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ZANDER1994

No Reservations for Singles?

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The only situation I've seen this happen is a course will not give a single a spot before noon on a weekend. If they want a spot then the single is getting paired up with a group. Most courses hold the right to pair you up anyways. If you go during the busy golf season to the vacation cities in the USA, a lot of courses there will pair you up.

 

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How odd... In 40+ years of playing here in the NE and 20+ years of visiting my parents in Florida I have NEVER been refused a time as a single when calling the day before. I make sure to specify I don't mind getting hooked up with another group as a fill in. Now, if the course is fully booked they will tell me, and I'll look elsewhere. Even some of the 'better' courses like World Woods and TPC Tampa allowed me to book as a single.

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This is common where I am but only, strangely enough, for the municipal courses.  Also very oddly they will allow you to reserve a tee time for 3 but not 1 - what's the difference?  My solution is to book a tee time for two as there are no penalties for no shows.  Needless to say I think I could give them some management tips to greatly improve their revenue streams.  The municipal courses in NJ were run quite efficiently.

About every 5 rounds or so they send me a survey about the course and my round. On every survey I ream them for not taking single reservations. I pay my taxes, why am I being discriminated against. If I ever get a response I'm sure it will be something about cart sharing to which I can either point out that 3 people can't share a cart and ... I walk.

While I'm ranting, because walking the golf course is important to my exercise I pretty much stick to the municipal courses here on weekends.  The public non-municipals generally don't allow walking on weekends. Very frustrated with some aspects of golf post move.

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Coming at this from someone who played solo a lot, when I called to play I didn't ask for my own time, I asked when's the best time for a single to get out, paired or not.  That way, they can book me a time or just say when the slow times are.  Obviously, this requires flexibility on my time and the course being honest about their tee sheet. 

Being a pro changes that a little, but it brings me to the operational POV for booking singles.  To get an actual tee time depends on whether the course expects to be busy or not and how far in advance you are calling.  First off, I make a point to be honest with golfers over the phone.  It's not a good look at all when people show up and things are not as they expected from the phone call (could be course conditions, how busy it is, etc.).  For holiday weekends, I would not book a tee time (own time, I would put you with others) for a single unless you are calling the day of.  Normal weekends and weekdays, I wouldn't book a time during the times I expect to be busy, as everyone has said I want those times to be booked by foursomes, however I don't mind throwing you in with a twosome or threesome already booked.  If I normally have a lull at certain times of the day, I usually tell the single that if they want to play solo, that'd be their best bet, otherwise they may be paired up with others.

2 minutes ago, gbogey said:

 Also very oddly they will allow you to reserve a tee time for 3 but not 1 - what's the difference?

My course, as much as $160 is the difference.  It's a business and like all things, we prefer to make more money when we can.

5 minutes ago, gbogey said:

 My solution is to book a tee time for two as there are no penalties for no shows.

This happens a lot and, on busy days, it's frustrating that people do this.  I know people intentionally say 4 when they only have two just so they can play by themselves. There are days I know I can fill those two spots.  I turn people away only to have something pop up because only half a group showed up and then try to insist they play by themselves.  Sure it's the money, but it's also about those I turn away, it's unfair to them.  Those no shows add up to quite a bit over the course of a day.

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10 minutes ago, phillyk said:

Coming at this from someone who played solo a lot, when I called to play I didn't ask for my own time, I asked when's the best time for a single to get out, If I normally have a lull at certain times of the day, I usually tell the single that if they want to play solo, that'd be their best bet, otherwise they may be paired up with others.

My course, as much as $160 is the difference.  It's a business and like all things, we prefer to make more money when we can.

To be clear, I expect to be paired with someone else when I show up as a single, especially on the weekends.  I have no desire to play as a single behind loads of foursomes. But as someone who is new to the area, I just don't have regular playing partners to play with (I did before I moved so I am not a total loner/loser). So at one of these courses (the preferred one of course), which with good weather is generally totally booked from opening to at least 2 p.m., my choice is either to not play or to book as a twosome.  If you book a twosome, they have no problem booking another twosome at the same time. Why is pairing a single with a twosome or threesome so problematic. To also be clear, this is a city course.  My house is way above average value for the city, so I am paying much more than average taxes to support this course.  Yet I'm being denied access to public facilities for being a single.  

And if you're a public course denying access to singles, you are missing out on business. Force pair them up (sometimes you meet people to play with next time) and if they book as 4 but are really 2, charge them for it (or maybe be better to tell them NEXT TIME you will have to charge them for it). 

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On 3/24/2019 at 9:19 AM, ZANDER1994 said:

Yesterday I called a golf course and asked to make a reservation as a single. 

“Yeah sure let me see here... er, um”

After listening to about five minutes of the guy on the phone clicking a computer screen I hear him whisper something to his boss and he responds

”Oh, uh, actually we do not take reservations for singles”

I say “oh, alright that’s okay. So if I just show up tomorrow you think you’ll be able to get me out by pairing me up with someone? I don’t mind that at all”

The response I got was “Uhhh, I mean. We will try our best”. 

