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What’s some of the shadiest things a course has done to you?


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#31 mshills

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 02:48 PM

View PostFerguson, on 29 November 2018 - 02:16 PM, said:

View Postani5009, on 29 November 2018 - 02:09 PM, said:

I've had so many shady situations with different courses when I've booked the tee times on Golf Now. From being told carts aren't included in the greens fee (even though it says the price was to ride on Golf Now) and being charged extra, to being charged multiple "hospitality" fees from the course. It makes me think these courses don't like people using Golf Now to get out and play for whatever reason, but I don't get why they would post the tee times on there in first place.
I loathe GOLFNOW and Hugh Jackman equally.

GolfNow sucks.  Many years ago in Atlanta I used Last Minute Tee Times.  Now that was a cool service that really did get you exactly what it said -- short notice, last minute tee times, often at a DEEP discount.

I've never experienced anything like some of the shadiness I've read in this thread so far, so mine may be small potatoes.  Book a tee time on GolfNow for a course I have walked before.  GolfNow does not specify if the rate includes cart, no big deal either way.  Heavy rain that night, we show up in the morning.

"OK guys, you're all paid up through GolfNow, I see, so all that's left is $18 per player for the cart, and we are cart path only today."
"Thanks, but we're going to walk today."
"Oh.....well, we're mandatory carts today."
"Really?  Well, if it's cart path only I would rather walk.  In fact, I'll pay for the cart if I have to, but I'll walk today."
"I am sorry sir if you book through GolfNow the cart is mandatory."  (WTF?)
"That's too bad, really was looking forward to playing.  See you later."

Dumb, dumb, dumb.  I complained to GolfNow (and got nowhere!) so I disputed the charge w/ AMEX, account was credited, and I never played there again.  I think the course is closed now.

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#32 bermuda

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 03:24 PM

View PostBNGL, on 29 November 2018 - 09:56 AM, said:

View Postbermuda, on 29 November 2018 - 09:21 AM, said:

I called a course once (it's a course I've played several times) to ask if there would be a charge for my girlfriend (now my wife) to ride along and for her son, who was probably 6 at the time, to play or if there was a junior rate. It's a course that's connected to a timeshare my family owns, so for owners it is only a cart fee to play, and carts are required.

Was told no charge for the boy to play or him mom to ride, and we could all ride together. Got there the next day, and the person who was working in the pro shop told us there would be a fee for the boy and a cart fee for his mom, and the three of us would have to use two carts. About $50 more than I had planned to spend, plus that sort of thing where a person or organization appears to be a little disorganized really ticks off my wife, especially if it involves her son.

Another employee eventually came over and told the person we were talking with to waive the fees. Still had to take two carts for "insurance purposes."

Things like junior rates and ride-alongs aren't that unusual, and all courses should have written policies in plain sight so it doesn't matter whom you talk to.

And charging for ride-alongs due to "insurance purposes" is a shady deal. Please show me the policy.

Did they charge you for insurance purposes or made you take two carts for insurance purposes? Because every cart I have ever ridden in says, specifically, Two (2) persons per seat maximum. If it’s the former situation yes that is bs, but if it’s the latter then yeah I can see that being a problem. Just working in golf myself.

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#33 eagle1997

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 03:34 PM

so many good "fergusons" (as i like to call them) in this thread.

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#34 cherokee8215

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 03:47 PM

This one has happened to me a few times. Booked an early morning weekend time with a foursome, one of the first few of the day. Full price. Get to the course, there are a ton of carts lined up as if for a shotgun. "What are all these carts lined up for, you have a tournament or something going on?" "Yes sir, we are having a partial shotgun event on holes 6 through 18 going off about 30 minutes after you tee off, but they won't be in your way."

One of the few guarantees in life is catching up with that shotgun and ending up with a 5 hour round after being told that.

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#35 NJpatbee

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 03:59 PM

During the peak of the Tiger years a few of us would travel from colder NW Jersey and stay at my family's beach house at the Jersey Shore in late March and play the courses in the Atlantic City Area for a long 4 day weekend.  One year on our second day of our trip it was 36F and absolutely pouring.  We headed out to the course we had booked for that morning to get a rain check and then go kill some time at the casinos.  When we got to the the course the pro shop was open but everything else was closed including the restaurant, snack bars, and locker room.  We asked for a rain check and were told that the course was open and that there would be no rain check.  After a lively discussion we put on our rain gear and got soaked and froze playing 9 holes before packing it in.  By then the clubhouse was closed and the lights were out in the facility. The course is an excellent course but to this day (over 15 years later) I make certain that my negative review is on any golf site that rates courses (they do get deleted).  I have never played there since then and now live about 35 minutes from the course and make certain to spread the word.  I should probably check and see if it is still under the same management or ownership and if it has changed end my vendetta.


