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Who was in the wrong? Me or the "marshal"

marshal practice membership

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#1 md1m

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 09:58 AM

Recently bought a membership to the muni close to my house. Played the 18th hole, where I finished with a delicate chip. After holing the putt, took out my putter to see how I would have done if I had putted it instead of chipping it. The 80 year old marshal walked over from the first hole (had to go way out of her way) to yell at me that "this is not a practice area. If you want to practice go to the practice green!!"

It was 8:30 in the morning and it was the 18th hole. I was the only one on the back nine and was playing by myself. I have a membership, so it's not like I was getting "free" shots (I could have walked back and played the entire hole over, why should she care if hit the last putt over). I politely pointed out to her that no one was waiting and I was a member. She told me to "get off the green if I was done with the hole". Before I complain to management, I wanted to see if people agreed with me or the marshal. I almost never complain, and don't want to be "that guy", but don't want to have to deal with Barney Fife every time I play.

And this is the first time I've ever been yelled at on a course. I'm very aware of course etiquette and don't think I deserve anything special.

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#2 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:02 AM

Iím pretty quiet and very non confrontational, but thatís one time where someone needed to be told to ďblankĒoff.

If she had at least been polite, then she gets politeness in return, but she chose how the conversation was going to go.

Edited by deadsolid...shank, 13 June 2018 - 06:01 AM.

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#3 cwglum

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:02 AM

Going with the 'recently bought a membership' notion ... new member, etc.

Talk to the marshal again after she calms down, be sure she doesn't feel differently after some time has passed before going full throttle to management.

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#4 smalls

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:02 AM

If there were groups waiting behind you she'd be right.  In this case, I'd complain.

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#5 kevcarter

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:04 AM

If the ranger was asked to strongly enforce a course policy of no practice, the management is at fault. If he the ranger was enforcing a policy that doesn't exist, the ranger is at fault.

You have absolutely no reason to feel bad about your actions, but have a conversation with management before you decide who is at fault, and management should either look at their policy, or they should look at the disposition of their staff, or both.

JMO

Edited by kevcarter, 12 June 2018 - 10:06 AM.

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#6 oldsticksnewsticks

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:06 AM

Even if the marshall was "technically" right, which I have no opinion on, I think the appropriate tactic is to assume your members are smart people and only enforce this "rule" when it has some practical effect.

If no one is on the same hole as you (regardless of time or day) there is no reason to enforce a "rule."

I think she was just cranky. I might let it go this time but if it happens again raise it with your course's GM or head pro.

In any event, I don't believe you did anything wrong by hitting another putt.

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#7 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:09 AM

No matter what the management policy is, she was still in the wrong. Itís just as easy to say, ďwe have a strict no practing policy on the course, so we ask that all practice work be done in that designated areaĒ in a polite, informative manner as opposed to the way she handled it.  

It absolutely needs to be addressed with management.  People like that piss me off.

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Edited by deadsolid...shank, 12 June 2018 - 10:11 AM.

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#8 BrianMcG

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:12 AM

I kinda like her attitude personally.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. So many threads of complaints that Marshall’s never do anything, but once one says something golfers are offended.

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#9 Twism86

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:12 AM

You are completely in the right! No one behind you and taking one or two extra putts is fine, especially on the very last hole. Taking a couple extra shots with divots and add wear and tear, no not cool, but just simple putts should be fine.

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#10 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:14 AM

View PostBrianMcG, on 12 June 2018 - 10:12 AM, said:

I kinda like her attitude personally.

Damned if you do, damned if you donít. So many threads of complaints that Marshallís never do anything, but once one says something golfers are offended.

Itís completely fine for her to say soemthing. Itís what she said and  how she said it.

Edited by deadsolid...shank, 12 June 2018 - 01:00 PM.

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#11 From_Parts_Unknown

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:23 AM

I think it's completely inappropriate for the marshal to say anything.  How does she know the OP wasn't proceeding under rule 3-3?  I would say that is a reasonable assumption based on the events and she should have politely inquired as to what the OP was doing rather than immediately accusing him of practice.  And to that matter, what's wrong with practice on the course?  It could have been a practice round, which is also completely acceptable and reasonable.

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#12 jholz

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:31 AM

I too might be a little miffed at a marshal for not being nice, but you can't argue against the basic rule that she was trying to enforce: "no practice on the course." Pretty universal, pretty black and white.

We all have broken that rule from time to time, and we generally know it's wrong when we are doing it. That's why we equivocate..."the course was empty," "it was just a couple of putts," etc. etc. etc. That's why we generally don't do it on a busy Saturday morning.

So, I'm certainly not going to yell at you for hitting a couple of practice shots as long as you are courteous and considerate of others. But, if you're gonna break the rules, you better be prepared for the possibility of getting yelled at.

Just say sorry and walk away.
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#13 KBong

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:32 AM

OP....you handled it wrong....if it was me, I would have yelled back to her: :taunt:
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#14 Atrayn

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:36 AM

Bottom line, I would want to know as a manager if I had an employee who acted this way no matter the "rule".
I do agree that Management has to shoulder some of the blame here as it seems that there was no implementation plan...
If a rule is made then it should be noted that it applies to everyone if that is the case.
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#15 hdr_ric

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:37 AM

The marshall was in the wrong.