This morning I showed up to the golf course and stated I had called, but they didn’t take reservations for singles. The guy behind the counter sort of chuckles and just tells me they are fully booked and there is no way I could get out today. So I packed my bag up and I’m about to drive somewhere else  

I find this incredibly annoying and it is not the first time this has happened to me. I understand golf courses need to maximize their profits by booking as many foursomes as possible, but I think this could be done a lot better. Imagine if you wanted to book a hotel, or a flight or something people commonly enjoy by themselves and were told ‘sorry, we prefer vacationing families and thus you’ll just have to take your chances without a reservation’ every time you wanted to travel somewhere alone. 

What are your thoughts on the policy? Has this happened to any of you before?

 

 

 

This seems odd.  I haven't really experienced a situation like this, and most of the time starters are eager to help out a single that doesn't have a tee time.   

I would guess, since its so early in the season that the kid answering the phone is probably brand new and doesn't really know the ins and outs.   If the tee sheet was completely full, at the very least, he could have let you know this while you were on the phone so you didn't waste your time. 

This situation actually happens to me all the time (no single reservations over the phone).   Then I'll ask if there is a threesome out there they can pair me with.   But, even so, they almost always tell me the best time to show up.   i.e. "We're pretty open after 2pm, I'm sure we can get you out"  or whatnot.   I think it's pretty common in Minnesota not to take singles over the phone.  

 Your profile says Twin Cities.  did this happen in Minnesota, and if so, might I ask which course?  

 

 

 

 

Edited by lastings

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My course won't give open times to singles, but we will happily give you a time with a twosome or threesome. It comes down to we really would rather not turn away a larger group because our tee sheet is full of a bunch of singles. That being said it would be odd for someone to not be able to get on our course as a single even if you didn't make a tee time. 

Singles are people too!

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I have had a number of courses tell me that they will not pair me up, nor will they take a time for a single.  I'd be more than happy to be paired up, I don't expect to play by myself.   I find it to be short sighted and/or lazy.   if you won't book me  as a single, then I probably will shy away from choosing there when playing with other people.

It also smacks of laziness since all you need to do is look at the tee sheet to see if there is room and put me in.   There is a big difference between "I don't see any openings right now" and a blanket "we don't book singles".

 

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I have played a lot in my life as a single. I have NEVER expected to be put out by myself. I ALWAYS assume that the course is going to pair me with another group to fill out their 4some (I do hate it when they jam me in as a 5th though). When I call asking if they have any openings for a single around 1pm (or whatever time I am hoping to play) I'm hoping they have a 3some booked they can stick me with. 

After reading this I understand the "we won't book a single into a fully open slot" rule. That makes sense. But not adding me into a 2some or 3some is just nuts.

I will admit that I HATE showing up and asking to squeeze me in. I suck, but I like my pre-round routine and there is nothing worse than "hey, have you got a spot open?" "Sure, I can squeeze you in right now if you want." "Can I hit a bucket?" "Now or 2 hours from now are your options." "ugh, now then." Especially when the 1st par 3 backs up and the 2some behind us pulls up and I can see the 3some behind them roll up to the green on the previous hole.

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2 hours ago, phillyk said:

Coming at this from someone who played solo a lot, when I called to play I didn't ask for my own time, I asked when's the best time for a single to get out, paired or not.  That way, they can book me a time or just say when the slow times are.  Obviously, this requires flexibility on my time and the course being honest about their tee sheet. 

This is what I do. I usually ask if they have an opening for a single in a time range.

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I don't think the course really did anything wrong.

It's perhaps in their best interests not to allow singles to book a time, and had they had the ability to pair you with a twosome or threesome, I suspect they would have.

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5 minutes ago, Chasing_Bogeys said:

I will admit that I HATE showing up and asking to squeeze me in. I suck, but I like my pre-round routine and there is nothing worse than "hey, have you got a spot open?" "Sure, I can squeeze you in right now if you want." "Can I hit a bucket?" "Now or 2 hours from now are your options." "ugh, now then." Especially when the 1st par 3 backs up and the 2some behind us pulls up and I can see the 3some behind them roll up to the green on the previous hole.

As a long time starter, I am going to address this. We ONLY have a tee sheet. That tee sheet has groups written down as foursomes, threesomes, twosomes, etc. We are not clairvoyant, we cannot see into the future. Those groups behind you may or may not have even checked in and sometimes they don't tell us until their tee time that someone isn't going to show.  If we look down and there are nothing but foursomes on the tee sheet for the next two hours we have to go with that. Sometime we don't know we have a spot until that group is on the tee. 

In a perfect world the starter would know all, he would know that Bob in the 9:16am group isn't going to show because of a bad hangover. But it isn't a perfect world and Bob is an asshole who isn't even going to call his buddies to cancel.

As a single you are the low guy, as starter we will do our best to get you on, but If you need 45 minutes to warm up then you get what you get. There might not be a spot for you. The starter is doing his best, but the more requirements you put on your starting time as a single the better chance you will have to wait.

