Fail of the Week 14

September 30, 2014

This week’s FAIL could go a lot of different ways. But I think we’re going to avoid the bandwagoning on the US Ryder Cup team’s utter failure against Europe. They’ve had enough ire to suffice for the next two years. We need not pile on. Thanks to the US team for doing its best and, at the least, maintaining a bit of grace when falling to Europe.

This week’s FAIL goes to the subject of one of our earliest posts–one of the ones that got it all started: TPC Las Vegas. Our reviews ( and highlighted some of the good things. After four years, a return trip seemed like a good idea.

I set up a round last weekend on a trip to Las Vegas. I called on a Friday morning after arriving Thursday night. The conversation went something like this:
Me: “Hi. I was planning to play on this trip. I really liked your course the last time I played it and was hoping to get back out.”
Course Rep: “Great. What time would you like to play?”
Me: “I’m pretty flexible. Wherever you can fit me in is fine. I can do this afternoon, tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon. My only scheduled item is dinner with my wife tonight, but that’s at 8:30 so I think I’ll have plenty of time.”
Course Rep: “OK. This afternoon looks like it’s open.”
Me: “Great. Thanks. I was thinking 2:30, but it might be a bit hot, right?”
Course Rep: “Meh, not really. I mean, you need to drink water, but it’s not that bad. It’s a dry heat.
Me: “OK, I can do that.”
Course Rep: “OK, You’re on at 2:30. The course was aerated recently, so the fairways are a little long in places, might be kind of soggy in spots. Also, because of the overseeding, we are cart path only today.”
Me: “OK. Thanks.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it? I mean, maybe a bit of a drag for the cart path only, but this is a great course, right? Wrong.

As I arrived to the course, I saw a line of 15-ish carts, each with two players in it, waiting outside the proshop. When I walked in, I asked the desk clerk what was going on. “Oh, that’s a shotgun. They’re going out at 2:30” *swiping credit card*.


As I got back outside, I started talking to the cart staff. “This is 30-person scramble going from the 1st hole to the 7th hole.”

What? Why didn’t anyone mention that? “Where is the starter” I asked. “Oh, he’s on the megaphone. He’s about to drive them out to the holes. You can talk to him when he gets back.”

So, I went down to the range and warmed up. Then I putted. Then I got some water. Then I hit some chip shots. Then I went to the starter shack. And I waited. And Waited. Finally, the starter came back.

Me: “Hi, I’m the 2:30 group, JK.”
Starter: “Hi.” *starter’s nametag noted as “Frank”*
Me: “What’s that?”
Frank: “That’s a scramble. We’ve got them going out from holes 1-7.”
Me: “yeah. I heard about that just now. No one managed to mention that when I called to book this tee time. Look, it’s just me, can you send me off the back or work me into a group that’s already on the course?”
Frank: “No, I’m booked solid up until the scramble.”
Me: “Really? The WHOLE sheet is filled without a single spot?”
Frank: “That’s what I’m telling you. I had to stack the tee sheet and then hold it for an hour and a half so we could have a large enough gap to fill in these scramble groups.”
Me: *still not believing him that there isn’t a threesome anywhere on the course* “OK, that makes sense I guess. Can you just put me out in front of the scramble?”
Frank: “No, I can’t do that. The scramble is going to be right up against the next group.”
Me: “Uhm, don’t you think the scramble is going to go slower than the rest of the group?”
Frank: “No, it should take them four and a half hours to play.”
Me: “In my experience, it’s more like five and a half when it comes to scrambles.”
Frank: “No, we don’t allow that.”
Me: *incredulous look*
Frank: “Really! This course is rated at four and a half hours, and if it takes longer than that we don’t allow it. Now, if you’re playing as a single behind a scramble, is it going to feel slow? You bet…yes. But I promise you, it will not take you long than four and a half hours to play.”
Me: “Fine. Whatever. Can you at least pair me up with some people so it doesn’t feel so long?”
Frank: “yea, let me get some more here.”
Me: “You really think this isn’t going to take forever? I’ve been playing golf for over 20 years–I think I know how long scrambles take.”
Frank: “no, trust me. It won’t be an issue.”

Well, Frank was right about one thing. It definitely didn’t take me longer than four and a half hours to play. In fact, it only took me three hours. Actually, sub 3:00. Because at the 2:55 mark, I walked off the ninth green swearing that if I saw Frank I was going to punch him in the face.

TPC Las Vegas: Here is how you could have fixed this. First, you could have mentioned somewhere on the phone call (like, maybe, right after I said “I can come out today OR TOMORROW”) that maybe tomorrow would be a better day since you had a scramble going off. Second, you could get a started who knows literally anything about golf and has 1/2 of a clue not to blow smoke up an experienced golfer’s ass. Perhaps my favorite part of the BS was him telling me “WE DONT ALLOW THAT”–like they have any control how long a scramble is going to take. Here’s a hint: I’ve played golf for over 20 years and been in countless scrambles. Not a single one of them has ever taken less than 4:45, and the average time is probably close to 5:45. That’s just how it goes BECAUSE IT’S A SCRAMBLE! Yet this doofus has the gall to look me straight in the eyes and say “we don’t allow that.”

So, to you TPC Las Vegas, you have FAILed. I will not return to your course.

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