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Having head pro call to reserve times at private courses.


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#1 dr_nerve

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 06:14 AM

What kinds of success have you guys had with trying to get on other private courses by reciprocal agreements between the head pros? I'm working for my club in south Houston and taking lessons with our head pro over the summer, and was hoping to see if he could help me try to play a round on Champions or Carlton Woods up in Cypress. I'm also heading up to Seattle in August to visit family, and we normally play a couple rounds at their local muni together, but we're trying to do something more special this time. Would it be possible to try reserving tee times at courses like Aldarra or Snoqualmie Ridge up there, given enough time in advance?

Edited by dr_nerve, 02 May 2018 - 06:16 AM.


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#2 Dizz

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 06:20 AM

Totally depends on the head pro or the course he is calling from.  Generally those two things go hand in hand but not 100% of the time.

If your club is a no-name club and your head pro is not popular amongst his peers then you wonít have much success.

If itís the opposite he could have you a tee time in minutes from a simple text message.
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#3 golfandfishing

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 07:34 AM

You are going to have to ask your pro these questions. Itís not fair to him to have you get answers here that he has to deliver on. Also appears you arenít a member at the club but an employee, this could affect your options.

Ask your guy what he can do for you.

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#4 bazinky

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 07:49 AM

 Dizz, on 02 May 2018 - 06:20 AM, said:

Totally depends on the head pro or the course he is calling from.  Generally those two things go hand in hand but not 100% of the time.

If your club is a no-name club and your head pro is not popular amongst his peers then you won't have much success.

If it's the opposite he could have you a tee time in minutes from a simple text message.

People always underestimate the influence of the Pro himself, regardless of the course. My buddy used to play at a course that was nothing special, but the Head Pro was a really good player (qualified for the PGA several times) and pretty popular among his peers. He basically could get you on just about anywhere short of the likes of Augusta National, Seminole, and Pine Valley. And I'm not sure he couldn't swing those if he really liked you ...
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#5 maga_golfer

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 08:12 AM

Whatever you decide to do, be committed to the result.  Don't ask the pro to go through the whole process and make a call and have it arranged then back out of it if it costs too much.  If the pro is willing to make that call, you should respect the effort that they are making on your behalf.  I know a couple of guys who ask their pro to call clubs and schedule reciprocity rounds and have backed out, and they lost those privileges.  Plus it burned the rest of the membership because the pro now won't make calls to those clubs to ask for help.


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#6 johnnylongball

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 08:44 AM

 maga_golfer, on 02 May 2018 - 08:12 AM, said:

Whatever you decide to do, be committed to the result.  Don't ask the pro to go through the whole process and make a call and have it arranged then back out of it if it costs too much.  If the pro is willing to make that call, you should respect the effort that they are making on your behalf.  I know a couple of guys who ask their pro to call clubs and schedule reciprocity rounds and have backed out, and they lost those privileges.  Plus it burned the rest of the membership because the pro now won't make calls to those clubs to ask for help.

Solid advice.  Don't expect this to be cheap.

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#7 ryu123

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:11 AM

agree with Maga_golfer:  access to private clubs is not cheap.

A buddy & I played Sahalee about 15 yrs ago; it was $200 each. A few years ago Aldarra charged a bit less.   Some clubs insist on a guest also taking a caddie, so the caddie fee + tip is additional.

If you ask your pro for access & get an invitation, don't back out just because it's expensive.  Do your homework first & check the guest fees.

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#8 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:13 AM

Do you guys think it is OK for the pro to also check on price when checking to see if they will let you play?

I don't want to blindly commit to a round that might be far more expensive than anticipated.

FWIW, I've had our pro check prices, but if that is putting them in a bad position I won't do it any more.
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#9 Golfnuck

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:14 AM

Based on your post you are an employee of the club and not a member.

Are you a PGA associate member?

If so, it seem like there is some sort of professional courtesy extended as our clubs associate pros seem to be able to get onto many of the big name private clubs.

If you are a member of a private club you should contact not only the head pro but the general manager as they both will likely have different contacts.

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#10 Golfnuck

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:18 AM

 deadsolid...shank, on 02 May 2018 - 09:13 AM, said:

Do you guys think it is OK for the pro to also check on price when checking to see if they will let you play?

I don't want to blindly commit to a round that might be far more expensive than anticipated.

FWIW, I've had our pro check prices, but if that is putting them in a bad position I won't do it any more.

I would not ask the pro to check on actual prices but the pro should ask if a guest fee will be charged and if a caddie is required as without a formal reciprocal arrangement each course will have different policies.


