Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:43 PM
[quote name='rogolf' timestamp='1356054399' post='6098549']
[quote name='Dire Wolf' timestamp='1356015218' post='6095419']
[quote name='rogolf' timestamp='1355841327' post='6085313']
[quote name='Newby' timestamp='1355818121' post='6084667']
[quote name='Fourmyle of Ceres' timestamp='1355743611' post='6080001']
So let me get this straight. There are fewer people playing golf because there are too many people at the golf courses?
I believe that the US suffers more than most with a severe bout of slow play anyway. With too many courses are trying to crowd too many in with tight starting intervals, this adds to the time players spend hanging around waiting to play their next shot. This makes players more frustrated and is a contributory factor in turning them off the game.
There is no doubt (in my mind anyway) that slow play is causing people not to play - they just don't have sufficient time to devote 1/2 their waking day to devote to a game of golf. Imo, this is at least partially caused by golf course administration,
- insufficient time between tee times (should be 10 minutes minimum)
- golf course designs and layout - too difficult, too many tee choices
- beverage carts
- rules for use of golf carts - cart path only, 90* rule
- not allowing walking
- focus on getting people on the golf course rather than a focus on getting them off the course in a timely manner
This is a generalization, but imo, golf course administration just don't care about it and are afraid of upsetting one or two of their customers instead of satisfying the majority.
I think a marketing case could be made for a course promoting 4 hour games.
Have you ever worked at a golf course and had to deal with these issues? In particular, trying to fix these problems and weighing the needs of the individual vs the many? You realize that the many are comprised of individuals, and if you keep chasing away individuals there will be no "many"? Granted, some people are just out to cause problems and need to be ignored in favor of the good of the overall business and the other customers, but to say that golf courses are somehow uncaring or kowtowing to a few cranks at the expense of an easily workable solution is just not true.
1) The tee time intervals are often set by ownership or regional management of some kind. They do this to balance the number of golfers they can fit in in a day with the available carts (you can run out) and an expected pace of play. This is no different than spacing between seats on a plane or in a movie theater, or tables in a restaurant. If you space too far, you can't make enough revenue and your prices have to go up, or your conditions and service suffer, or else you go out of business.
2) The availablity of tee choices is not the problem. That is a feature that is necessary due to handicap distribution. The problem is people making the wrong choices to "see more of the course" or because of ego. Then they spend too much time looking for balls. This is the golfer's fault, not the fault of the course.
3) Do you know how many people complain if there are no beverage carts? Especially on very hot days where people frequently need fluids? Again, this is something customers want. Golf courses would be perfectly happy if people just stocked up in the shop or bar and they didn't have to pay someone to drive a cart around all day (a cart which, by the way, costs a lot of money to operate and breaks down frequently, usually on the course).
4) How can a golf course not have rules for cart use? Or are you suggesting everyone "scatter"? I have seen people drive carts around on courses like they were using dunebuggys in the desert, doing donuts and driving through bunkers. I don't think people outside of the business understand how much stress repeated stopping, starting, cutting, turning and driving in general puts on many grasses, especially when the temperatures and conditions are favorable to damage. The rules aren't in place for responsible people, generally.
5) Walking vs riding is a debate that's been around since 3-wheeled carts emerged to replace caddies. The bottom line is it depends on the course, and the golfer.
6) And again, people assume that their own interests and preferences are the same as everyone else's. For every person trying to finish in 3.5 hours (like myself) there are as many people or more who will feel rushed if you try to push them along at that pace, and will be just as unsatisfied and prone to complaint (in person and online, which you cannot erase from your record/rating) as someone who has a round that's too slow. There is no perfect solution to everyone. There is only an acceptable range based on conditions, course, volume, day, time, etc.
So what I'm saying is, generally these complaints just shift who that "one or two customers" is from oneself to someone else.
Nothing personal, just letting you know.
In answer to your initial question - yes, I've worked at a golf course, for six seasons, and have dealt with all of these issues.
I stick by my comment about tee times - pushing people off the first tee after collecting their money is not sufficient - getting them off the golf course "in time" is the purpose - customer experience, customer satisfaction.
Beverage carts - there must be policies for these - examples - don't serve customers on fairways, only serve them between greens and tees, don't need to service the first and second holes, nor the seventeenth and eighteenth, nor any holes near a permanent facility on the course that offers service, focus on keeping customers from going to the clubhouse between 9 and 10. That's management.
Cart rules - sure there can be some required to prevent damage by idiots, but idiots don't follow any rules anyway. What's the purpose of cart path only? or the 90* rule? If there are marshals on the course, shouldn't they be observing/correcting misbehavioring customers?
And why would anyone ban walking on a perfectly walkable golf course? (other than to increase cart revenue)
Customers who are unhappy about pace of play should let the golf course administration know of their dissatisfaction, every time, even during the round.
I agree 100%. They want you to go fast but do everything they can to make it slow. exemple`: If using carts makes the game play faster ( it does not) they would give each player a cart.They dont, 2 per cart. One sits a waits wile the other plays..Its just a money thing.