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Altercation with owner/superintendant- opinons wanted


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#1 thomcad

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:41 AM

A buddy and I met at a local course for a late summer/early fall round a few months ago.  They don't make tee times during the week, so we arrived around 3/4 hour after sunrise.  After a short wait for the staff to open up the shop and take our $, we were the first group out, since a large group that came in a van graciously allowed us to go out ahead of them.

We got the the first green, a par 5, and the sprinkler was still on... the old rotary kind with a thick hose snaking back to the buried valve.  I tried to shut off the valve, but it was keyed.  We joked about the Super forgetting to set his alarm, and pulled the sprinkler off the green by the hose so we could putt.  We left it off for the several foursomes coming up behind us.  We laughed it off, and thought we were being good sports, since I was getting pretty wet on a chilly morning, and we were putting thru soggy grass and around standing water.

2nd thru 5th green same routine, except on the 5th green a guy riding a Ranger pulled up and read us the riot act for messing with his sprinklers.  My hot head buddy reacted and it wasn't pretty.

The way I see it, we only had two choices:  Piss and moan and demand a refund, or try and make the best of it by pulling the sprinklers off so we could putt.  They took our money and charged us full price, so we shouldn't just be expected to skip 1/2 the greens on the front nine, right?
I've played there many times at that time of the day, and even earlier, and was even an annual member there several years back, and never saw sprinklers out that late.
BTW, I went to complain after the round, and it turns out he was the owners son, and he pretty much ran the place with his brother.

What would you have done?


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#2 Man In The Miura

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:46 AM

Sounds like you did pretty much anyone I know would have done.  Reasonable, even thoughtful.

No telling what the mental state of the guy in the Ranger was.  Probably hung over and angry.

#3 Johnny Biarritz

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:50 AM

I wouldn't go back. Other than that, you can't do much. He was probably wrong for yelling at you...but then again, it is his property to do with as he wants...

#4 360_CS

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:53 AM

At least they water the greens in the early morning rather than mid afternoon like the ones at our course do.

#5 BluehoseGolf

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:57 AM

I would have done exactly what you did.  Sometimes those older rangers driver me crazy.  They treat you like crap even after you have paid there over priced greens fees.  What they soon forget is that those greens fees are helping to pay there salary.  Thats the way I look at it.  At the country club I work at, we firmly believe that when in doubt, the customer is always right.  In doing this, you hopefully make a bad experience a  better one that it was, and keep them coming back.  I have about had it with the angry/mean/hungover starters and rangers.  They make me so angry. Even when I was in my late teens and now a 20, they still put the senor members in front of me to tee off.  Then, after I rip my tee shot down the middle, they realize that I can actually play and care about the game, not some kid out there to get away from his parents.


#6 thomcad

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:58 AM

View PostJohnny Biarritz, on 29 December 2012 - 12:50 AM, said:

I wouldn't go back. Other than that, you can't do much. He was probably wrong for yelling at you...but then again, it is his property to do with as he wants...
Agree, he can water whenever he wants.  But we were miffed that he was taking greenfees and letting golfers out on the course while it was unplayable.

#7 Thrillhouse

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:28 AM

View Postthomcad, on 29 December 2012 - 12:58 AM, said:

View PostJohnny Biarritz, on 29 December 2012 - 12:50 AM, said:

I wouldn't go back. Other than that, you can't do much. He was probably wrong for yelling at you...but then again, it is his property to do with as he wants...
Agree, he can water whenever he wants.  But we were miffed that he was taking greenfees and letting golfers out on the course while it was unplayable.

I don't know why some people are idiots, I just know that some people are idiots.

I wouldn't go back either

#8 Johnny Biarritz

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:30 AM

View Postthomcad, on 29 December 2012 - 12:58 AM, said:

View PostJohnny Biarritz, on 29 December 2012 - 12:50 AM, said:

I wouldn't go back. Other than that, you can't do much. He was probably wrong for yelling at you...but then again, it is his property to do with as he wants...
Agree, he can water whenever he wants.  But we were miffed that he was taking greenfees and letting golfers out on the course while it was unplayable.

I wasn't disagreeing...I've seen sprinklers on at all times of the day and it can be quite irritating. But if they were running them with golfers on the course AND being total jerks about it, like I said, I just wouldn't go back.

