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Clubhouse pairing groups(or lack of it)


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#1 jli2636

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 09:15 PM

Maybe someone in the industry can enlighten me: why are clubhouse guys so reluctant to pair smaller groups together? I showed up at the public course I have a season pass at around 3:30 this afternoon. I go in and ask if there’s room for a single, realizing the chances are probably slim but definitely not expecting to go out by myself. Kid behind the counter says “it might be about 30-45 minutes before I could get you out”. I ask if I can pair up with any of those groups after looking down at the tee sheet and seeing a bunch of 2’s marked down. He looked at me like I had 2 heads. At the same time theres a twosome just arriving to the first tee. I ask can I just pair with them since I’m ready to go? He says “I guess”.

So after all that I ask the guys on the tee if I can join them, they say sure, but then drive off as I’m getting ready to put the tee in the ground. I stood there for a few minutes trying to process what happened. Then a different guy comes out of the clubhouse and tells me to just go off the back.


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#2 BigSky59

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 09:18 PM

I'd say it's the exact opposite.  I want groups consolidated and paired up.

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#3 tatertot

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 10:21 PM

In Iowa, where I'm from, most of the people I meet act scared to deat yo play with strangers.

Busy course today, played as a single after my playing partner left, caught up to a twosome, they invited me to play thru. I was just going to run into a series of foursomes, so I asked if they minded if I just played with them. They looked at me like I had a third eye on my forehead. But they said yes ... And we had a great time, and found out we had a mutual friend, and had a lot of laughs.
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#4 BMC

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 08:12 PM

Courses have the power to control their tee times.  They make a big mistake when they don't try to create threesomes and foursomes with singles and twosomes.  On a busy day it just helps the flow.

That said, a course employee should have made the twosome aware that you'd be joining them.  Golf shop staff is just lazy, ignorant, or understaffed.  

I say this as someone who works the golf shop at a 900 member 54 hole facility.  I always try to pair single members with players they might enjoy playing with.
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#5 mac4pres

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 01:22 AM

We try hard to group people into foursomes, however as other people have said some golfers are paranoid to play with other people and will bypass all decency to avoid it.


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#6 prsgtrman

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 08:21 PM

yeah i see it a bit at my club, folks just not wanting to pair up. i say if that is the case then they need to pay for all 4 slots.

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#7 IfICouldOnlyPutt

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 02:38 PM

View Postprsgtrman, on 06 May 2018 - 08:21 PM, said:

yeah i see it a bit at my club, folks just not wanting to pair up. i say if that is the case then they need to pay for all 4 slots.

AMEN!  Every time has 4 or 5 (depending on the course) slots.  If you want all the slots you have to pay for them.  Obviously if the course is empty and you want to play alone go ahead, but Weekends and Holidays you are getting paired up!
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#8 CMCSGolf

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 10:56 PM

I have had a few experiences like this that confuse me.  I agree, you should be paired up as much as possible and the course can dictate who plays with who if you haven't bought all 4 spots.  But then courses think about upsetting regulars who don't like to play with others....

I've played a lot of golf as a single in many cities, but only in Chicago have people declined when I asked to join them.  Once I had a group tell me to go ahead of them and another time they just said no and I had to play behind a threesome.  That being said, out of 100s of rounds, this is fortunately a rare experience.

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#9 warrio17

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 07:28 PM

My club does almost too good of a job at grouping people up. I typically play as a solo and join a threesome. When I get to the first tee, I’m forced to join or they join my cart. I’m all about meeting new people and joining up but sometimes I just want my own space, drink some beers and not have to sit next to a stranger for four hours. I mean I play from the tips (7100) and I could be in the cart with someone playing two or three boxes up. This just slows down the round; they could be preparing to hit their ball on some holes (obviously not if their tee is directly in front of me). Why can’t I just have my own cart!!  Is it just me or does this seem pointless?!?!
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#10 BMC

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 07:41 PM

View Postwarrio17, on 12 May 2018 - 07:28 PM, said:

My club does almost too good of a job at grouping people up. I typically play as a solo and join a threesome. When I get to the first tee, I'm forced to join or they join my cart. I'm all about meeting new people and joining up but sometimes I just want my own space, drink some beers and not have to sit next to a stranger for four hours. I mean I play from the tips (7100) and I could be in the cart with someone playing two or three boxes up. This just slows down the round; they could be preparing to hit their ball on some holes (obviously not if their tee is directly in front of me). Why can't I just have my own cart!!  Is it just me or does this seem pointless?!?!

Courses want to keep cart traffic on the fairways to a minimum.  But I get what your saying.  If the cart fee is $20, would you pay $30 to ride by yourself with a threesome of strangers?  Just asking because I work at a club that is strict  about  pairing players in carts.

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#11 Edaw68

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 06:09 AM

Was this an employee who had been there a while or was new?  I've seen this happen at my daily fee course where some clubhouse employees do what they can to get people grouped up on busy days, but some are obviously new and were probably selling DVD's at Walmart last week.  They'll learn eventually.

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#12 chris975d

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:40 AM

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.

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#13 jli2636

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 09:52 AM

View Postchris975d, 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.

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#14 az2au

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 12:52 PM

One of the clubs I belong to has no tee times and they never pair us up. I don’t really understand why as we are completely open to it and have offered. That said, we walk 99%+ of the time and I understand why they don’t pair us with people in carts. Still, pace of play is normally 3:30-3:45 so it works out as it is a nice casual stroll for two people. We end up waiting a few seconds on most shots but nothing substantial.

