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Starter Sending Groups Out On Back In Front Of You


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Okay so I haven't seen this happen a ton, but the last 2 weeks it's happened to me 3 times playing afternoon rounds. My group is finishing #9 after an hour and a half front, with no one in sight in front of us, get to #10 and look off the tee box to see a foursome in the fairway and on the green. Back 9 ends up taking nearly 3 hours. Checked with the starter after the rounds and they tell me it's new policy to send groups out on the back if they're only playing 9 or the front is backed up.

 

I normally don't get bothered much on the course, but this really gets under my skin for some reason.

 

Anyone else ever heard of such a policy?

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The corrupt country course I played growing up would send groups off the 1st and 10th early in the morning. It was just chaos when we'd try to play. You had to wait your turn on the first tee and then they had to fold in groups coming off the 18th green that hadn't played the front 9 yet. In the days before tee times, this was a 2 to 3 hour wait.

 

Just today I drove an hour to avoid rain and played the front real quick with no one in front of me. Couldn't really take my time because the rain was forecast. Get to 10th tee and see a twosome in front of me in the fairway. Thought I'd be ok when they were off the green by the time I got to my tee shot. I was mistaken. The 11th hole was a par 3 about 200yds over water. They each had about 3 clubs on the tee and were hitting several balls each. None of which cleared the water. They waved me through after their 3rd attempt to clear the water. They didn't speak English but they knew golf etiquette.

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I think this is a dirty move especially when I get my butt out of bed at 5am to dew sweep. Only to arrive at the back nine and two groups have tee'd it up. But hey I must of played too fast! Love it when they look at the tee sheet with a blank stare. If I sense this is going to happen I ask are you going to send groups off the back in the next 1.5hrs?? You can see the uncomfortable look and know damn right they are. Sucks! BB

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That’s not

Okay so I haven't seen this happen a ton, but the last 2 weeks it's happened to me 3 times playing afternoon rounds. My group is finishing #9 after an hour and a half front, with no one in sight in front of us, get to #10 and look off the tee box to see a foursome in the fairway and on the green. Back 9 ends up taking nearly 3 hours. Checked with the starter after the rounds and they tell me it's new policy to send groups out on the back if they're only playing 9 or the front is backed up.

 

I normally don't get bothered much on the course, but this really gets under my skin for some reason.

 

Anyone else ever heard of such a policy?

That’s not a good policy. I can see sending people out on the back, but not as a rule and there is a responsibility of the golf course to not impact the groups coming around. If I did that to any group at our course, I would deserve every bad word that was yelled at me.

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Our course does it routinely. Usually, it's because the course sheet is full and they want to accommodate a group that shows up with no tee time later in the morning and course wants the $. Many a time gone out very early on a Saturday and made the turn and run smack into a group that more often than not slows us down. Having said that, most of the time the course is pretty careful about seeing where anyone is on the 10th vs. 9th holes, so usually a legit opening and that's life. And they treat "members" the same - we aren't allowed to go off the back unless there is a space. They aren't starting 18 hole rounds on 1 and 10 simultaneously, however. Occasional problems are usually with young, inexperienced person behind the counter and overbearing strangers - bad combination for the most part for all things that probably shouldn't be allowed (i.e. the occasional group that wants to play their own personal scramble on a day when the course is very busy and goes off as a couple of threesomes or foursomes and thinks they'll just join up after a couple of holes and play as a giant group). Don't get me started on the people that show up with five, having said they will be a foursome, and insist on the 3 carts and won't hold anybody up - 9 times out of 10 they are holding everybody on the course up, regardless of how speedy some folks are in that regard and some are, but it isn't the norm.

 

Over the years have just adjusted my playing times to coincide with the least busy times and all is usually good, and if it is busy, you just need to prepare yourself accordingly. Probably only had to call the clubhouse to complain about a group once out of the last 250 rounds played (and that was a damaging the course issue) - always something to remember when it seems like things are a little slow, that and checking the watch to remember that sometimes it is a 2:15 pace for our group and not a 90 minute pace like when the course is empty.

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Only early Spring if the weather makes a big break and the course gets flooded (they need that early season money). Once May hits, they stop at our Muni.

 

We are first off every Saturday and Sunday, and even when he has a mid-size outing, he will let just our group have a tee time around 7:15, then the shotgun outing starts at 8:30am, he starts them at #12 through #6, we have cleared #6, and usually only catch the last group on 18 occasionally.

 

We have it pretty good at our course. We were the only group that got to play before 2:30pm last weekend outside of the outings on both mornings.

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This kind of stuff is why I finally went private.

 

When courses have policies like this, it essentially becomes impossible to play a reasonably quick (and by quick I simply mean a sub 4 hour) round no matter what time you play. For those of use with family responsibilities, that translates to being gone for about 6 hours every time you golf. Not a good recipe for a happy family ...

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My course does this but usually in the afternoon and never in the morning. The members are really good about this, we check down 9 to make sure no one is coming down that hole and will even look as far back as 8 green to make sure we arent jumping in front of anyone. BUT, the starters dont always pay attention and will send a group of guests to number 10 without checking back down 9. Sometimes, we may have made the turn and stopped in the grill for a quick drink and they will see no one on 9 and send a group to the back. Our GM has had to have talks with the starters in the past but we get new starters every few weeks it seems and the process starts all over.