#9 lander215

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:39 AM

We have a really nice par 3 near my sons college that I'll stop and play when I have to take him back on Sunday mornings. Last time I was there they sent me off the back but were watering the tee boxes. I had to wait a little bit for the first one to stop (they are on timers) then teed off. On 11 I had to tee off left of the tee box, but other than that, I was able to work my way into the tee box at each subsequent hole (I was essentially getting to the next tee box when it was being watered) by timing it just right and had no other problems.

When I was heading from 18 over to 1, they told me that I was welcome to replay since I had to deal with the sprinklers. I thanked them, but told them other than 11, I'd actually found it quite amusing to play with the sprinklers on and hadn't even gotten wet.

The difference sometimes isn't the course, but those that manage it, that keep you coming back.

#10 MadGolfer76

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:45 AM

Just ride off. You have no clue how pissed people get when you give them the ghost treatment. Camera phone their asses and post it somewhere so other golfers will know to stay away.

Try not to pay with cash either, that way you might be able to get the cc company to dispute the payment with them if they kick you off early for no good reason.

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#11 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:05 AM

Geez and they say country club members act like entitled jerks.

You screwed around with the course's irrigation equipment and the owner/management got mad about it. How can anyone not see that you were totally and completely in the wrong here?

Half the courses I've ever played run run sprinklers just after sunrise. Sometimes it even rains when I'm playing golf, then the greens get REALLY wet.

#12 kevcarter

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:21 AM

You have to look at this from both sides. You showed up as a twosome without a tee time. The staff let you out ahead of the scheduled times, and as a twosome I'm sure you flew. The Super's schedule was predicated on what was on the tee sheet, the large groups starting at xxx and knowing they would be slow.

At many clubs, you would have been told no and turned away. I'm sure the Super gave the guy in the pro shop a piece of his mind for letting you out, and having you chew him out too would have made his day even more special. Sometimes you just need to roll with it...

What should have happened is the shop staff should have called the super to let him know what was happening. The super could have given the yea or nea for starting, and could have adjusted accordingly.

The crime here was the counter staff letting you out without communication with the super, and you messing with the equipment. The feeling of entitlement from paying your green fee. Had you gone in to complain after the first green, the person at the counter may have given you a refund, and considering his mistake, not let you back on the course until the first open tee time.

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#13 Vindog

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:25 AM

Hindsight is always 50/50, but in the future maybe call the clubhouse and find out what you should do in that situation.  I've moved sprinklers before, but I have always put them back, even if there is a group right behind us.

Supers don't like their stuff messed with.  And I can understand that.  The ranger's attitude probably wasn't the best, but maybe your buddy's wasn't either.  It happens.

If this was an isolated incident, and you mostly have fine experiences there, then I personally would just let it roll.

Edited by Vindog, 29 December 2012 - 09:48 AM.

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#14 Jon Robert

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:17 AM

Should have left and ask for refund as course is obviously unplayable  "a rain" check.

Or accidentally placed a road kill shunk in the kids car back seat. Accidentally tucked out of sight under the drivers seat.

#15 Andy L

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:45 AM

View PostVindog, on 29 December 2012 - 09:25 AM, said:

Hindsight is always 50/50, but in the future maybe call the clubhouse and find out what you should do in that situation.  I've moved sprinklers before, but I have always put them back, even if there is a group right behind us.

Supers don't like their stuff messed with.  And I can understand that.  The ranger's attitude probably wasn't the best, but maybe your buddy's wasn't either.  It happens.

If this was an isolated incident, and you mostly have fine experiences there, then I personally would just let it roll.

He said they don't take tee times during the week when he was there. So there was no schedule.

I likely would not have moved the sprinklers but would have been on the phone to the pro shop asking what to do.

I like what another person suggested, to use your phone to video the incident and the berating from the Ranger and post on YouTube. I will have to remember that one.

Also id never go back and I'd give them terrible reviews on the golf websites.


#16 kevcarter

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:48 AM

View PostAndy L, on 29 December 2012 - 10:45 AM, said:

He said they don't take tee times during the week when he was there. So there was no schedule.


I missed that point too. Now I need to rethink my answer which would include a call to the shop from the first green which most likely would have negated the ensuing drama...
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#17 Andy L

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:52 AM

Exactly - - - I'm sure the phone call would have eliminated the drama.

#18 Llortamaisey

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:45 PM

The real problem here is that golfers shouldn't play at courses with owner/superintendent position. I certainly wouldn't go to a hospital with doctor/landscaper.