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#36 Mych

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 04:19 PM

Most of my issues have been the result of poor communication between the courses and Golfnow or Teeoff/EzLinks. Some examples:

1) Tee time booked/confirmed when the NC State course was closed for a college tournament (whole course closed for the whole weekend).
2) Asked to pay cart fee when reservation stated "including cart". Pro shop had to call and haggle with Golfnow.
3) Pro Shop refused to say that the course would be closed for the day after a monsoon. This prevented Golfnow from issuing a refund, but we weren't allowed to go back out to finish and after waiting an hour called Golfnow back and were refunded.
4) Reservation made, course insisted it was a "senior rate" tee time and since we weren't seniors, we had to pay the difference. Senior rate was not specified on the booking site.
5) Normal lack of indication about aeration, temporary tees/greens, renovations, bunker repairs.

As far as issues from an actual course, the worst is probably when we played a group outing as part of a different event (let's say it was a bachelor party for the sake of simplicity). A few guys didn't have their own clubs, so we cobbled together enough extra irons and other clubs that most people just needed to share drivers or putters. So the only times anyone shared clubs is when we were all together and there was really minimal time impact. When we got to the turn, the pro shop insisted that the guys who didn't have a full set would either have to stop sharing and play what was in their bag, or rent a full set of clubs from the course for about $40. So a couple of guys who were borrowing clubs just asked for rain checks for the back 9 and asked if they could ride along with the group. No rain checks were granted (green fees basically forfeited because they had broken course policy) and they would have to pay the ride-along fee to finish the round.
The person who organized it eventually got in touch with the GM of the course and they apologized and took care of it, but it definitely dampened the mood. The group was buying enough beer to easily equal what the course would have gotten for rental clubs, but after the issues they basically refused to buy anything else from the course.

Edited by Mych, 29 November 2018 - 04:39 PM.

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#37 augustgolf

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 04:49 PM

View PostFerguson, on 29 November 2018 - 02:16 PM, said:

View Postani5009, on 29 November 2018 - 02:09 PM, said:

I've had so many shady situations with different courses when I've booked the tee times on Golf Now. From being told carts aren't included in the greens fee (even though it says the price was to ride on Golf Now) and being charged extra, to being charged multiple "hospitality" fees from the course. It makes me think these courses don't like people using Golf Now to get out and play for whatever reason, but I don't get why they would post the tee times on there in first place.


I loathe GOLFNOW and Hugh Jackman equally.

Joining a private club like we did 10 years ago (if you're able) is the only solution.

Does Hugh Jackman have more than 3 golf towels that he brings to and uses on the course, Fergie????
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#38 bazinky

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 05:14 PM

Before we had our daughter, I used to be a member at a really nice semi-private course. At the time, my schedule was REALLY flexible, and I would often find myself with a spare few hours during the week with very short notice. Since my membership included all the golf AND cart I could play for one set price, I would often call the course to see if there were any times available to either play with someone or just get some practice in. Most of the shop staff were great, but one employee would always tell that "nothing was available". After a while I began to get a but suspicious, since whenever I talked to any other employee, there was almost always an opening for me to get out. Finally decide to head over to the course one day after hearing another "nothing was available'. Of course, the course was deserted and there was no issue with me getting out to play once I was there. Eventually heard that the guy would do the same thing to others who were also members. He would also make comments about how "it must be nice to not have to work much", and stuff like that, without realizing that the nature of my job at that time often meant I was often working odd and inconsistent hours, but still putting in quite a bit of time.

Needless to say, he didn't last long.
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#39 raynorfan1

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 05:46 PM

Along the same lines...I was in Orlando for a meeting that didn't start until 10:00am. Figured if I could get the first tee time, solo, with a cart, I'd have no problem playing in ~2 - 2.5 hours and making my meeting. I described my scenario to the pro shop the night before, and they gave me the first time: no problem at all sir, sounds like a great start to the day!

I'm really pleased with myself teeing off 8 about 45 minutes into the round. Then I hit the turn. There's a long line of guys milling around. The starter (who sent me off 1) looks at me like I'm from outer space, asks me where I came from, and then tells me there's about an hour and fifteen minute wait to tee off of 10.

So I abandon the round and go up to the pro shop to ask for a refund on the half that I can't play. This wasn't a super cheap round - I think it was $180. The guy offers the difference between the 9 hole rate and what I paid, which was $70, but only in shop credit. WTF. So I ask to have as many ProV1's as the credit will cover, thinking it will be five or six sleeves (FULL MSRP on ProV's was ~$50). He hands me three sleeves of balls. They're charging $75/dozen for balls. I ask why they're so expensive, and it's "well, you must understand, they have our course logo on them sir!"

