In my previous blog, we discussed new systems put in place at the beginning of the season and one new thing we’re doing is changing our tee time intervals on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays in order to take a real run at pace of play issues.
We used to run seven to eight minute intervals with a starter (vacant) time every hour. This year, we’re using nine minute intervals with no starter.
On Friday afternoons, in particular, there are usually guests around and we were getting up to four hours, forty minutes and we’re at four hours, three minutes so far this year,
Fridays is what really used to kill us because people would bank on playing four hours to four hours, 15 minutes and make a reservation in the clubhouse for dinner. All of a sudden, they’re playing four hours, 45 minutes and they were late for their reservation, which of course we would hold for them.
This golf course shouldn’t take any more than four hours, 15 minutes to play and we’re hoping this will alleviate that pace of play issue.
Most people don’t wing it with their time as much as in the past. They’ve got other things going on and they plan their days a lot more now, so we’re finding their schedules very structured, which means you don’t want to delay them with a slow round.
I spent some time talking to people about this issue. Patrick Coli, the general manager and executive professional at Carnmoney Golf Club, has gone to this, so I just thought what’s the harm in trying it?
If you do the math, in a six-hour span from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., you would get about 42 foursomes out there with a starter every hour. If you go to nine minutes, you get about 41 foursomes with no starter, so you space it but you fill it.
The end result is that you lose one tee time to save yourself time on pace of play. What we’re also finding is that people can just hit without waiting once their tee time is here. We tell people not to panic if they get to the tee and the group ahead is already on the green because we spaced it out that way.
You can staff your halfway house and cart person accordingly because you have a better idea about what’s going to happen because you know where people are and when your rushes are going to come.
So far, so good with this idea – it looks like it may stick around at Cottonwood.