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#11 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:23 AM

 Golfnuck, on 02 May 2018 - 09:18 AM, said:

 deadsolid...shank, on 02 May 2018 - 09:13 AM, said:

Do you guys think it is OK for the pro to also check on price when checking to see if they will let you play?

I don't want to blindly commit to a round that might be far more expensive than anticipated.

FWIW, I've had our pro check prices, but if that is putting them in a bad position I won't do it any more.

I would not ask the pro to check on actual prices but the pro should ask if a guest fee will be charged and if a caddie is required as without a formal reciprocal arrangement each course will have different policies.

Well now I'm torn as what to do in the future. I just won't show up to a course (I'm not talking about high end places by the way, just smaller, local privates) without knowing in advance the cost. If a person calls most courses as an individual, will they tell the guest fees?  If they won't, its kind of catch22 situation.

I really don't want to put our guys in an akward situation.
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#12 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:26 AM

At my daughter's wedding in northern Colorado a few years ago I planned on taking my son and future son in law out for a round. Neither of them play much (like maybe one round a season). I did have our pro call and inquire and the course wanted a guest fee somewhere in the $150 range(each). I just couldn't justify paying that much (although in the grand scheme of things after paying for the wedding, maybe I shouldn't have worried about a few hundred more).
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#13 schley

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:46 AM

Ask other members about where they have played and what the guest fee was if you are unsure.  You are not the only one who uses this private club reciprocity, as it is pretty common.  If you become closer friends with the Pro/GM then maybe you can ask them, but wouldn't them to be bargain shopping for you, when in the end it is a favor.  If you ask, be prepared to pay.  The caddy plus tip can be more than the guest fee.  Everyone has to make a living and golf at private clubs isn't muni golf, so embrace it for all of what it is and support it.

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#14 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:58 AM

 schley, on 02 May 2018 - 09:46 AM, said:

Ask other members about where they have played and what the guest fee was if you are unsure.  You are not the only one who uses this private club reciprocity, as it is pretty common.  If you become closer friends with the Pro/GM then maybe you can ask them, but wouldn't them to be bargain shopping for you, when in the end it is a favor.  If you ask, be prepared to pay.  The caddy plus tip can be more than the guest fee.  Everyone has to make a living and golf at private clubs isn't muni golf, so embrace it for all of what it is and support it.

Personally I've been pretty good friends with all our pros (the previous two maybe more so because they were closer to my age) and know them pretty well. I don't think they mind checking, but the most important thing is I really don't want to put them in a bad spot.  I'll ask them today to tell me if it does (they're both pretty accommodating however, I don't know if they'll tell me if it does).  None of the places I would be inquiring about are high end enough that they even have caddies, so not the cream of the crop I would be looking at. And were very much not high end so those places probably wouldn't talk to us anyway.

Maybe I'll just stick to public when I travel.

EDIT: I did go in blindly one time, and ended up paying almost $200 for a course that while decent and in very good shape, wouldn't have been more than a $50 course on the public market.  Just something I won't do again.

Edited by deadsolid...shank, 02 May 2018 - 10:00 AM.

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#15 golfandfishing

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:01 AM

 deadsolid...shank, on 02 May 2018 - 09:23 AM, said:

 Golfnuck, on 02 May 2018 - 09:18 AM, said:

 deadsolid...shank, on 02 May 2018 - 09:13 AM, said:

Do you guys think it is OK for the pro to also check on price when checking to see if they will let you play?

I don't want to blindly commit to a round that might be far more expensive than anticipated.

FWIW, I've had our pro check prices, but if that is putting them in a bad position I won't do it any more.

I would not ask the pro to check on actual prices but the pro should ask if a guest fee will be charged and if a caddie is required as without a formal reciprocal arrangement each course will have different policies.

Well now I'm torn as what to do in the future. I just won't show up to a course (I'm not talking about high end places by the way, just smaller, local privates) without knowing in advance the cost. If a person calls most courses as an individual, will they tell the guest fees?  If they won't, its kind of catch22 situation.

I really don't want to put our guys in an akward situation.

Your pro can ask the price when he books the time so you know what to expect when you arrive, but donít ask him to cancel it when he tells you the price. Donít expect him to make a bunch of calls shopping for your price range either. It should be one call - can I book 4 of my members at your club on x day?  Ok, what should I tell them to expect for fees and how to pay?  Thanks very much, if any of your members are in the area and need a place to play please let me know. My guys will be there on x day.

Thatís it, no backing out. No ďIíll get back to youĒ. No ďdo they accept expired shop credit from their sister club in Hilton HeadĒ.