I took my three sleeves of balls and went on to my meeting...

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#40 Markrip

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 05:59 PM

A month  ago my brother in law and I booked a tee time in Hawaii. We got a pretty good rate and the course had some really good reviews. We drive to the opposite side of the island from where we were staying. We get there and we’re told no one was allowed on the course because of a problem with their carts. We had pre payed so we asked if we could go to the pro shop and get a refund. They told us we’d have to call back later. Fortunately we found a course close by and they took us right away ( the rate wasn’t as good but at least we got to still play ). Eventually my brother in law got his refund but they had a phone number and email to contact him. It sure would of been nice if they tried to contact us before we drove all the way there.

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#41 goaliescott

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 07:35 PM

booked first time of the day for a foursome.
they sent us out on the back 9
will you be starting people from the back 9 all day then?
No, we're waiting for the crews to finish on the front and then we'll start people on #1
"we get priority on #1 when we get there, right"
(go ahead and laugh folks, we had to ask....)
Oh yes, of course.
We finish the back in about 90 minutes and we're the 4th group in line at #1.
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#42 MI517

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 10:23 PM

8 guys playing a round on way to golf trip in northern Michigan. Call ahead to make a tee time 9 days out for afternoon. Quoted a price, buddy pays in full and we all PayPal him the $. We get to the course and the pro shop says ‘we’re really busy this week so the price you paid changed, everyone owes an additional $20.’, he points to a sign they have that says ‘Green fees are subject to change’.

We paid, but got the extra $20 back later after my buddy threw a fit at the guy he booked it through.

Really soured me on that course, but we now have the running ‘subject to change’ joke.
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#43 JackpotJohnny

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 12:10 AM

Trying to get you for the rack rate when they know there’s a special...super f’ng shady

“Yeah chief, that’s the wrong rate, there’s a $40 football Sunday special..you know the one that comes with lunch and 2 drink tickets?”
“Oh, you don’t know anything about that? That’s so funny, I remember  you saying the same thing last weekend when you checked me in...and the weekend before that. Would you like me to pull up the email and show it to you again? Yeah this one right here, the one that’s been going on for the entire football season, the same deal you just gave to the guy in front of me”

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#44 rynobucket

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 12:21 AM

My co-workers and I arrived to the course for an after-work round about 25 minutes before our tee time. Stood in line of 3-4 guys in the proshop for about 20 minutes while attendent was on walkie talkie explaining to somebody else how to fix the ball machine on the range. When we finally got to the front of the line, attendant tells us we were late and forfeited our tee time. We have since found a different course for our after-work rounds.

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#45 BogeyLJA

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 01:06 AM

In general I hate the per person cart fee, so dumb

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#46 thevaporz

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 01:22 AM

Must be cabin fever season already. So much entitlement in this bunch. Almost none of these are shady.

So these are like one or two bad experiences out of how many total rounds of golf that went totally as expected? Don't sweat the small stuff, folks.

Half of these are greens punched/ maintenance instances which could've been avoided by doing your due diligence and checking greenskeeper.org for aerification alerts (highly accurate) or calling the course and getting verification of course conditions before you pay and play.

I'm not gonna lose my mind over $10-$40 Golfnow Hot Deal times or boycott a course over one maintenance/slow play/shotgun tourney issue when practically every other time it's been totally fine. I keep a handful of cheap courses in the rotation and never experienced problems with GN bookings or the course staff being unprofessional anywhere.

The only shady thing I can think of is a course at an away team match that claimed they were all out of range balls for our team whilst the home team got the "last bucket" and it'd be a half hour wait to collect and refill. Now, that's shady!

Edited by thevaporz, 30 November 2018 - 04:22 AM.


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#47 pt73

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 03:15 AM

Rang a course twice to book a round when I was on holidays last week and was clear that I wanted to play in the competition not just a casual round.

No problem and was told to book any time and they would look after me.

Booked online but when I checked in for the round ended up being moved to an earlier time and found out I was playing on my own so not in the competition.

When I asked the pro shop why I wasn’t in the competition as I had been assured, the reply was “Sorry about that” and no refund.

I played the front 9 in over 2 1/2 hours as I was stuck behind 2 slow groups of 4, so just walked off.

Never going back.

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#48 thevaporz

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 04:28 AM

A refund for what? You quit after 9 holes. You played in front of the tournament. Did you sign up with the tournament director? Are you a member of the club? Most tournaments have a deadline for entrants and don't accept "walk ons" the day of. Did you pay an extra cash tournament fee to the director? Did you have an official scorecard? Not sure what your complaint is about.

