After decades of watching golfers, I think I know what normal golfers want: Affordable golf within a reasonable time limit, smooth greens, and wide fairways. They want a digestible sandwich at the turn, friendly folks behind the pro shop counter and a warning, prior to purchasing the green fee, that the course is littered with 97 big bunkers and the rough is at US Open height due to a green committee with a TV golf fixation.
As to those “other” golfers, the abnormal, the spoiled, the pampered, the members of the “Cult of Customer Service”, the whiners, and the lunatics who think golf courses are just big theme parks where beer is served . . . I know exactly what they want.
They want to hit great shots and play golf like Hogan without practice, lessons and hard work. They want TV golf conditions at 1% of the cost and they want customer service like that provided by Roman slaves during the time of the Caesars.
They want Augusta at $20. They want unrestricted free-range carts so they can ride up into the collar and perform a flying dismount, leaving the cart to return on its own to the path. They want to play short golf courses that total out at 5600 yards, but they want to sign a scorecard that says 7000 yards with a slope of 150. They want everyone else to play fast, so they can dawdle over shots while the announcer in their head lovingly whispers “Cinderella story”.
They want soft, firm putting surfaces (oxymoron greens) that roll 14 and hold skulled 6-irons like hot tar. They want beer cart girls that look like Jessica Simpson.
They think they want narrow fairways, deep rough and blisteringly fast greens.
But they don’t, not really. Golfer mentality works like this: If a golfer took up boxing, he would buy $600 worth of gloves, boxing shoes, trunks he could pull up over his nipples, a fitted graphite-titanium mouthpiece, a monogrammed robe with “BIG HITTER” on the back . . . and then, he would leap into the ring with Mike Tyson. Seconds later, on his back, brain-damaged and missing both ears, our golfer/boxer would blame the man responsible for the condition of the ring, the mat and the ropes. Upon release from the hospital, he would seek the newest performance enhancing technology, like trunks that he could pull over his forehead.
Future Tour Juniors (actually their parents) want tour stop course conditions and Super Scratch Player (SSP) who is actually a 5, wants the same grooming conditions as the FTJ parents . . . only better. The SSP will hold court in the bar after his round and loudly deliver his review of course conditions for that day.
Depending upon his score, the course can range from “Best ever” to “Let’s hunt down the superintendent and kill him.”
NOTE: There are lots of Honorable Low Handicap Players, (HLHP) who rarely pitch hissy fits, but the GM, GCS and Pro are so busy putting out SSP fires that they are unable to deal with less squeaky issues.
The Fudger, typically a 16 or higher, desperately wants the single-digit hdcp number on his card and his path to immortality is almost always hindered by course conditions, rather than lack of talent and hard work. He shouts out the word “Grain!” after every putt, followed by a curse questioning the marital status of the GCS’s parents. The Fudger’s experience with grain is typically limited to hardwood floors or the grain alcohol in the flask in his bag.
The Recreational player just wants a friendly place to play, is typically pleasant, grateful to the staff for the hard work and is genuinely understanding when it comes to course work . These golfers are fun to have around until they are indoctrinated into the cult of griping by an alpha golfer who has discovered the magic “customer service” button.
Here at the Rock, we do our best to provide affordable classic golf, without bowing and scraping to cultists. In fact, when we experience CS Cult complaints, I advise the whiner that he only paid $10 to walk 18 holes and then I ask Momma to hit him with a bat.
We concentrate on what our golfers want. What do Rockbottum CC golfers want?
They want to hit the long ball. We strive for firmer, dryer fairways. They want to break 80. We have wide fairway corridors with almost no rough. If they were to demand outlined rough, as seen on TV, we could fake it with iron, dye and PGRs, but we won’t.
They want fast greens. 9.5 is plenty fast. If they wanted more, we would get Buddy or Hector to fabricate a golf ball made out of steel for the stimp ceremony, read it at the practice green in front of witnesses, yell out “18!” and hurry away.
They want to play faster. We have just 22 bunkers. (Same number Alister chose for Augusta National) If we had too many bunkers, the Inverted Bunker Method (turn it into a mound) works great, requires no edging, drains, raking or rakes and generates few complaints when golfer memory of the bunker fades. (Golfer memory is erased within 90 days)
The golfers that want free green fees and 25 cent hotdogs? We tell ’em to go try one of those courses that just bought into the Cult of Customer Service.
As usual, we have prepared a training video worth 17 MOG educational points.