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#16 dr_nerve

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:07 AM

Sorry for the confusion. I am a member at the course with my dad, I'm just working there also over the summer between school semesters. We've been members for nearly 10 years, so we know the pro and most of the other members well. I know the guest rates on really high end private courses can be ridiculous, and I certainly wouldn't back out once I've asked to play. Do you think I could contact the clubs about their guest rates before I ask my pro to call for me?

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#17 davep043

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:13 AM

I've only done this a couple of times, and I made the initial approach to the club I wanted to play.  I also did it fairly last minute, as I don't expect them to allocate a tee time to me, and then have to turn away a member who wants to play.  If they can see open spots in their tee sheet, they may be a little more willing to accept a guest.

My call has usually been "Hi, I'm Dave, I'm a member at _____ GC in ______ VA, down here for a few days on vacation.  Is there any chance I could play your course?  I'll be happy to have my home pro call you to make the appropriate arrangements."  When they've told me yes, I call my pro, he calls them direct, and it works out.  You can also ask about costs during your first call to the course, that way you don't go through the whole routine if its outside of your budget.

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#18 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:13 AM

 golfandfishing, on 02 May 2018 - 10:01 AM, said:

 deadsolid...shank, on 02 May 2018 - 09:23 AM, said:

 Golfnuck, on 02 May 2018 - 09:18 AM, said:

 deadsolid...shank, on 02 May 2018 - 09:13 AM, said:

Do you guys think it is OK for the pro to also check on price when checking to see if they will let you play?

I don't want to blindly commit to a round that might be far more expensive than anticipated.

FWIW, I've had our pro check prices, but if that is putting them in a bad position I won't do it any more.

I would not ask the pro to check on actual prices but the pro should ask if a guest fee will be charged and if a caddie is required as without a formal reciprocal arrangement each course will have different policies.

Well now I'm torn as what to do in the future. I just won't show up to a course (I'm not talking about high end places by the way, just smaller, local privates) without knowing in advance the cost. If a person calls most courses as an individual, will they tell the guest fees?  If they won't, its kind of catch22 situation.

I really don't want to put our guys in an akward situation.

Your pro can ask the price when he books the time so you know what to expect when you arrive, but don't ask him to cancel it when he tells you the price. Don't expect him to make a bunch of calls shopping for your price range either. It should be one call - can I book 4 of my members at your club on x day?  Ok, what should I tell them to expect for fees and how to pay?  Thanks very much, if any of your members are in the area and need a place to play please let me know. My guys will be there on x day.

That's it, no backing out. No "I'll get back to you". No "do they accept expired shop credit from their sister club in Hilton Head".

Good to know for the future, thanks G&F.

What they've done for me (twice) is called to ask about 1: if they will even allow us to play 2: availability 3: and then price.

So it has always been a situation where a call back had to be made after it was determined if their available times matched when we were going to be there.  I really don't know if this makes much difference, but again we're not talking about the higher end clubs.

But it's good information to know, the proper way to go about this. I've said it many times here, learn something new each day.
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#19 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:15 AM

 davep043, on 02 May 2018 - 10:13 AM, said:

I've only done this a couple of times, and I made the initial approach to the club I wanted to play.  I also did it fairly last minute, as I don't expect them to allocate a tee time to me, and then have to turn away a member who wants to play.  If they can see open spots in their tee sheet, they may be a little more willing to accept a guest.

My call has usually been "Hi, I'm Dave, I'm a member at _____ GC in ______ VA, down here for a few days on vacation.  Is there any chance I could play your course?  I'll be happy to have my home pro call you to make the appropriate arrangements."  When they've told me yes, I call my pro, he calls them direct, and it works out.  You can also ask about costs during your first call to the course, that way you don't go through the whole routine if its outside of your budget.

Good idea there Dave.  I think in the future that's how I'll approach it, don't get our guys involved until its necessary. Have most clubs been receptive when you've called?
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#20 davep043

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:26 AM

Y

 deadsolid...shank, on 02 May 2018 - 10:15 AM, said:

 davep043, on 02 May 2018 - 10:13 AM, said:

I've only done this a couple of times, and I made the initial approach to the club I wanted to play.  I also did it fairly last minute, as I don't expect them to allocate a tee time to me, and then have to turn away a member who wants to play.  If they can see open spots in their tee sheet, they may be a little more willing to accept a guest.

My call has usually been "Hi, I'm Dave, I'm a member at _____ GC in ______ VA, down here for a few days on vacation.  Is there any chance I could play your course?  I'll be happy to have my home pro call you to make the appropriate arrangements."  When they've told me yes, I call my pro, he calls them direct, and it works out.  You can also ask about costs during your first call to the course, that way you don't go through the whole routine if its outside of your budget.

