Does your course charge a 'spectators fee'?

kekoakekoa ClubWRX Posts: 8,850 ClubWRX
Myself and two friends took our kids out to play a super- twilight round a few days ago and the worker charges me a spectator fee to carry my sons bag. Hes 5 y/o btw. It was something like $30 which blew me away. When i asked about the charge he said its for liability purposes.



Does this sound legit? Ive carried his bag at other courses and they charged me no such fee.

Comments

  • Kenny Lee PuckettKenny Lee Puckett Members Posts: 3,460 ✭✭
    kekoa wrote:


    Myself and two friends took our kids out to play a super- twilight round a few days ago and the worker charges me a spectator fee to carry my sons bag. Hes 5 y/o btw. It was something like $30 which blew me away. When i asked about the charge he said its for liability purposes.



    Does this sound legit? I've carried his bag at other courses and they charged me no such fee.
    sounds like a facility really commited to growing the game. I'd get on the horn with the D.O.G. or

    H.P. and find out wtf justifies $30 charge for you to chaperone your kid out there as the sun is going down. I'm assuming they had already nailed you for a green fee for the boy to actually play right?
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  • kekoakekoa ClubWRX Posts: 8,850 ClubWRX

    kekoa wrote:


    Myself and two friends took our kids out to play a super- twilight round a few days ago and the worker charges me a spectator fee to carry my sons bag. Hes 5 y/o btw. It was something like $30 which blew me away. When i asked about the charge he said its for liability purposes.



    Does this sound legit? I've carried his bag at other courses and they charged me no such fee.
    sounds like a facility really commited to growing the game. I'd get on the horn with the D.O.G. or

    H.P. and find out wtf justifies $30 charge for you to chaperone your kid out there as the sun is going down. I'm assuming they had already nailed you for a green fee for the boy to actually play right?




    Yes. He's an scga member so green fees are $5 for him after 2 pm, which is great.... But that spectator fee needs to go or be reduced drastically. The $30 fee is equivalent to me being a player, which i wasnt.
  • KYMARKYMAR Members Posts: 13,257 ✭✭
    Good Lord.





    GREAT work golf course! I mean Just post a "No **** Kids!" Sign and get it over with.

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  • Kenny Lee PuckettKenny Lee Puckett Members Posts: 3,460 ✭✭
    edited Sep 9, 2015 #5
    kekoa wrote:


    kekoa wrote:


    Myself and two friends took our kids out to play a super- twilight round a few days ago and the worker charges me a spectator fee to carry my sons bag. Hes 5 y/o btw. It was something like $30 which blew me away. When i asked about the charge he said its for liability purposes.



    Does this sound legit? I've carried his bag at other courses and they charged me no such fee.
    sounds like a facility really commited to growing the game. I'd get on the horn with the D.O.G. or

    H.P. and find out wtf justifies $30 charge for you to chaperone your kid out there as the sun is going down. I'm assuming they had already nailed you for a green fee for the boy to actually play right?




    Yes. He's an scga member so green fees are $5 for him after 2 pm, which is great.... But that spectator fee needs to go or be reduced drastically. The $30 fee is equivalent to me being a player, which i wasnt.
    and you weren't borrowing a cart. like I said, you either call and get an intelligent answer from someone who makes decisions around there. or you cross that place off your list AND send them a letter informing them you've notified the SCGA that you regrettably discovered they are NOT a junior golfer accommodating facility. ****, contact the SCPGA while you are at it. they HATE when their members and facilities make people feel turned away.
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  • kekoakekoa ClubWRX Posts: 8,850 ClubWRX

    kekoa wrote:


    kekoa wrote:


    Myself and two friends took our kids out to play a super- twilight round a few days ago and the worker charges me a spectator fee to carry my sons bag. Hes 5 y/o btw. It was something like $30 which blew me away. When i asked about the charge he said its for liability purposes.



    Does this sound legit? I've carried his bag at other courses and they charged me no such fee.
    sounds like a facility really commited to growing the game. I'd get on the horn with the D.O.G. or

    H.P. and find out wtf justifies $30 charge for you to chaperone your kid out there as the sun is going down. I'm assuming they had already nailed you for a green fee for the boy to actually play right?




    Yes. He's an scga member so green fees are $5 for him after 2 pm, which is great.... But that spectator fee needs to go or be reduced drastically. The $30 fee is equivalent to me being a player, which i wasnt.
    and you weren't borrowing a cart. like I said, you either call and get an intelligent answer from someone who makes decisions around there. or you cross that place off your list AND send them a letter informing them you've notified the SCGA that you regrettably discovered they are NOT a junior golfer accommodating facility. ****, contact the SCPGA while you are at it. they HATE when their members and facilities make people feel turned away.