Edited by thevaporz, 30 November 2018 - 04:32 AM.


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#49 ghostrider

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 06:07 AM

The course I lived on in Austin had a deal where you paid a monthly fee and could use the range for practice. I paid the fee for two years but was out of town and did not practice for a while. Went back and the electronic key for the range balls didn;t work. Went to the shop and was told they had changed everything - new keys, much higher fee etc. Was also told that they would not even let me hit until I went home, signed on and gave them all new credit card info. No offer of a bucket of balls and do the sign up at night or anything. Went home and cancelled and never went back. For their new price I could hit a lot of balls at public ranges and know when I show up that I would be allowed to stay

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#50 kcsf

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 12:30 PM

View PostRosco1216, on 29 November 2018 - 01:15 PM, said:

Cart girl promised she would be back soon and never did.

No way! You dated Candy too?

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#51 MaddMaxx

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 01:25 PM

View PostArgonne69, on 29 November 2018 - 10:35 AM, said:

My buddy and I booked the first tee time on Thanksgiving Day a few years back. Since we were planning to spend the majority of the day with our families, we wanted to get in a quick round and hit the road. Of course there turned out to be a frost delay that lasted ~1 hour. When we got to the 1st tee there was another twosome on the tee, and the starter said that we'd be going off second after his friends. They were obviously chummy with the starter. We told him that we had the first tee time, and that they could follow us. He insisted that they were going to play first, and that they would be out of our way before long. Yeah, right. We we on their tails the entire round, and they refused to let us play through. In hindsight we should have skipped a hole. What p*issed me off the most was that the course didn't ask us if it was OK for the twosome to jump the line. We'd have probably said "No", as we are very fast players, but at least they could have had the courtesy. That course was also added to my permanent sh*t list.

There are over 200 public courses in my area. Courses that treat their customers like dirt don't get my business. It's quite simple.

At my course if there is a frost delay you loose your time.
If you want to risk playing early in a frost season fine. If you dont want to risk it book later.
What if it takes 2 hours for the course to become playable? I cant see backing everyone up all day.

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#52 Rosco1216

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 01:54 PM

View Postkcsf, on 30 November 2018 - 12:30 PM, said:

View PostRosco1216, on 29 November 2018 - 01:15 PM, said:

Cart girl promised she would be back soon and never did.

No way! You dated Candy too?
We were on a nickname basis. I called her sugar and she called me sweetie. We had something special...or so I thought.
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#53 Argonne69

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 02:17 PM

View PostMaddMaxx, on 30 November 2018 - 01:25 PM, said:

View PostArgonne69, on 29 November 2018 - 10:35 AM, said:

My buddy and I booked the first tee time on Thanksgiving Day a few years back. Since we were planning to spend the majority of the day with our families, we wanted to get in a quick round and hit the road. Of course there turned out to be a frost delay that lasted ~1 hour. When we got to the 1st tee there was another twosome on the tee, and the starter said that we'd be going off second after his friends. They were obviously chummy with the starter. We told him that we had the first tee time, and that they could follow us. He insisted that they were going to play first, and that they would be out of our way before long. Yeah, right. We we on their tails the entire round, and they refused to let us play through. In hindsight we should have skipped a hole. What p*issed me off the most was that the course didn't ask us if it was OK for the twosome to jump the line. We'd have probably said "No", as we are very fast players, but at least they could have had the courtesy. That course was also added to my permanent sh*t list.

There are over 200 public courses in my area. Courses that treat their customers like dirt don't get my business. It's quite simple.

At my course if there is a frost delay you loose your time.
If you want to risk playing early in a frost season fine. If you dont want to risk it book later.
What if it takes 2 hours for the course to become playable? I cant see backing everyone up all day.

Every course has its own policy. Some courses will shotgun a start if there's a delay. Others will keep everyone in the same order. A handful will force the delayed groups to lose their tee times, which is quite rare actually. In my particular case the course maintained the order, so bumping their friends to the head of the line was definitely a shady thing to do.

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#54 jschwarb

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 02:36 PM

I've been thinking about this all day and can't remember anything worse than dishonest aeration info a couple times and one bad GolfNow tee time (which the course made good on by paying our tab at another course nearby). Ya'll play at some really lousy places :)

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#55 GSDriver

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 02:39 PM

Worst I can remember was Cog Hill in Chicago.  I was visiting my old 'hood, and we decided to play Dubs Dread.  Full price, they did mention, 'some of the greens have fusarium blythe', but figured how bad can it be......some, try ALL greens were just yellow and unmowed....very nice for full price of $125 or whatever it was at the time, not to mention we drove an hour plus to get there....