Good idea there Dave.  I think in the future that's how I'll approach it, don't get our guys involved until its necessary. Have most clubs been receptive when you've called?
Yeah, I don't remember ever having a problem.  I've never tried this at a high-end course, and I'm not sure I'd even try at the rare private clubs in resort areas (like Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst).  One thing I've done is to let my home pro know where I'm going, and tell him I might be calling.  Lots of golf professionals have contacts all over the country, so you might get a good recommendation or better than average treatment if your pro has a good local connection.


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#21 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:32 AM

 davep043, on 02 May 2018 - 10:26 AM, said:

Y

 deadsolid...shank, on 02 May 2018 - 10:15 AM, said:

 davep043, on 02 May 2018 - 10:13 AM, said:

I've only done this a couple of times, and I made the initial approach to the club I wanted to play.  I also did it fairly last minute, as I don't expect them to allocate a tee time to me, and then have to turn away a member who wants to play.  If they can see open spots in their tee sheet, they may be a little more willing to accept a guest.

My call has usually been "Hi, I'm Dave, I'm a member at _____ GC in ______ VA, down here for a few days on vacation.  Is there any chance I could play your course?  I'll be happy to have my home pro call you to make the appropriate arrangements."  When they've told me yes, I call my pro, he calls them direct, and it works out.  You can also ask about costs during your first call to the course, that way you don't go through the whole routine if its outside of your budget.

Good idea there Dave.  I think in the future that's how I'll approach it, don't get our guys involved until its necessary. Have most clubs been receptive when you've called?
Yeah, I don't remember ever having a problem.  I've never tried this at a high-end course, and I'm not sure I'd even try at the rare private clubs in resort areas (like Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst).  One thing I've done is to let my home pro know where I'm going, and tell him I might be calling.  Lots of golf professionals have contacts all over the country, so you might get a good recommendation or better than average treatment if your pro has a good local connection.

Good to know. Our guys are pretty young so may not have those connections. Our old pro must though, he just took a trip to California. Cypress Point, Riviera, LA Country Club, Monterey Penn CC., and SFGC.

That just sounds like a really good idea. I really like not having to put our guys in kind of awkward situations.
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#22 davep043

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:40 AM

 deadsolid...shank, on 02 May 2018 - 10:32 AM, said:


Good to know. Our guys are pretty young so may not have those connections. Our old pro must though, he just took a trip to California. Cypress Point, Riviera, LA Country Club, Monterey Penn CC., and SFGC.

That just sounds like a really good idea. I really like not having to put our guys in kind of awkward situations.
You never know, your local assistant pro may have graduated PGM school with a guy who's now the assistant at someplace you want to play.  That little connection just could be enough to get you in the door.

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#23 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:41 AM

 davep043, on 02 May 2018 - 10:40 AM, said:

 deadsolid...shank, on 02 May 2018 - 10:32 AM, said:

Good to know. Our guys are pretty young so may not have those connections. Our old pro must though, he just took a trip to California. Cypress Point, Riviera, LA Country Club, Monterey Penn CC., and SFGC.

That just sounds like a really good idea. I really like not having to put our guys in kind of awkward situations.
You never know, your local assistant pro may have graduated PGM school with a guy who's now the assistant at someplace you want to play.  That little connection just could be enough to get you in the door.

That's very true. You just really never know who knows who.
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#24 third-times-a-charm

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:45 AM

If you are a paid member of a private course it makes sense, if you're just an employee, no. But if the head pro has connections and can do it, thats cool I guess.
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#25 Dizz

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:58 AM

 bazinky, on 02 May 2018 - 07:49 AM, said:

 Dizz, on 02 May 2018 - 06:20 AM, said:

Totally depends on the head pro or the course he is calling from.  Generally those two things go hand in hand but not 100% of the time.

If your club is a no-name club and your head pro is not popular amongst his peers then you won't have much success.

If it's the opposite he could have you a tee time in minutes from a simple text message.

People always underestimate the influence of the Pro himself, regardless of the course. My buddy used to play at a course that was nothing special, but the Head Pro was a really good player (qualified for the PGA several times) and pretty popular among his peers. He basically could get you on just about anywhere short of the likes of Augusta National, Seminole, and Pine Valley. And I'm not sure he couldn't swing those if he really liked you ...

