Do They Owe Us Anything?

I played this week at one of my favorite local courses.  Since I was playing alone, I didn’t set a tee time, I just drove on over and walked up.  There was one guy in front of me as I walked int the Pro Shop.  He paid and went on his way and I stepped up to the counter.

“I’d like to get out and play, if I can.” I said.  Sure thing, he says, and swipes my credit card.  We proceed to have a 10 minute conversation about an upcoming trip I’ve planned, and which courses I should try and play while there.  Then I leave the Pro Shop and load my sticks onto Cart #33 and head to the tee.

Long story shorter, I hit the first green and sand splashed up.  As I stepped onto the first green I see that the greens have been aerated – very recently.  Immediately I am frustrated.  First, because I was hoping to really grind and work on my game.  Second, because the Pro had not said anything to me about the greens.

And it got me to thinking, as I trudged through the round, whether or not golf courses owe us anything when they aerate.  It’s a double edged sword, really.  We want the courses we play to be in great shape (especially the greens!), yet we get irritated when the greens are punched.

So I get it – the courses need to do this to maintain the greens that we like.  But it’s pretty close to a waste of time & money to show up and play the day after they punch the greens!  There was no way I was going to be able to judge my putting, so all I was going to be able to work on was my tee to green game.  Only getting to play once a week, or so, it’s frustrating that I couldn’t work on my complete game.

What do you think?  Does the course owe you anything when they aerate the greens?  I checked the website before I headed to the course to ensure they had open tee times – no mention.  I talked to the Pro for 10 minutes – not a word.  I paid full price.

I once played a very nice public course in Chicago twice in one week.  The first round, of course the greens have been punched – but only half of each green.  I called the day before the second round that week to ask if they were offering a discount due to the aeration.  The guy on the phone explained that they had only punched half of each green and that the pin locations were going to be on the unpunched sides – as if I was good enough to hit THAT side!

I don’t know the answer.  The courses have to aerate the greens.  Many of them do this 2-3 times a year to maintain the proper health on the greens.  So they can’t give us too big a discount, but I think they can do more than most courses do.

  1. Tell us about it and give us the choice BEFORE we pay.
  2. Put it on your website that the greens are being aerated – this is scheduled months in advance and can easily be listed on the web.
  3. Give us a Bounce Back offer – play today and we’ll give you a discount on your next round.
  4. Offer a discount today!

Again – I don’t know what the answer is.  All I know is that I feel like I wasted my time & money this week.


2 thoughts on “Do They Owe Us Anything?

  1. I agree aeration is necessary, but he should have let you know up front. I’m sure the reason they rarely do is fear of loss revenue. That said, it should be your decision to play or not, under those conditions.
    They got your money, but irritated you in the process. Who wins?


  2. Absolutely they owe you something! I suppose it’s easy for the pro shop to assume that putting only constitutes 1/4 of the game (driving, approach shot, chipping, putting), and therefore you’re not really missing out on that much, but in my mind, they should let you know about aeration BEFORE booking your round, and offer AT LEAST a 25% discount. Full disclosure is the most important thing they can do, though. Otherwise, I’m left feeling ‘duped’.


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