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#16 DON SVO

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:08 AM

... like water off a duck's back, my friend. If she started riding your a** on hole 3 and kept popping up out of the bushes like 1960s Vietcong for the entire round, I would definitely say talk to management.
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#17 golfnhack

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:13 AM

Well... grammatically it would be you. Your post should read: "Who was in the wrong. The marshal, or I?"
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#18 Zuzert

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:29 AM

View PostBrianMcG, on 12 June 2018 - 10:12 AM, said:

I kinda like her attitude personally.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. So many threads of complaints that Marshall’s never do anything, but once one says something golfers are offended.

Come on, you and I both know there's a time and a place for a marshall to say something. This certainly was not one of those times as there was no one behind him and it's not like he was hacking up the greens or engaging in a behaviour that would damage the course.

I'm always calm cool and collected but in this situation I would have for sure had a calm retort for her. And if she escalated I would have probably as well. Is Wayne Brady gonna have to slap a b****? I kid I kid, but seriously I would have got in a conversation with her letting her know how wrong she is if she was willing to "tell me off" in the first place.

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#19 MrJones

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:31 AM

She's an employee with a job to do. That includes showing respect for the customers and especially members. She was totally in the wrong and I'd have some strong words for the management.

I probably would have had some strong words for her too which I might later have wished I didn't say so good on you for holding your tongue.
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#20 bigchucksr

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:31 AM

A large part of any course marshal's job is good judgement and diplomacy--if the incident was as you have described it, I would approach club management and make a report questioning the lady on both counts.  It is likely that you are not the first victim of this marshal, so add to the list.

Edited by bigchucksr, 12 June 2018 - 11:32 AM.


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#21 Z1ggy16

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:38 AM

Sounds like she just told you to get off her lawn.

If the situation was exactly as described, I'd probably say something to the owners/managers. What happens if you weren't such a nice/understanding guy and you told the course owners you wouldn't be renewing next season over these kinds of things, and that you'd inform all your golfing buddies/people online at this course's poor hospitality?? I think they would be concerned.

Being a member and paying a flat rate each year to pay as much as you want kind of takes away any kind of reason she could have had for trying to kick you off the green IMO.
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#22 jerebear21

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:46 AM

She isnít wrong if thatís policy but she could learn some common sense in manners and courtesy. Maybe she had a bad morning.

I hesitate to push anyone buttons these days given the state of mental illness. Go have a good cup of coffee. The sun will rise tomorrow.
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#23 Shipwreck

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:51 AM

You better believe that I would have had words with the management while that miserable hag stood at parade rest outside of the office. Member or not, that sort of treatment is not acceptable. That sort of crap will make potential members think twice and current members not want to renew.

Customer service is paramount in todayís society. She needs to check her attitude at the gate.
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#24 2putttom

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 12:57 PM

1) be careful about the complaint... could be the managers grandma.

2) acknowledge the first statement made by grandma, then continue putting as if you don't give a damn.

3) carry a bottle of geritol with a yellow ribbon tied around it in your bag and next time ya meet up with granny present her with it.
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#25 DavePelz4

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 01:18 PM

Not sure I've ever seen a female marshall on the course.  Gloria Steinem would be proud.


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#26 Hateto3Putt

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 01:20 PM

I have a feeling there's 3 sides to this story......

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#27 cubanstogie

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 01:23 PM

She was completely out of line and had zero business saying a thing. Marshal's job is pace of play and carts not driven on par 3's and near greens. no rule against practice on course just like if a guy reloads on bad t shot. If its done with groups waiting then its a problem. I would have told her to stick to Bingo.

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#28 clutchfan

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 01:28 PM

I would have been hot  about that one, sounds ridiculous if you ask me!   I would have probably looked at her with the WTF??! face and putted few more.

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#29 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 01:49 PM

View Postcubanstogie, on 12 June 2018 - 01:23 PM, said:

She was completely out of line and had zero business saying a thing. Marshal's job is pace of play and carts not driven on par 3's and near greens. no rule against practice on course just like if a guy reloads on bad t shot. If its done with groups waiting then its a problem. I would have told her to stick to Bingo.

If they really have that rule (which I’ve never heard of and sounds really dumb to me) then she should have said something. Because technically he would have been in violation of the  rule. But my goodness, you have to have a little tact and diplomacy in what you say, and how you say it.
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#30 dmac4g

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 02:06 PM

There is some missing information here and some assumptions being made.  Are you sure the Mashall saw you were playing the course?  If not, she may have thought you were getting in some practice somewhere other than the practice green.  Is this a known issue at the club and has management asked the staff to look out for it?

I agree that her choice of words could have been better, but then again how diplomatic do you expect for minimum wage?  Being a new member, I think I would wait and see if this is a pattern of behavior before going to management and quickly becoming "that guy".


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