesticides in a full rubber suit. I had a nasty, throbbing headache starting on the 5th hole or so and lasting the rest of the day. I should have thought to ask for a refund, or at least let the pro shop know they should alert golfers of the situation before they pay. 

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On September 22, 2016 at 0:01 PM, Braivo said:

A few weeks ago my girlfriend and I decided last minute to head out and play nine holes at the local muni. 

We were shocked to find that they had raised their rates significantly since the last time we had played, the fees were now in line with higher end courses in the area. We decided to go ahead and play anyway, but recognized that this course was now far less of a value. 

Upon reaching the first green we discovered it was completely torched. Brown, patches of dirt, and weeds everywhere. Very disappointing. We thought it was just a fluke and continued on. We found that every green was like that. Additionally, the tee boxes were overgrown with weeds and the rough was so long we lost a ball on nearly every hole. 

We weren't happy, but we pressed on, until ...

we approached the seventh green only to find a crew member spraying the green with some liquid solution. We approached him to ask what he was spraying on the greens, he said it was a fertilizer/pesticide mixture. He had no idea if it was toxic or if we should be playing golf on it immediately after he sprayed it. 

We weren't about to hit onto and putt on a still wet green covered in fertilizer and pesticides. We picked up our balls and returned to the clubhouse where they gave us a raincheck after we voiced our complaints. They said it was a dry summer so the course was in rough shape (this didn't explain the uncut rough, but I will give some leeway here). Upon asking about the fertilizer appliation occuring during peak hours on a Sunday, they had to explanation. They just shook their heads. 

Was I right to request a refund in this situation? Is that normal to apply fertilizer / pesticide during peak playing hours? Has anyone else ever requested a refund upon finding a course in very poor condition? 

Its not normal for a maintence crew to be dropping chemicals during peak times on a weekend. Of course you were right in requesting a refund, you have a right to get what you're expecting for your money as a customer.  I personally have never done that - I've just never played at that course again. 

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I think you are ok for asking for a refund.  They can give it to you or not, but you wont get one if you don't ask. 

The only time I have asked for a refund was on my membership I paid at the course I play at the lake.  The course was in beautiful shape when it opened, but then something happened (I think the greenskeeper sprayed the wrong chemical on the greens) and the greens burned out and the others were very patchy.  About 2 months into the season (I had played maybe 5-6 times by then) they closed down 6 of the 9 greens and put a flag about 30 yards in front of the green and called it good.  I asked for my money back for the membership as I didn't want to play the rest of the season in those conditions, and also told them if they wanted to take the normal greens fees for 5 rounds out and refund me the rest.  They wouldn't do it.  I asked them to apply what I paid to my next years membership (I wouldn't play there the rest of the year)  if the course was back in good condition and they still wouldn't do it. 

 

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I was explaining this situation to a friend over the weekend and he added this little anecdote:

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"Imagine you are at a restaurant and your steak is tough and not very enjoyable. You probably tough it out and vow not to eat there again. Now imagine you are 2/3 of the way through that same steak when the waiter comes over and drops a fly on the remaining portion. It probably won't hurt you to eat it, and you've already eaten most of it anyway. Would you call it good and never return or raise a little hell and get a refund? Of course you would want a refund, this golf experience is no different." 

 

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On 9/22/2016 at 0:15 PM, Jeremie Boop said:

I may be a rare type of golfer in that I'd rather play a course that is tougher and more interesting that one that is easy and boring. Even if that means my score isn't as good. 

you mean "rare" as in probably 90% of all golfers?

 

If they don't tell me when I reserve, or check in, even simple stuff "we just aerated"  "holes 13,14 are closed today due to water"   "18 is closed as we are doing major maintenance"  etc etc etc (each of these I had this year, each the course told me when I called or when I checked in and then they discounted up front) - then ABSOLUTELY I'll ask for a refund if I can't play the course as intended.

Especially if they don't say anything before I pay.

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Note: This thread is 1574 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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