I joined "AIMGC" after attending an open day where I was impressed with the clubhouse facilities and the friendliness of the members. I was offered 2 free rounds while my membership was processed and gladly took these up.
The course is under some disruption at the moment as a pipeline had passed through it, extra land being given to the course to minimise disruption and replace the holes dug up during the excavations. The work seems nearly complete now as remedial work is carried out, and plans are being formulated to make the course championship length as the extra land has been donated to the Club.
The course is parkland with wide fairways and not a lot of rough although a fair number of trees can present issues due to inaccurate play. Greens are in my opinion small but readily easily accessible.
Imagine my surprise however when the following occurred - an extract of my letter to the secretary follows.:
"I decided to have 18 holes today, Tuesday 7th June, and accordingly turned up around 1:30 , checked it was OK with Richard in the shop, then proceeded to the 1st tee. As I was about to step onto the tee a three-ball arrived, and being a single player asked if they wanted to go ahead of me, an offer which was declined. I proceeded to tee off.
I was being held up by a three-ball in front of me on almost every shot, but not a problem. I was not under pressure from behind either.
On playing the 5th the group in front spent some time looking for a ball and was thus delaying play. When they had cleared their second shots I played across the ravine and was again held up while they cleared the green.
On the 6th when the group ahead were out of range on the fairway I hit my drive and proceeded to my ball, a 5 iron away from the green which was still occupied when I reached my ball. About 20 seconds later, after a shout of fore from the tee, a ball whizzed past me at head height and landed 20 yards or so down the fairway. I dismissed it as an accident, so played into the green as soon as it cleared. When putting out a ball then thudded down into the right hand bunker, no more than 8 yards away. At this point the group in front had not even completely teed off. I waited for the group behind to turn up and asked why they were playing while I was in range and was told that as a single player I had no rights on the course and should have asked them through, so it was my fault. Had I fallen behind the group in front I would certainly have done so.
My response was that I had asked earlier and that it was declined.
I accept that as a single player that I am regarded as having no rights on the course, but having asked them through earlier I considered that my playing ahead of them was not a problem, especially as I was not holding them up due my speed of play, just that I was being held up by the group in front. I would say that on 90% of my shots I had to wait to play.
I have been out solo many times in my 36 years of Club memberships and this is the first time that my status as a single player has been invoked, and for this individual to consider that driving off the tee when I am forced to wait to play my own shot as the green was occupied is justified by my being a single player is in my mind totally wrong.
Do I need to ask before every shot if the group behind want to play through, regardless of not being at any time behind the speed of play of the group in front?
I let them through on the 7th, and also a four-ball behind them. I ended up waiting for this group to clear before I could play shots, they being held up by the 1st group I let through. This second group seemed surprised as to the way I was treated.
For a friendly Club this is the worst I have ever been treated, and hope that it is a one-off."
I have not had the courtesy of a reply from the Club, so draw your own conclusions.