On a recommendation from a golf shop owner, I sought to check out and play The Reserve Golf Club and Vineyards just outside Beaverton, OR.  It’s a nice looking, high end, semi-private club, with the clientele to match.  I gave them a call around noon on a Tuesday to check how busy they were and to make a tee time for a little later in the day.  I spoke to a nice lady in the pro shop who told me they were “dead all day”.  I asked about a tee time for 3:00pm and was informed that they won’t make them for singles…at all.

Most courses I’ve ever been to, will not block up an empty tee time with a single.  That’s perfectly understandable when you suddenly limit the groups you can put in that slot.  But when there is a twosome or threesome already booked, every course I’ve ever known will stick you in there and let you reserve a time.  I was a bit bummed out I couldn’t get a time, but was reassured by the nice lady on the phone.  “Come on in and we’ll get you on, it’s wide open today”.

My hotel was in Jantzen Beach.  For those of you unfamiliar, that is about a 50 minute drive in traffic to get to The Reserve.  But with the assurance of the pro-shop I made the drive, and got in about 2:30pm.  When I got inside, I told the lady I was going to walk on as a single.  It’s only now that I was told how slammed with people they were.  “We can’t get you on until 4:31”.  Now we had a problem.  If I got on with only two others and we managed to play a round in 3:50, we’d still be really hard pressed to get 18 done.  I tried to play nice and explain that someone had told me on the phone that they were dead and she would get me on the course.  But I was offered only a flip attitude and a half-hearted “sorry”.

I can handle them being full.  I really can, I just want to be told.  I don’t want to drive nearly an hour out of my way to be told I won’t be able to get 18 in when I’m ready nearly 6 hours before sunset.  The fact that there was nobody in the public side of the parking lot or that she wouldn’t work with me and offer any solution was the proverbial straw.  My local municipal course does this too.  They overbook, shove foursomes on the tee every 6 minutes and then get defensive when you question their policy.  When I’m about to pay northwards of $50 for a twilight tee time, I expect a higher level of service and professionalism than my $15 muni.

I’ll be working in Portland on and off for the next two plus years.  If you have a choice, choose Langdon Farms (Heron Lakes, Eastmoreland and Rose City are good choices for cheaper backups).  I won’t spend a dime of my golf budget at this course and I implore anyone who reads this to do the same.  The only way to get courses to quit the “cattle herding” is to spend your money where people care.