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Only early Spring if the weather makes a big break and the course gets flooded (they need that early season money). Once May hits, they stop at our Muni.

 

We are first off every Saturday and Sunday, and even when he has a mid-size outing, he will let just our group have a tee time around 7:15, then the shotgun outing starts at 8:30am, he starts them at #12 through #6, we have cleared #6, and usually only catch the last group on 18 occasionally.

 

We have it pretty good at our course. We were the only group that got to play before 2:30pm last weekend outside of the outings on both mornings.

 

The advantage of small town USA. You are regular enough at the same place that everyone gets to know each other, and then they will do extra things to accommodate you. Makes for a nice, comfortable setting.


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Our guys are pretty good at our course. Being it's a private they know most of the players fairly well, and more importantly, what kind of pace they play at. They might see a group approaching the ninth green and send a group out to 10, knowing the new group will never impact the group on nine. By the same token they've told people not to head to 10 because a group is on 7 green, and they'll catch them by 13 or 14.


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Umm, isn't the real issue the fact that the group in front was playing at a 6 hour pace? If they had played the back in 2 hours, would you be complaining? Your group was obviously quick, and were likely on their tails the entire back nine. Did they offer to let you play through? If not, why didn't you ask the slower group if you could play through?

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It’s part art, part science with respect to a starter determiing whether or not to send a group out ahead of you.

 

A decent starter will space things out a bit and err on the side of letting you guys continue on before sending a group ahead of you. Definitely affects the “flow” of a round when you go from a 2 hr front to a waiting game on the back but it happens.

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This always pisses me off, especially at a private club on the weekend. If I went through the trouble of getting the early tee time, waking up early to get to the course early to warm up and then we can play in say 3.5 hours in my group, to come up to 10 and see a foursome in the middle of the fairway (or worse, just leaving the tee box) and people backed up on 11 will just eat at me sometimes. Now if its a twosome in a cart who are relatively fast, I have no problem with them going off the back, but the starter should have them on to the 11th hole before a group from the front makes the turn. Basically, I'm OK with sending people off the back for up to about 1 and 15 minutes after the first group on the front, but after that, sorry Charlie, if you want to play Saturday or Sunday morning, call ahead and make a tee time like everybody else.....

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I've been on both sides of this. Usually when I'm sent off the back the proshop (the courses this happens on don't have starters) makes sure there is no one coming up 9 so its no a problem. I'm also usually playing alone.

 

Last week in was playing very quickly (played 9 in about an hour 20) with no one in front of me and make the turn to see a group on the green (10 is a 160 yard par 3) and another on the tee box. From the time I holed out on 9 to the time I holed out on 10 was about 25 minutes. Never did let me play through.

 

So if it's done properly and the group starting on 10 plays quickly or lets the group making the turn play through I have no problem with it... But it seems like it happens the other way more than it doesn't...

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We have 27 holes at our course, so players start on each nine in blocks of times that last about 2 hours. Then no tee times again until the next scheduled block about 2:15 after the last groups left the first tees. First groups have to pace themselves to avoid frustration. We tend to make our times at the end of the morning wave on weekends.

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Back when golf courses were crowded, the rule was foursomes, maybe a threesome if no singles were around. The split tee (sending off both the front and back) in the morning lasted until the expected turn when tee times stopped so that front turned to back and back turned to front. The timing had to be right to make it work, but you got a lot of golfers through. After the last group turned, you could start again.

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I think it's understandable if the course is slow and it's only a single or double. Otherwise, they should go off the front. I make a case for allowing singles because I had a pretty dumb situation happen last summer. It was that time of day where everyone is rushing to get in a round so there was literally 8-10 carts lined up on the first tee. I'm by myself. I see there is no one in sight on the back 9 and I can see the first three holes of the back. I ask if that was an option since they basically had a traffic jam on the first tee. I got this dumb reply of "Oh, no, no, no,no we can't let anyone go off the back. Against the rules." I went on to point out the situation and the still weren't having it. I just simply said, "Ok then, I'll take my clubs and business down the road to your competitor course." He kind of stumbled over some words as I walked out the door lol.

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It’s part art, part science with respect to a starter determiing whether or not to send a group out ahead of you.

 

A decent starter will space things out a bit and err on the side of letting you guys continue on before sending a group ahead of you. Definitely affects the “flow” of a round when you go from a 2 hr front to a waiting game on the back but it happens.

at a course where the staters job is his income this will be run smoothly and properly. Unfortunately like rangers, nearly all starters are retired gents looking to be out of the house and get discounted golf and therefore not done correctly

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At our course they are pretty good about letting you tee off on the back with a couple caveats. Either a 2 hole gap from any group making the turn (they do have gps tracking on the carts, so I haven't personally experienced running into issues with this), or if there is a group wanting to tee off the back that is known for a good pace of play they will let them in with a smaller gap. It seems to work pretty great. There are a few people that are notorious for playing slow that they do not allow to do this.

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This is a huge personal pet peeve of mine. I've quite after about 3 slow holes on the back and went and sternly voiced my displeasure in the pro shop.

 

It's a private course with no tee times and we play first thing in the morning so that we can enjoy and get done. I have no patience for slow players who decide they don't want to wait to go off the front. To me it's no different than cutting someone off in traffic only to then drive below the speed limit.

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