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geoirv’s Review of Birkdale Golf Club on 6/4/10

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  • Birkdale Golf Club

    Course photo
    Date: 6/4/10 Fri Morning
    Overall Rating:

    "Never going back"
    Conditions: Good - normal wear/tear
    Pace: 4 1/2 Hours
    Cost: $49
    Username: geoirv
    See All Reviews by this user

    The bad rating is due to the General Manager and not the course itself. The front nine was very nice. Our group of 12 didn’t get the opportunity to play the back nine.
    Wes Jones, the GM met us at hole 10 and asked us to skip that hole and move on to hole 11 because we were 25 minutes behind his GPS schedule. I pointed out the next party in our group was 1-1/2 holes behind us. He said that didn’t matter because we were two holes behind the group in front of us. I again pointed out the group in front of us was not in our party and I watched them tee off 36 minutes before us; we had actually gained roughly 2 holes on them. Mr. Jones walked to my cart and began rudely pecking on the GPS time indicator to show me we were 25 minutes behind. At that point, I asked for a refund for nine holes, and our 12 party group left and went to Fox Den.
    The Fox Den people appreciated our business and we had a great time there.
    I would be remiss not to point out that the rest of the Birkdale staff was very friendly to us. Before I left the course, I asked one of the guys how it was that everyone was so nice but their leader was such a horse’s patute. He replied, “they get asked that question a lot”.
    We were scheduled for lunch and an 18 hole replay so you decide who lost out on this deal.
    Just for the record, I later asked the last group in our party if they were being pushed and they replied “no”.

    Irv Looney

Comments (3)


  • I got in touch with Wes Jones about this one and received a quick response. Paraphrasing: “Thank you for bringing this to my attention. At Birkdale our goal is to have all players enjoy themselves and feel they have received a good value. It is difficult to please all the people all the time and unfortunately we were not able to do that with Mr. Looney’s group… a group teed off at 8:23 and then the first of Mr. Looney’s three foursomes teed off at 8:35, 12 minutes later… his group played the front nine in 2:38. His group had been warned for slow play twice in the first seven holes. This forced me to make the difficult decision of asking his group to skip the 10th hole. We want our guests to enjoy themselves but not at the expense of our other guests… the two groups following Mr. Looney’s group played the front nine in 2 1/2 hours and well under two hours on the back nine after his group left. On June 4th we had 182 rounds played and 144 players after Mr. Looney’s group at 8:35. If I had allowed his group to continue on their pace we would have had our other rounds in the 5 1/2 hour range or worse. I do not want Birkdale to have a slow play reputation. In short, we would like people to play Birkdale. You will find the course conditions very nice, we take pace of play seriously and as Mr. Looney said, we have a friendly staff. Sincerely, Wesley Jones, Birkdale Golf Club, General Manager.”

  • Mr. Jones I find your numbers and times don’t add up in regards to the June 4 incident. First of all you state 182 players played Birkdale that day with 144 players after our party of 12 left your course. Doing the math, you would have us believe there were 26 players teed off before our scheduled 8:36AM tee time. Our group arrived in the Birkdale parking lot by 7:54AM. I skipped the driving range and talked with the starters until it was time for us to tee off. During that time my father and I watched one group tee off ahead of their starting time at 8:23AM. Therefore I find your number of players to be bogus. In regards to the time, follow this logic: We were heading to our approach shots on hole 10 when you rudely interrupted our play to point out we were 25 minutes behind schedule. From your own admission, you stated the group in front of us was on hole 12 at that time. In your rebuttal to the B-Man, you use the lead time of 12 minutes to separate the team in front of us. Given these two facts we were only 13 minutes behind the lead group. Now consider the following: We had 12 players in our party whom had never played this course. Your course ranger, Walter Morgan, stopped us on hole #2, to engage in friendly conversation about his Champions Tour Experience, and your pretty little refreshment girl engaged in conversation with us on hole #7. Come on! You asked us to skip a hole because we were 13 minutes behind schedule! Now those are the facts and I find your times bogus as well!The fact is, you handled this issue in a radical manner and we didn’t appreciate your attitude. I’ve had the good fortune to play golf over 30 years at courses all over this country. Fortunately this was only the second time I’ve ever had a bad experience with golf management. Ponder that for a while and maybe it will sink into to you that perhaps you over reacted!Irv LooneyGeologist

  • Irv Looney….I COULD NOT DISAGREE MORE! You are being myopic and arrogant. What you don’t seem to get is that 5 groups behind YOU, I am trying to play a round in less than 5.5 hours!!!Get a lesson, get a grip and PICK up the pace or PICK UP YOUR BALL!Please let us know where you and your “lucky 12” are going to be so we can play a decent round elsewhere!

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