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8 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

As a long time starter, I am going to address this. We ONLY have a tee sheet. That tee sheet has groups written down as foursomes, threesomes, twosomes, etc. We are not clairvoyant, we cannot see into the future. Those groups behind you may or may not have even checked in and sometimes they don't tell us until their tee time that someone isn't going to show.  If we look down and there are nothing but foursomes on the tee sheet for the next two hours we have to go with that. Sometime we don't know we have a spot until that group is on the tee. 

In a perfect world the starter would know all, he would know that Bob in the 9:16am group isn't going to show because of a bad hangover. But it isn't a perfect world and Bob is an asshole who isn't even going to call his buddies to cancel.

As a single you are the low guy, as starter we will do our best to get you on, but If you need 45 minutes to warm up then you get what you get. There might not be a spot for you. The starter is doing his best, but the more requirements you put on your starting time as a single the better chance you will have to wait.

All of the above is true. All of the above is fair. All of the above is understood. It is MUCH more a me thing than a "starter" thing that causes me to hate showing up to get on a wait list. I almost never do this anymore because I know this about myself.

I have also showed up and had starters/check in folks say "yeah, we're open this afternoon. Grab a bucket, putt, chip, whatever you want and then stop by. Unless we get a weird rush I'll get you on when you're ready."

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1 minute ago, Chasing_Bogeys said:

All of the above is true. All of the above is fair. All of the above is understood. It is MUCH more a me thing than a "starter" thing that causes me to hate showing up to get on a wait list. I almost never do this anymore because I know this about myself.

I have also showed up and had starters/check in folks say "yeah, we're open this afternoon. Grab a bucket, putt, chip, whatever you want and then stop by. Unless we get a weird rush I'll get you on when you're ready."

There are some days when we just tell people to go hit it when they want, Monday afternoons for one, we often don't even have a starter.

Just realize two things from now on when you approach the starter:

  1.  The starter is really trying to get everyone on 
  2. People are stupid and make that job as difficult as possible

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1 minute ago, NM Golf said:

There are some days when we just tell people to go hit it when they want, Monday afternoons for one, we often don't even have a starter.

Just realize two things from now on when you approach the starter:

  1.  The starter is really trying to get everyone on 
  2. People are stupid and make that job as difficult as possible

Regardless of when it is I almost always try to call ahead. I always understand that I'm the a-hole showing up at the last minute unannounced hoping to get on so there are likely to be limitations.

1 - I agree with the caveat that some starters are better than others.
2 - in all discussions about all things I assume that people (as a group) are stupid and that makes everything much harder than it needs to be. I am rarely disappointed. 

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I don't see the issue here.

You called, the guy started to try to help you and then was corrected by his coworker/mgr.  He related the error to you immediately, and told you they don't book singles but if you want you could just show up hoping for a walk-on.  He was unable to predict the future availability of walk-on spots, and told you as much up front. 

Expecting a golf course with no open slots to create one for you to play by yourself is insane.

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Before I joined my course I would try a lot of courses. What I would do though, is call and say I'm a single, do you have spot for me Saturday morning. Then I could decide if the open spot fit my needs. Many times the person on the phone would ask my skill level or if I minded joining a husband/wife twosome.

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On 3/25/2019 at 11:09 AM, lastings said:

This seems odd.  I haven't really experienced a situation like this, and most of the time starters are eager to help out a single that doesn't have a tee time.   

I would guess, since its so early in the season that the kid answering the phone is probably brand new and doesn't really know the ins and outs.   If the tee sheet was completely full, at the very least, he could have let you know this while you were on the phone so you didn't waste your time. 

This situation actually happens to me all the time (no single reservations over the phone).   Then I'll ask if there is a threesome out there they can pair me with.   But, even so, they almost always tell me the best time to show up.   i.e. "We're pretty open after 2pm, I'm sure we can get you out"  or whatnot.   I think it's pretty common in Minnesota not to take singles over the phone.  

 Your profile says Twin Cities.  did this happen in Minnesota, and if so, might I ask which course?  

 

 

 

 

This doesn't really surprise me much. Not the policy, but the fact that the people doing the booking don't know how to operate the computer! When speed and efficiency are at a premium, they possess neither. I've seen quite a few bewildered people staring at monitors having no clue what to do.

Of course, It might not be all their fault. When computerized POS systems were getting popular, some of the suppliers went overboard and made things far too complicated. Back in the day, I went to a local upscale watering and dining hole that had installed "state of the art" touch screen, cash registers. Watching the bar maid, I realized that she needed to touch the screen about a dozen times to ring up a frigging draft beer! 

One of the busiest local courses used to allow early risers who only wanted to play 9 to tee off on the back nines (they have 36 holes) on the weekend, while the booked tee times teed off on the fronts. Seemed like quite the enlightened policy. Plus, it maximized revenue! I don't know if they still do this, but it wouldn't surprise me. The current Director of Golf is all about revenue! He'll rent you a riding cart for 18 at 8PM in late August! If that's what you want to do, he will accommodate you.

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