jli2636, on 13 May 2018 - 09:52 AM, said:
chris975d, on 13 May 2018 - 08:40 AM, said:
As a course GM, and having been in the business for over 23 years, I've seen this "trend" of people not wanting to be paired up with strangers getting worse and worse as years go by. It seems to be a bigger societal trend imof just being more self absorbed and anti social in general.
We try to STRONGLY suggest pairing up as much as possible, but if a group is adamant they don't want to pair up, then we explain to them how slow it may be playing amongst 3s and 4s, and let them go. Course owners are very sensitive to complaints, particularly when people ask for refunds because they are not going to play with strangers.
Its still hard for me to accept this, as when I was introduced to golf way back at 5 years old or so, if my dad and I went to play on the weekends with just the two of us, we basically couldn't even get a tee time. We had to hang out and wait for another single or 2some to get paired up with...or bring 2 more players. Course owners (I've worked with and known many over the years) are just so scared of complaints that they are increasingly allowing more and more customer "liberties" to be taken. I have a local competitor (fellow GM/owner and is also an owner operator) that has flat out told cutsomers that he will allow just about anything as long as his course stays full. In this particular instance, he apparently was speaking of letting people go literally anywhere in their golf carts(tee boxes, fringes of the greens), as long as it kept them moving faster. Our courses have a lot of common customers, and I've heard this from several of their mouths.
If they don't want to be paired up they can pay for all 4 slots. I know it puts you in a tough spot as a GM, but if people care that much about playing alone then they need to pay up for it. Like you I grew up always expecting to get paired up if I went out by myself or if my dad and I went out. We just played a couple weeks ago and he made the comment as we were in the practice green "when u was your age the pro shop would never let 2somes go out on a Sunday morning." Now this would obviously only matter when the course is busy. If it's empty then let it be, but if it's a packed tee sheet, pairing up needs to happen.
The issue with making them "pay for all 4 slots" is another circular problem, just like this issue of lack of pairing up of groups, or even slow play issues. I'd LOVE to do that as a GM, but it really does nothing to solve it if I'm the only course in the area that does. As soon as I start to, those customers will just leave and go to one of the many other courses in the area that will let them play as a single or twosome, as well as complain to ownership. Typically when course owners receive complaints, and see customers leaving to go elsewhere, they will overreact and ask us to reverse course on anything we've done that customers seem to not like (i.e, the complainers). And in a hyper competitive golf market like metro Atlanta (that I'm in), course owners will do anything they can to get/retain customers and not have them complain. Such as not allow many of us at the GM/head pro level to create or enforce any policy that runs anyone off. One of the main reasons it's so hard to actually enforce slow players to either pick up the pace, skip holes to catch up, or as I've even attempted in the past, to give them a rain check and have them come back on a less busy day. Usually as soon as those customers complain to ownership or write negative reviews online (this is a thing most owners are VERY sensitive to), we at the operations level are asked to back off/be more "accommodating".
Not saying this is happening with my course's current ownership, as I have a little bit more final say-so in things now than I have under previous owners I've worked for, but I've seen and experienced it A LOT first hand, as well as talking to other colleagues/course managers.
Edited by chris975d, 15 May 2018 - 01:02 PM.