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US OPEN SITE’S ‘BLACK’ MKT FOR TEE TIMES

By / 06.17.09

The open tournament for golf’s national championship begins tomorrow. so I guess we should work in a US Open post. So why not discuss New York Golf Shuttle, the company that books large blocks of tee times for the black course at Bethpage (the site of this year’s Open, not pictured) and sells them to clients with a markup upwards of 800 percent. Naturally, some people are pissed. From the New York Post.

One of the few public courses that hosts a major championship, Bethpage Black charges $60 a round for New York residents and $120 for out-of-state players. New York Golf Shuttle customers, however, shell out $850 — and that’s for a hometown discount. Out-of-staters are charged $900, according to their Web site.[...]

With the nearly impervious reservation hot line their only alternative, golfers sometimes sleep in their cars to land a first-come, first-served tee time at Bethpage Black. When the course opens at 6:30 a.m., the first hour is reserved for walk-ons. After that, only one group of walk-ons per hour is permitted to play.

Bethpage insiders have long suspected that New York Golf Shuttle deploys a squadron of dialers to flood the phone lines.

The practice doesn’t fall under ticket scalping laws, as golf is a participatory event. But why can’t they limit one tee time per person? Per credit card? See an excerpt from Bethpage State Park’s current policy after the jump.

Players will be permitted to play the Black Course once during this time period. Players will be logged and checked to make certain this restriction applies to everyone. This restriction includes reservation and walk-up players.

The course will re open on June 27, and normal restrictions will apply.

Reservations on the Black course are limited to one reservation per person per month.

Sheesh, so much red tape. I’d have less of a headache doing my own taxes in the back seat of a stationwagon. Because I get carsick a lot. Especially when I look at stationwagons. It’s like a doghouse with wheels.


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