    Thanks kenny. I'm going to do just that and ill update with what they have to say.
  • WrigglesWriggles Members Posts: 3,196 ✭✭
    When I started playing golf in the 1960's, some golf courses were already charging greens fees for walkers or spectators. The course my Dad and I played back then allowed walkers for free. I've remarked elsewhere on this site that a lot of times we went, my Dad used to just walk with me and listen to the ball game on his transistor radio. I recall many times going to different courses and they told us, green fees were charged whether the person played or not. Of course, fees back then were under $2 for 18 holes, but $2 for walking eliminated those courses with my Dad and me, even if he played. He didn't like the attitude.



    Most courses will charge spectator fees, they do cite liability and insurance requirements. I found that the rattiest golf courses are really adamant about the charge. I've ran into a few that will charge a lesser rate, but that's rare. Signs are posted, "No walkers" at many courses.



    I haven't run into a course that allows walkers free for at least 30 years. Same thing with single golfers, not encouraged. I've been given the bum's rush a few times, wanting to tee of as a single. One place, years ago, I waited over an hour before I just got a refund and left. The starter really took his job as an authority.



    This stuff isn't going away, unless the golf industry finds itself hurting a whole lot more than it is now.
  • needfasp3edneedfasp3ed Members Posts: 200 ✭✭
    I've had courses charge me $5/9 holes for my girlfriend to ride in the cart with me but that's about it.
  • vtnerfvtnerf Members Posts: 8,197
    Some places simply will not allow non-golfers on the course. The proshop guys response of a liability issue is just that. I've seen and heard of courses that if a non-golfer is found walking the course, the cops are called for trespassing.



    Now you say that you brought your sons clubs? Are you sure he wasn't charging you a playing rate, knowing that he was going to be playing golf at some point on the course during the round? Maybe if you told him that your son was with you and he was just going to putt on a few holes, he might have charged the $5, not the "around" $30.
  • JWellsJWells Members Posts: 1,152
    Most do, but most employees / starters don't even know it's in the system or don't care to charge . The only time I have been charged one for my girlfriend riding 9 with me it was $10
  • Air JordanAir Jordan Members Posts: 845 ✭✭
    vtnerf wrote:


    Some places simply will not allow non-golfers on the course. The proshop guys response of a liability issue is just that. I've seen and heard of courses that if a non-golfer is found walking the course, the cops are called for trespassing.



    Now you say that you brought your sons clubs? Are you sure he wasn't charging you a playing rate, knowing that he was going to be playing golf at some point on the course during the round? Maybe if you told him that your son was with you and he was just going to putt on a few holes, he might have charged the $5, not the "around" $30.




    I might be reading this the wrong way, but my assumption was that the two kids were playing and the adults were just carrying the bags. I could be wrong.
  • vtnerfvtnerf Members Posts: 8,197
    Air Jordan wrote:

    vtnerf wrote:


    Some places simply will not allow non-golfers on the course. The proshop guys response of a liability issue is just that. I've seen and heard of courses that if a non-golfer is found walking the course, the cops are called for trespassing.



    Now you say that you brought your sons clubs? Are you sure he wasn't charging you a playing rate, knowing that he was going to be playing golf at some point on the course during the round? Maybe if you told him that your son was with you and he was just going to putt on a few holes, he might have charged the $5, not the "around" $30.




    I might be reading this the wrong way, but my assumption was that the two kids were playing and the adults were just carrying the bags. I could be wrong.


    Ah, I see. So they charged the dad "around" $30 to carry? Well then, the question is why was it paid? I wouldn't have paid an additional $30 to carry a bag when it was only $5 to play. But I also see a fee being charged for liability purposes, but nothing near the "around" $30. Maybe an extra $5 for walking.
  • hammy83hammy83 Members Posts: 1,831
    KYMAR wrote:


    Good Lord.





    GREAT work golf course! I mean Just post a "No **** Kids!" Sign and get it over with.




    even better... just post KYMAR's clown pic and save some writing. Might even work for a few adults.
  • LokiLoki Members Posts: 1,110 ✭✭
    When I taught skiing you got to ski for free and could bring a guest free of charge. Then an instructor was injured on the hill, could have been paralyzed save for a patroler that was an EMT, and there was threat of lawsuits, etc. Not sure how it came to this, but it was deemed a good idea by the lawyers that the instructors and their guests should pay a nominal fee so their was knowledge of liability on both sides. Instructors had to pay $5 for their ski pass and guests had to pay $1 per time out. I think it is a little excessive to charge one $30 to walk a golf course.
  • GWDGWD garywdixon Members Posts: 1,666
    Around here in Northern CA there is almost always a rider/spectator fee. This may be slightly different than just a spectator fee alone. My experience is for a rider.



