More Things That Bother Golfers
WHEN we conduct our surveys there is always feedback that takes us by surprise. Your comments are extremely valuable and often thought-provoking and highlight areas of the game that clearly trouble you.
And you have brought several more areas to our attention in our most recent survey.
Let’s start with bookings systems. This is always a thorny one, if only because there seems to be such a lack of consistency, both for club members and for visitors.
Many golf clubs only allow you to book tee times through the internet but, as several of you have pointed out, not everybody has access to online booking. And many people who do, still don’t feel comfortable booking their tee times this way. And at some point there will be an inevitable crash, when the site goes down and you cannot make a booking.
Many of you want to see more golf clubs accepting telephone bookings, or at least offering it as an option. The problem with this is that you need to get the club professional on board and, in many instances, they will say that they already have more than enough on their plates without having to balance telephone and internet tee booking.
Tee Time Access
There is also a perception that too many clubs still allow golfers to turn up and play without having previously booked a tee time. That was all well and good before the current boom because golf courses were quiet. But with memberships bursting at the seams, that is no longer the case. And, of course, during the winter the reduced daylight hours mean we have shorter days and fewer available tee times so the demand for tee times may actually increase.
Club members who have spent years turning up with the expectation of being allowed to walk straight to the first tee are unlikely to want to change the habits of a lifetime but it seems fair that if they insist on doing so they should be told by the club pro that they may have to wait their turn.
Booking systems exist for a reason, not the least of which is to ensure a steady flow of people starting their rounds. Clubs want to keep a set period of time between each group. If they fail to do this then it goes without saying that you are going to get groups of players bunching up on the course, and that must lead to slow play. So if your course asks you to book a tee time you really should play ball. And make sure you arrive at the course early in order to make your tee time.
Pace of Play
Pace of play continues to be a constant irritant. None of us want to take five hours to play 18 holes, and many of you believe that your golf clubs really can help themselves in this respect by giving more thought to tee times. Increasing numbers of courses now only let four balls play at certain times of day, and it seems to us that this makes perfect sense. If you are playing in a two ball and your club allocates certain times of the day for four ball play then you will clearly avoid playing at those times. It is not rocket science.
Course maintenance is another bugbear. Visit most club websites and you will struggle to find a section that tells you if the greenkeepers are carrying out routine maintenance. Similarly, how many times have you turned up a golf club in the winter, handed over your green fee and then headed out to the course to discover that you are expected to play from winter tees and use temporary greens? And did anybody tell you before you teed off? And did you receive a reduction in your green fee?
No Course Signage
Perhaps most frustrating of all for visitors is turning up to play a new course and discovering that there is no signage. You walk off the green and there is absolutely no indication where the next tee might be. You look at the back of your scorecard and there is no course map so you start wandering around aimlessly and end up standing on the wrong tee. The net result of this is that you end up taking far longer to negotiate the 18 holes than you should. As a matter of routine, golf clubs should ensure that directions to each tee are clear. It is frustrating and annoying to not know where the next tee is on a course you have not played before.
So there you go, 5 common themes from our most recent survey that frustrate golfers. What frustrates you? Let us know in the comments below!
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