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Course Playability? Should it even be open?

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#1 Pearson10M



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Posted 11 March 2018 - 08:07 PM

So I played a course yesterday that was in great shape for being March 10 in New England.  Got 18 in in about 4 h, and played two of the holes twice, for a total of 20 holes.

Today, decided to check out another course that I haven't played yet.  It was listed as open and carts were being allowed according to the website.  It is about a 40 minute drive, so I called, they said they were open and had a very open schedule.  I drove down.  I pull into a parking lot and it had about 20 cars and a few guys loading their clubs onto their golf cart.  I walk over to the edge of the course and look over it.  It is about 15-20% covered in snow, most of it that I can see is on the sides of the fairway or shady sides of the course terrain in normally playable areas.

I walk into the pro shop and ask if the course is open for play.  I am told It is, but there is snow on it in many places and three greens out of 18 are covered in snow.  So I debate what to do, since I just drove 40 minutes to play.  I ask the fee to walk 9 and it is $25, $30 with a cart, and $47 for a cart and 18.  I decide not play and wait for a better day and drove home.

So I am curious if anyone thinks that the course should even be open or charging full price given the conditions?  I know that the course isn't doing anything illegal and not forcing you to play, but most courses generally don't open if there is excessive water or snow on it or reduce rates for less "ideal" conditions.

Edited by Pearson10M, 14 March 2018 - 10:03 AM.

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#2 raynorfan1


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Posted 11 March 2018 - 08:18 PM


Just because you don’t deem the conditions ‘worthy’ doesn’t mean that some schmo who has been waiting since Christmas to hit his new M4 on a real golf course shouldn’t be able to go out and get wet and muddy.

If you don’t like the conditions, don’t play - but be grateful that the course was open so that it was YOUR decision, not theirs.

In terms of fees...I think it’s a little ridiculous to charge full freight for temporary greens and mud bog conditions...but nobody’s forcing anybody to play/pay; it’s up to you whether it’s worth the money or not. On the plus side, rounds are a lot quicker than they will be in July.


#3 LeoLeo99


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Posted 12 March 2018 - 08:53 PM

They should have been more forthcoming over the phone.  Some courses can be more flexible with pricing than others.


#4 Big Ben

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 09:12 PM

Got lucky and played today in Northeastern Ohio. The course is totally setup for winter golf including cart covers already in place. Couple blankets for the seats and my Coleman Golfcat, perfection! Amazingly this place drains excellent and it was in way better condition than you would expect. Best part $20 bucks for 18 holes. These guys cater to winter golf including rolling the greens and exceptional cleanup for March. Hard to complain about the 35 degree weather when you are dying to make a few swings after a long break. BB
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#5 golfandfishing


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Posted 12 March 2018 - 09:38 PM

Of course they should have been open, they probably had regulars bugging them for days wanting to know why they werenít open.

Itís their business - open when they want, charge what they want. A few of the guys you saw in carts in the lot probably would have paid twice that amount to break their cabin fever.


#6 ArtMBgolf



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Posted 13 March 2018 - 09:26 PM

If $47 is the Winter rate, with a higher summer rate, then that is the rate when open in the winter.  

If $47 is the regular in season rate, then there should have been a discount for the snow and probably slop grounds.


#7 HoosierMizuno


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Posted 14 March 2018 - 10:14 AM

I always wish more courses were upfront when on the phone regarding conditions or pace of play. don't tell me its wide open only to see 3 groups waiting to go off on the 1st. let me know the greens have been punched that day if i'm calling in to make a tee time, and in this case they should absolutely have told you couple greens were covered.

i've actually seen the opposite, where a course closes for the winter no matter the weather. even if we get a couple days in the high 40s low 50s in February the won't allow anyone on the course. not even someone who wants to walk 9.
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#8 Socrates


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Posted 14 March 2018 - 10:49 AM

It's March 14th and even in your part of the world, you've got to know conditions are going to be sketchy at best.  If the weather is nice enough and you are desperate to play and the course is willing, then you should take what comes.  As far as the $47, they likely should charge more because people are desperate to play - no matter what.  Plus they likely will need a few maintenance $$ to fix the damage caused.

You could have been a little more pointed in your questions knowing you were driving 40 minutes.  i.e. asking if there is snow on the course, all greens open, etc...  I know I would have been since we go through the same thing here in a few weeks and you've got to ask those questions when courses are open and yet you've got snow in your back yard.
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#9 Pearson10M



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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:16 PM

Thanks for the responses.  Yes, no arguments from me re: open or not.  Any course can open whenever they feel like it, regardless of the conditions, but in my experience, albeit limited, with these conditions, almost all courses would not open or if they were open, a little more upfront with conditions on their website and when I call the pro shop and ask if the course is open.

I didn't find out about the snow until I drove down and saw the course.  Then when I asked if the course was open for play inside the pro shop, that's when I was told about the covered greens and the full price green fees.

On the way back, I stopped at another course, which had essentially no snow.  Only few patches on some of the tee boxes and here and there out on the course.  Looked to be very playable.  They were closed when I asked about playing 9 and said they wouldn't open until all the snow on the course was gone.

I guess the lesson I learned here and echoed by many of you, be a little more explicit with my questions, especially at this time of year.


#10 nix


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Posted 14 March 2018 - 03:13 PM

I think it's fine to be open, they can charge what they want, but should've told you about conditions in your phone call.

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#11 CJPenny



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Posted 15 March 2018 - 12:33 PM

I'm still figuring out how you found somewhere in New England that wasn't completely covered in snow even a week ago.
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#12 fairways4life


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Posted 15 March 2018 - 03:49 PM

One time I called a course to book a tee time for later in the afternoon on that same day. I showed up, and literally as I was handing the guy my credit card he said "Oh and just to let you know, the 16th hole (par 5) is playing as a par 3 today with a temporary tee box in the fairway and holes 8, 11 and 14 have temporary greens."

Me: "Oh okay. And you're still charging me full price?"

Him: "Yes."

Me: "Great, thanks, this will be the last time I ever come here."

About 4 years later and I haven't been back. Dude had every opportunity to disclose that information to me on the phone when I called to make the time.


#13 Pearson10M



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Posted 15 March 2018 - 07:13 PM

 CJPenny, on 15 March 2018 - 12:33 PM, said:

I'm still figuring out how you found somewhere in New England that wasn't completely covered in snow even a week ago.

Last Saturday, I played Bay Point (Onset/Bourne) and it was great.  Great winter conditions. A little further north was were the snow line/area was.  It was the next day (Sunday) that I tried to play the "snow" course and it was north of Bay Point.

Nobody is playing anywhere outside this weekend in NE.


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