    One course charges $5 for my wife to ride 18 holes. Another two local courses charge between $8 and $16 depending who is behind the pro shop counter. There is a sign behind the counter that states they charge $16 fee for a spectator (no mention of rider).



    The most expensive local course charges $30 only if an additional cart is necessary for a foursome. IE. three carts in a group. Otherwise, there is no fee.



    Of the three courses recently played in Truckee, CA, only one charged a $30 fee. The other two waved the fee. I had called ahead to ask and each said that there was a $30 fee at their course. Of course, the green fee were in the $130 neighborhood so it wasn't like they weren't making money at a vacation destination.



    The point being that courses can do what they want regarding fees and the only recourse is to walk away. The legal excuse sounds just like what it is...an excuse.
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  • golfinraygolfinray Members Posts: 524 ✭✭
    My course if my wife rides with me it is a half a cart fee for the rider.



    I don't mind that too bad.
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  • knock it closeknock it close Members Posts: 7,945 ✭✭
    During busy times my course charges a ride-along fee (single seat cart fee). If its in the evening and a member wants to bring their wife out or kids/grandkids out to watch we never charge them.
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  • kekoakekoa ClubWRX Posts: 8,850 ClubWRX
    Here is the response from the course manager:



    'Good evening, thank you for your email.

    I apologize that you were caught off guard by our spectator guidelines. During regular(non-tournament) play we account for all individuals accessing our facilities as a "golfer" even if the individual may or may not physically be playing golf.

    As mentioned it is our obligation to the safe operation of our facility and for liability reasons we do account for all persons on our grounds. I do apologize as it may be of an inconvenience but our practice is based on safety and accountability of our guests.

    Please keep in mind that there are certain spectator accessible tournament events throughout the year at our course and those events are hosted by SCPGA Junior Tour and the SCGA in very controlled environments. Again, I do apologize for any inconvenience and confusion.

    Please let me know if you have any further questions.'





    JOYCE SHELTON, CMAA

    GENERAL MANAGER
  • melomelo Members Posts: 2,161 ✭✭
    I would never set foot on the golf course again.
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  • Skaffa77Skaffa77 No place like the Sand Hills! ClubWRX Posts: 6,852 ClubWRX
    I've had girlfriends walk courses with me when I played a single and was never charged. My buddy who is divorced sometimes has to bring his child to the course to ride/walk with him otherwise he couldn't play golf. In my mind, it was a great way to spend time doing something you enjoy (golfing) and talking/walking with a partner. I struggle to see how that impacts the course or adds cost. Liability for being hit by a golf ball? I guess that depends on the state. I know where I live...if you are playing or in proximity of the golf course it's considered a known hazard.



    The irony in Kekoa's situation is that taking his kids to the course allows him to enjoy golf (giving the course revenue) during twilight which for a lot of courses is a non-peak time and allows his kids to get exposure/interest in the game (future revenue). By enacting a stupid fee, they risk losing both.



    In all honest, if a course tried to charge me an excessively high spectator fee, I'd leave.
  • Skaffa77Skaffa77 No place like the Sand Hills! ClubWRX Posts: 6,852 ClubWRX
    edited Sep 10, 2015 #21
    kekoa wrote:


    Here is the response from the course manager:



    'Good evening, thank you for your email.

    I apologize that you were caught off guard by our spectator guidelines. During regular(non-tournament) play we account for all individuals accessing our facilities as a "golfer" even if the individual may or may not physically be playing golf.

    As mentioned it is our obligation to the safe operation of our facility and for liability reasons we do account for all persons on our grounds. I do apologize as it may be of an inconvenience but our practice is based on safety and accountability of our guests.

    Please keep in mind that there are certain spectator accessible tournament events throughout the year at our course and those events are hosted by SCPGA Junior Tour and the SCGA in very controlled environments. Again, I do apologize for any inconvenience and confusion.

    Please let me know if you have any further questions.'