#19 Big Ben

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:56 PM

It's all how people treat a situation, if the ranger would have apologized for the sprinkler situation while reminding you that as a 2 in front of first off you beat them and politely asked that you leave the sprinkler system alone this agitation might have been averted...BB
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#20 Vindog

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:42 PM

View PostAndy L, on 29 December 2012 - 10:45 AM, said:

He said they don't take tee times during the week when he was there. So there was no schedule.

I likely would not have moved the sprinklers but would have been on the phone to the pro shop asking what to do.

I like what another person suggested, to use your phone to video the incident and the berating from the Ranger and post on YouTube. I will have to remember that one.

Also id never go back and I'd give them terrible reviews on the golf websites.

That just seems like a lot of energy to spend on something that doesn't matter all that much to me.  I would just let it roll.

ymmv of course.

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#21 thomcad

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:38 PM

View PostVindog, on 29 December 2012 - 09:25 AM, said:

Hindsight is always 50/50, but in the future maybe call the clubhouse and find out what you should do in that situation.  I've moved sprinklers before, but I have always put them back, even if there is a group right behind us.

Pretty good advice, appreciate it.  I didn't think of it at the time, but that would have been the best option for sure

View PostFourmyle of Ceres, on 29 December 2012 - 09:05 AM, said:

Geez and they say country club members act like entitled jerks.

How can anyone not see that you were totally and completely in the wrong here?


Well, I certainly entertained that possibility when I asked for opinions, and I appreciate you giving yours, although I don't think life is as black and white as you like to think it is.

Half the courses I've ever played run run sprinklers just after sunrise.

In 25 years of playing the earliest tee times possible, this course included, I've never come across sprinklers soaking the greens to this extent on the first 5 holes 1.5 hours after sunrise.  I've had timed sprinklers go off at various times at various courses, but it was a short wait and no big deal.  It was pretty obvious that they screwed up and forgot to pull them off or got held up somehow.  Thats what made it unclear to us how we should proceed.  Obviously, we should have called the proshop, but hindsight and all that...

Sometimes it even rains when I'm playing golf, then the greens get REALLY wet.

Cute.  It actually rained throughout our entire back nine that day, which made the heavy, late watering even more confusing to us. And we weren't complaining about the water, even though it was puddled up.  We took relief where necessary, and made the best of it.


Btw, when I mentioned the Ranger, I was describing the Polaris Ranger the Super was driving around the course.  It might have been a John Deere Gator, actually.

Thanks for the good ideas,

Thom

Edited by thomcad, 29 December 2012 - 03:41 PM.


#22 lander215

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:41 PM

Were they watering the greens due to frost perhaps? I know they do that down here as we had that happen just a week or so ago.

#23 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

The first several summers I played golf, the course near my house would let me go off solo on weekend mornings ahead of the first groups of the day. There were usually sprinklers running on several holes, on a bad day it would be darned near every hole on the first nine. And I usually had to skip a hole somewhere along the line because they were mowing a green.

For me it was worth it to be first off and have the course to myself except for the sprinklers and the guy on the greens mower. Otherwise I'd have waited 45 minutes later and played on a course full of foursomes. I thought it was a pretty good tradeoff.

#24 just win

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:19 PM

Speed putt. I'm sure there was no money nor world ranking points on the line.
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#25 thomcad

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:34 AM

View Postlander215, on 29 December 2012 - 04:41 PM, said:

Were they watering the greens due to frost perhaps? I know they do that down here as we had that happen just a week or so ago.

No,  no danger of frost that morning.  It was chilly for that time of year, but was easily high forties.  Amazing how that seems so cold after a nice summer, but would seem like a heat wave right now with 6" of fresh powder on the ground.  I've actually played that course when there was a frost warning, and they just hold the golfers at the first tee until they go out and check for frost.


#26 thomcad

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:35 AM

View Postjust win, on 29 December 2012 - 11:19 PM, said:

Speed putt. I'm sure there was no money nor world ranking points on the line.

Just lunch and beers.

#27 thomcad

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:43 AM

View PostFourmyle of Ceres, on 29 December 2012 - 09:15 PM, said:

The first several summers I played golf, the course near my house would let me go off solo on weekend mornings ahead of the first groups of the day. There were usually sprinklers running on several holes, on a bad day it would be darned near every hole on the first nine. And I usually had to skip a hole somewhere along the line because they were mowing a green.