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#56 Argonne69

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 02:56 PM

I wouldn't chalk this up as shady, but certainly a WTF moment. I played a tournament in mid-September at this course a number of years back. The temperature reached into the high 80's on this beautiful fall day. Because it was a tournament, we were all required to walk. A few holes in, and we're all running out of water, and there's none on the course. It would have been nice if there was a sign near the 1st/10th teebox alerting the players that the course doesn't have water on the course.

When we made the turn I stopped in the clubhouse to ask about the water situation. They said that the course doesn't have water on the course because of the liability associated with the possibility of someone poisoning the (locked) water jugs. I said , "Bullsh*t". The company that ran this particular course also operated several other courses in Chicagoland, and each of the other courses had water jugs on the courses. The manager said that they'd try to station a beverage cart out on the course, but that it couldn't drive around given that it was a tournament. Fine.

I (barely) finished the round, as I was cramping up something fierce. I never did see the beverage cart. I stopped back in the pro shop to ask about it, and they said, "Oh, we positioned the cart between the 12th and 13th holes". "WTF", I said. "What about those of us who started the round on the 10th tee!?". 1st. Class. Morons.

That was the first course to make it on to my permanent sh*t list.

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#57 defnotapro

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 03:10 PM

Nothing really that shady but definitely frustrating. Was in town for the holidays one year and decided to play an early morning round before the rest of the family would be in town that afternoon. I told them I didn't mind them pairing me up if they wanted to. I get there ans there is 2 groups of 4 ready to tee off, but the starter asked my name and said we are going to let you go off first. Awesome, this will be a quick round. I hit a good drive and when I get to it I can't see a flag on the first green. I kind of look around for maybe someone putting flags on other holes but don't see anyone, but see nothing. So I just shoot the front of the green and hit anyways since everyone is waiting. As I start for the green a greenskeeper comes wheeling out from around the corner with a cart full of flags. He proceeds to change the hole location while I'm walking to the green to about as far away from my ball as you could get. I'm sure he wasn't happy. Also, I found out they had aerated the greens the day before and there was sand stripes on the green from where they had obviously used a drag. This was pretty annoying as I didn't expect a course to aerate in December. On hole 16, there was a guy with a blower blowing off the extra sand on the greens. Rolled a lot better after that!

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#58 Argonne69

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 03:24 PM

Yeah, that's the drawback of being the rabbit. I've had to deal with maintenance crews more times than I can count, but they're usually pretty cool. A few missing flags, or relocated flags come with the territory as well. I ran into one crew in the middle of a round last December in Florida that were transplants from Chicago. I think we spent 20 minutes shooting the sh*t about their old hometown.

I played a round a few years back, and I was on the 8th hole ~50 minutes into the round when the starter comes tearing up in his cart. For some odd reason he didn't expect a single to play so quickly, (huh?), and informed me that I couldn't make the turn until the 2 hour mark, as the maintenance crew were on the back nine. Now, I've played hundreds of courses, and this is the first time I was told point blank that I couldn't play through the crew. I wound up sitting for an hour at the turn until I could tee off on the 10th. Grrrr.

Edited by Argonne69, 30 November 2018 - 03:26 PM.


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#59 pt73

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 03:19 AM

View Postthevaporz, on 30 November 2018 - 04:28 AM, said:

A refund for what? You quit after 9 holes. You played in front of the tournament. Did you sign up with the tournament director? Are you a member of the club? Most tournaments have a deadline for entrants and don't accept "walk ons" the day of. Did you pay an extra cash tournament fee to the director? Did you have an official scorecard? Not sure what your complaint is about.
I asked for a refund at checkin as I had specifically asked to play in their competition.

If I had been told that I couldn’t play in the competition I would have played at another course.

The club is not private so accepts visitors in its competitions and I signed up a week before the event, I am a member of a club with an official handicap.

Anything else I can provide to explain the situation?


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#60 Shipwreck

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 05:03 AM

View Postrynobucket, on 30 November 2018 - 12:21 AM, said:

My co-workers and I arrived to the course for an after-work round about 25 minutes before our tee time. Stood in line of 3-4 guys in the proshop for about 20 minutes while attendent was on walkie talkie explaining to somebody else how to fix the ball machine on the range. When we finally got to the front of the line, attendant tells us we were late and forfeited our tee time. We have since found a different course for our after-work rounds.

Wow. Simply wow. Glad you were able to find a course that didn’t have terrible staff running it. And hopefully that aHole was fired.

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