    JOYCE SHELTON, CMAA

    GENERAL MANAGER




    Nice corporate response. I love fees used in the guise of safety. Unless they are using that fee to pay for safety related expenses (more rangers, netting, etc.), the fee is to keep a potential liability off their course. I realize we are in a lawsuit happy world, but if we tried to protect against everything that could bring harm and liability, we'd never leave our house. There's a point where fear overcomes reasonable care.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • vtnerfvtnerf Members Posts: 8,197
    Maybe call them and talk to them to see if, when taking your 5 year old son out to play without your clubs, that they could see to charge you $5 instead of the $30. If they decline, there's always the option to take your clubs too and actually play.
  • Kenny Lee PuckettKenny Lee Puckett Members Posts: 3,460 ✭✭
    edited Sep 10, 2015 #23
    vtnerf wrote:


    Maybe call them and talk to them to see if, when taking your 5 year old son out to play without your clubs, that they could see to charge you $5 instead of the $30. If they decline, there's always the option to take your clubs too and actually play.
    right, but with this kinda place if he's got clubs his "spectator fee" will jump up to the full RAC rate. look OP got hosed here. he's just out walking around with his friend (actually parenting) and their 2 kids (very little kids!). why is he getting charged? talk about CYA in regards to liability, do you think this course would let 5 year old kids out on the course WITHOUT their parents with them? you think they are going to get one of their own staff to follow them around if the parents just drop them off at the golf shop? OP found out the hard way a facility that just isn't with the program, or really doesn't want to be, in regards to junior golf. cross them off the list kekoa.
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  • vtnerfvtnerf Members Posts: 8,197

    vtnerf wrote:


    Maybe call them and talk to them to see if, when taking your 5 year old son out to play without your clubs, that they could see to charge you $5 instead of the $30. If they decline, there's always the option to take your clubs too and actually play.
    right, but with this kinda place if he's got clubs his "spectator fee" will jump up to the full RAC rate. look OP got hosed here. he's just out walking around with his friend (actually parenting) and their 2 kids (very little kids!). why is he getting charged? talk about CYA in regards to liability, do you think this course would let 5 year old kids out on the course WITHOUT their parents with them? you think they are going to get one of their own staff to follow them around if the parents just drop them off at the golf shop? OP found out the hard way a facility that just isn't with the program, or really doesn't want to be, in regards to junior golf. cross them off the list kekoa.




    From what I read from the OP and the response, the $30 was the golfing fee. But since he wasn't playing it was called something else, but at the end of the day it was the same charge. Either pay it and play, or ask for a lower fee since he's not playing. None of us can respond for the course...even though it MAY not be any different than we are thinking it will be. They might surprise everyone and wave the fee for him. They might not. But it doesn't hurt to ask.
  • kekoakekoa ClubWRX Posts: 8,850 ClubWRX

    vtnerf wrote:


    Maybe call them and talk to them to see if, when taking your 5 year old son out to play without your clubs, that they could see to charge you $5 instead of the $30. If they decline, there's always the option to take your clubs too and actually play.
    right, but with this kinda place if he's got clubs his "spectator fee" will jump up to the full RAC rate. look OP got hosed here. he's just out walking around with his friend (actually parenting) and their 2 kids (very little kids!). why is he getting charged? talk about CYA in regards to liability, do you think this course would let 5 year old kids out on the course WITHOUT their parents with them? you think they are going to get one of their own staff to follow them around if the parents just drop them off at the golf shop? OP found out the hard way a facility that just isn't with the program, or really doesn't want to be, in regards to junior golf. cross them off the list kekoa.




    Yup, you are exactly right. If I was just there and actually spectating for lets another friend then by all means, charge me a fee like I'm actually playing. But if I'm out there with my kid who actually needs me there then it makes total sense to just charge me the same $5 fee that I paid for him to play- that way you are still accounting for both of us. Not sure how charging me $30 helps with the whole liability argument.
  • BrOhioGolfer216BrOhioGolfer216 Members Posts: 113
    that seems a bit ridiculous..
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  • ryu123ryu123 Members Posts: 494 ✭✭
    when my kid was about ten years old I would bring her out to two local courses and I would play 9 holes. She would drive the power cart and eat snacks.



    One course would charge $10 for my daughter, in addition to my greens fee and the cart fee. They explained it was a liability issue.



    The other course would just charge me for the golf and the cart.



    I see both courses as doing what each thought was reasonable.



    (Years ago at Bandon two players had their wives walk along. There was no extra charge for the wives. Maybe it was because no power carts were involved.)
  • JaylasvegasJaylasvegas Members Posts: 2,408
    If your bringing his clubs and he is playing then it doesnt seem out of line, if he is just walking along and not playing, it seems excessive.
  • prsgtrmanprsgtrman prsgtrman Members Posts: 1,544
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