For me it was worth it to be first off and have the course to myself except for the sprinklers and the guy on the greens mower. Otherwise I'd have waited 45 minutes later and played on a course full of foursomes. I thought it was a pretty good tradeoff.

I would take that trade-off as well, sounds reasonable, actually.

But there was obviously something out of the ordinary this day. Played dozens of early morning rounds at this course and never ran into this.  It just didn't make sense for them to water the first 5 holes so late and so heavy, without ever hitting the other holes.  As I tried to calm things down between my buddy and the super he said they usually move from 1 to 18 and hit the whole course each morning.  Actually as I right this, its pretty obvious that something held his crew up and probably ruined his morning, which might explain his surly attitude.  Didn't think of it until I wrote this, which is why I suppose it helps the talk/write these things out.

Thanks guys!

#28 Dire Wolf

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:52 AM

It is entirely possible that some important, expensive chemical was applied in that 1.5 hours after sunrise, and in some cases those chemicals must be SOAKED into the soil.  The rain could have nothing to do with it.  If you aren't certified in turf management, then you have no clue what goes on anymore than someone watching surgery and second guessing the doctor.  If you are not a superintendant or course employee, don't mess with their equipment.  You have no idea why it's there.  Some supers won't even let their own employees move or use some equipment.

It is possible that the only thing the course did wrong in this case was let you out at all, or the mainenance crew failed to inform the shop staff so they could warn you about the sprinklers.  Since the atmosphere seems casual with the lack of bookings, there was likely no opportunity to pre-screen you before you showed up, or warn the shop that the sprinklers would still be out prior to the large group coming through.

The rate you paid is immaterial since a spot that wouldn't even exist was created for you, and they can set any price they want for that.  If you feel like you've been wronged, get a refund or raincheck.  If you want play golf, use the rules of golf and take a drop or adjust accordingly.

Edited by Dire Wolf, 30 December 2012 - 10:52 AM.


#29 Andy L

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

The course didn't create a spot for them, it is first come first serve during weekdays as the OP explained. It was the van full of people that let them out ahead of their group.

While the golfers were overly bold to do what they did, the course clearly screwed up and the Ranger was flat out wrong for treating a Customer poorly and only made the situation worse.

Like I said earlier, I would have called the clubhouse and I'm sure they would have remedied the problem.

Edited by Andy L, 30 December 2012 - 01:13 PM.


#30 thomcad

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:08 PM

View PostDire Wolf, on 30 December 2012 - 10:52 AM, said:

It is entirely possible that some important, expensive chemical was applied in that 1.5 hours after sunrise, and in some cases those chemicals must be SOAKED into the soil.  

Entirely possible, yes, I suppose, but not in this case.  If that was what was going on, then I'm sure it would have come up in our... ahem... discussion with the super.  They screwed up or got held up, and didn't move on to the other greens, and ended up watering the first five holes for an extra hour or so or maybe more.  As I mentioned above, I realized this after recreating the situation and posting it here.  I'm 100% sure of it.

It is possible that the only thing the course did wrong in this case was let you out at all.

Can't argue with this, because it was exactly this screw up that set the whole ugly chain of events in motion.  But I don't understand the rush to defend the course here and in a couple of other posts, though.  This isn't a "don't golf at X golfcourse because they totally screwed me" thread.  It is a "what should I have done to avoid this altercation" thread.  I understand that there are rarely any completely innocent parties in a disagreement like this.  And by posting here and asking for constuctive advice, some degree culpability on my part is implied.  I wanted good ideas on how to avoid it, and I got a great one-  call the proshop with a the cell phone that everyone carries these days. Wish I had thought of it that day


The rate you paid is immaterial since a spot that wouldn't even exist was created for you, and they can set any price they want for that.

????


If you feel like you've been wronged, get a refund or raincheck.  

Didn't feel wronged at all, at least not by the sprinklers.  Confused about what we should have done, yes, upset by the Supers tone and approach, yes, but we were trying to avoid whining about the water and asking for a refund.  We laughed it off and tried to make the best of it.  Unfortunately that meant moving the sprinklers.


If you want play golf, use the rules of golf and take a drop or adjust accordingly.

Thats what we did, but we had to move the sprinklers in order to do it, and then we took relief from the standing water as best we could. What do the rules of golf say you should do when the course takes your money and sends you out to play 18, but because of their mistake the first five greens are unplayable?  Not sure that applies to this situation at all.






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