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#15 Big Ben

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:48 PM

I won't lie I avoid being paired with strangers if at all possible. Nothing personal simply too many variables I don't care to content with during my free time. Having said that we almost always have a foursome so it rarely becomes an issue. On the rare occasion I'm a single I really enjoy the peace of playing alone and it will always be twilight and 9 holes only. I would never force my way through groups just play a few balls and practice until the green clears. Now if I exclusively played as a single or twosome during peak hours it would be assumed I would be required to join up for the sake of pace. BB

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#16 DrOldSchool

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 04:10 PM

I've had both ends of the spectrum this past week... the first example I was a single and the starter sent off 3 twosomes before pairing me with a threesome. The 3 definitely weren't happy about it and were very cold towards me. They averaged somewhere between 9-10 strokes each on the first 3 holes and they were dressed down by a course maintenance worker for completely ignoring the cart signs around a green. After the 3rd hole, the twosome that went off before us were 3 holes ahead, and I excused myself, took off, and caught the previous twosome and had a good time showing them around the rest of course since they had never played it. When I left the course upon conclusion the road takes me past a few holes, and those 3 guys I left behind were on the 13th tee with a line behind them.

But yesterday (Saturday morning) I was in the second tee time after a small morning event as a twosome at a different course. Except the starter split all the twosomes rather than pairing us up. So while we went off on time, the other twosome that would've filled the time followed us the whole round, and we were 2-3 deep as twosomes on every tee since the time before us split the same way. Which made no sense but no one took the initiative to pair up on the course.

Edited by DrOldSchool, 13 May 2018 - 04:11 PM.


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#17 chris975d

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 11:54 AM

View Postjli2636, on 13 May 2018 - 09:52 AM, said:

View Postchris975d, 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.


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#18 vallygolf

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 12:26 PM

View PostBig Ben, on 13 May 2018 - 01:48 PM, said:

I won't lie I avoid being paired with strangers if at all possible. Nothing personal simply too many variables I don't care to content with during my free time. Having said that we almost always have a foursome so it rarely becomes an issue. On the rare occasion I'm a single I really enjoy the peace of playing alone and it will always be twilight and 9 holes only. I would never force my way through groups just play a few balls and practice until the green clears. Now if I exclusively played as a single or twosome during peak hours it would be assumed I would be required to join up for the sake of pace. BB


My sentiments are similar.  My world is full of high interpersonal interaction time.  My preference would be to play alone as it is the only alone time I get.  With that said, I would never ask to be let out as a single if the tee sheet is full, and have enjoyed many rounds with strangers.  I normally play when the course is empty......like starting now in Az.

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#19 jli2636

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 09:51 PM

View Postchris975d, on 15 May 2018 - 11:54 AM, said:

View Postjli2636, on 13 May 2018 - 09:52 AM, said:

View Postchris975d, 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.

Yeah I get it, that’s why I said it puts you in a tough spot as a GM. There’s no simple answer unfortunately to keep everyone happy.

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#20 Bourni1

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 02:01 PM

My club does not allow singles or pairs on Wednesday afternoon, Saturday, and Sunday mornings.  To book a tee time you must either play in groups of at least 3 or be willing to wait around and be grouped.  Although I have never seen anyone decline to accept a single, our regular Starter knows who to pair with.

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#21 DonatelloNobodie

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 02:46 PM

I hate to sit next to someone on an airplane, yet the airlines always sit someone next to me....

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#22 mikedejong

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 03:08 PM

A couple of years ago my wife and I went on a golf vacation to Scotland. We played 8 rounds in 10 days and at each and every course the pro shop or starter would ask us if we would like to be paired up with members that could show us around and help us out. I would say that we would prefer to play just the two of us, and they would say enjoy your day, the tee is yours. I liked that approach. If you want to be paired up or find a game they will accommodate, but if you wanted to play alone they didn't mind either. It was a much more relaxed way to play especially with the wife who was nervous enough. I get it here in North America, that wouldn't work as its all about squeezing in as many paying rounds as possible, as opposed to just having a more enjoyable experience. I don't mind getting paired up, most people are good to play with. But I also like the odd round by myself or just with a buddy.
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#23 munihack

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 12:20 PM

if I don't want to be paired up I play either first thing or around 3 oclock and if I do get paired up I just accept it. I think everyone I have played with has been fine. I have thought about just buying all 4 spots though if I really wanted to play alone

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#24 ArtMBgolf

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 09:01 PM

The golfers who don't want to be paired up are either so bad they don't want to be embarrassed or they are avid golfers not wanting their
round ruined by someone why may be the pairing from hell.     If they have no choice, like on a crowded day, they soften up when they find
out you are reasonable to good to play with.  
  
I recommend if you have your choice of who to join, join other singles or a twosome, rather than a threesome.   Threesomes usually have one
guy who doesn't like the idea or just happen to be missing their 4th that day and are not used to being paired up.  

In a tee time situation, the starters usually do the pairing.  On non busy times, the course is happy to let the course be full of 1's and 2's.

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#25 CDM

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:26 PM

I am 50/50 on being paired up. When playing home courses I like to play with people I know or try to get in smaller groups as I have had some bad experiences.

When I travel to play most the times I am solo so I am paired up. It can be nice to be paired up as you might get some course knowledge from players..... BUT I have had some serious nightmares happen too. I had a really bad experience with a bachelor party group of 7 people who were pretty much WRECKED by hole 8.   They were asked to leave the course around hole 12 and initially I got lumped in with them by the marshall  LOL


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