I was in the business for many years so I know from first hand experience.  You knew exactly what I meant... usually the proís ability to get these types of things done and his popularity are based on the place he works currently or where he used to work.  However there are some guys that can get on anywhere for a multitude of reasons... like you mentioned being a very good player that qualifies for big events makes them popular amongst peers.  Perhaps heís just an overly friendly guy that plays all the events and has made friends with all the local pros.  There was a guy in my section that was a blast to play the local events with... he was a decent player and worked at an average private club but he was very popular so he could get you on anywhere.  I worked for a place with huge accounts with all the manufacturers so in the winter months when the big name playing pros needed favors ordering clubs I could use that to get on their big time courses... we traded services basically.  All it took was just a simple text for them to ask me for clubs and vice versa for them to let someone on their course.

However if youíre going as far out as Seattle from Houston then itís really gonna depend where heís calling from...

Also, be prepared for the cost and I would say if youíre not willing to pay ~$200 (give for take $100) + a caddie fee then donít even waste anyoneís time especially if itís an upper echelon club.  Shying away from $300 for one round at a place thatís $800-$1200/month for members is gonna get some raised eyebrows.

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#26 AppAlum

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 11:11 AM

 dr_nerve, on 02 May 2018 - 10:07 AM, said:

Sorry for the confusion. I am a member at the course with my dad, I'm just working there also over the summer between school semesters. We've been members for nearly 10 years, so we know the pro and most of the other members well. I know the guest rates on really high end private courses can be ridiculous, and I certainly wouldn't back out once I've asked to play. Do you think I could contact the clubs about their guest rates before I ask my pro to call for me?

Absolutely not, but It's not unreasonable for your Professional to ask what the cost would be. You can tell your Professional ahead of time what your level of comfort is. I'm a PGA member and I make sure to tell my fellow Professionals what it will cost their members to play our facility and I think nothing of it if they say it's more than their members want to pay. The only things that bother me is when they show up and complain about the rate or no show/no call. That club doesn't get another chance.

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#27 knock it close

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 11:15 AM

We've had success getting guys on Snoqualmie Ridge they were very accommodating

Edited by knock it close, 02 May 2018 - 11:15 AM.

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#28 AC168

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 03:37 PM

I usually call and ask the unaccompanied rate first and if itís good have my pro book it.  I should caveat I try my network first so Iím not asking the pro to call very often.

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#29 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 04:43 PM

 AppAlum, on 02 May 2018 - 11:11 AM, said:

 dr_nerve, on 02 May 2018 - 10:07 AM, said:

Sorry for the confusion. I am a member at the course with my dad, I'm just working there also over the summer between school semesters. We've been members for nearly 10 years, so we know the pro and most of the other members well. I know the guest rates on really high end private courses can be ridiculous, and I certainly wouldn't back out once I've asked to play. Do you think I could contact the clubs about their guest rates before I ask my pro to call for me?

Absolutely not, but It's not unreasonable for your Professional to ask what the cost would be. You can tell your Professional ahead of time what your level of comfort is. I'm a PGA member and I make sure to tell my fellow Professionals what it will cost their members to play our facility and I think nothing of it if they say it's more than their members want to pay. The only things that bother me is when they show up and complain about the rate or no show/no call. That club doesn't get another chance.

I asked my pro this afternoon about this. He said he has absolutely no problem asking about the rate.

Also,  that's exactly what he said, if someone called him about his course he has no problem if they ask about the rate.

Edited by deadsolid...shank, 02 May 2018 - 04:44 PM.

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#30 krtgolfing

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 05:10 PM

 deadsolid...shank, on 02 May 2018 - 04:43 PM, said:

 AppAlum, on 02 May 2018 - 11:11 AM, said:

 dr_nerve, on 02 May 2018 - 10:07 AM, said:

Sorry for the confusion. I am a member at the course with my dad, I'm just working there also over the summer between school semesters. We've been members for nearly 10 years, so we know the pro and most of the other members well. I know the guest rates on really high end private courses can be ridiculous, and I certainly wouldn't back out once I've asked to play. Do you think I could contact the clubs about their guest rates before I ask my pro to call for me?

Absolutely not, but It's not unreasonable for your Professional to ask what the cost would be. You can tell your Professional ahead of time what your level of comfort is. I'm a PGA member and I make sure to tell my fellow Professionals what it will cost their members to play our facility and I think nothing of it if they say it's more than their members want to pay. The only things that bother me is when they show up and complain about the rate or no show/no call. That club doesn't get another chance.

I asked my pro this afternoon about this. He said he has absolutely no problem asking about the rate.

Also,  that's exactly what he said, if someone called him about his course he has no problem if they ask about the rate.

Heís one of how many head pros?

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