Express Lane: It's not just for groceries
Thursday, August 18, 2011
If you want to play fast at courses operated by OB Sports, it helps to get in the Express Lane.
The Scottsdale, Ariz., course-management firm is expanding its pace-of-play initiatives with the gradual rollout of its Express Lane program to its 42 courses.
The program varies slightly from course to course, but the basic concept is simple: Players who secure tee times during the first hour of business have to play in less than three hours, 45 minutes. The players are informed of that policy when they schedule tee times. The deal is sealed on the first tee, where the starter has players sign a form agreeing to the time limit.
Seven OB Sports courses now use the Express Lane. Sedona (Ariz.) Golf Resort launched the program this month, blocking off the first eight daily tee times for speedy players. “I don’t think we’ve had anyone come close to going over (the 3:45 time limit),” said Jeremy Hayman, the club’s general manager.
Players are informed that they might be asked to skip a hole if they’re not on pace.
“Our customers respect the fact that we’re serious about it,” said Kris Strauss, OB Sports’ vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re not just throwing another pace-of-play program out there. We’re making them sign a form saying that they will play fast.”
Angel Park Golf Club in Las Vegas was the first OB Sports property to adopt the program, in February. Greg Brockelman, the club’s director of golf, said he can recall only one group that got behind pace and had to skip forward to the next hole.
“It has sent a message even to people who don’t utilize those tee times that we are conscious of slow play,” he said.
This fall, he plans to expand the Express Lane to the first two hours of play.