I use to play at Valley Golf a lot 3 years ago when I first started getting back into golf. However, I stopped playing there partly because I discovered Sun Valley (better maintained and only another 10-15 minutes further from Makati) and partly because we got into a fight with the staff.
Long story short, one Saturday, I drove up with my buddy John Smith who was visiting from Taiwan. After finishing the first hole, we came to an unusually long queue at the second of four separate groups waiting to tee off. We had beer with us so we didn’t mind initially. However, when we noticed that both the first two groups had five players in them and and a mixture of juniors (8 – 11 year olds), we started to get a bit impatient. Both groups teed off and took multiple mulligans and the Juniors and women didn’t hit the ball further than 100 yards.
When we complained to the marshall and caddies that fivesomes shouldn’t be allowed on weekends, they told us that they were VIPs from another country and we had to wait because all four groups came together. We saw that the 10th hole was open and proceeded to walk there but they told us that we weren’t allowed to skip ahead. This triggered a big argument with the starter who called the manager who eventually allowed us to tee off on the back. That was the last time I played at Valley Golf.
I decided last minute today to play there again because it was the only open course within reasonable driving distance. When I arrived, I dropped my bag off at the main clubhouse and walked in to register. The receptionist told me that she needed my bag stub to complete my registration. This was a bit strange because at every other course, I always just leave my stub in the car for when I pick up my bag at the end of the round. Wasn’t a big deal though so I obliged and walked back to the car to get it, which she exchanged for a “passport” with my receipt in it.
My round was peaceful, and I had a pleasant caddie who I enjoyed chatting with. When I finished, I went to the locker room to shower and change. Before I did, I asked the locker room guy if I still needed my passport and he said, “I can take that.”
When I went to pickup my bag on the way out, the claim guy refused to give me my clubs because I didn’t have my bag tag! I told him that I had it but was asked to give it to the front desk when I registered. He said that I have to have a bag tag if I want my clubs back.
When I started to get annoyed, he asked me for my passport instead, which I said was taken by the guy in the locker room. He reiterated that I had to walk back to the lockers if I wanted my clubs, which is 5 minutes away because they’re renovating the old one. I was perturbed by this time and was about to head back down when he told me that he’ll just radio instead (not sure why he didn’t offer first).
He first called the front desk first who confirmed they took my bag tag. He then called the locker room who after five minutes, confirmed that he had my passport. This is when he told me that I STILL had to go back to the lockers! I asked if he could give me my club, which he knew were mine (I was one of only like three people left) and to sort out the logistics later. He told me no. I got pissed and took my clubs anyways.
To clarify, I think Valley Golf as a course is great and the caddies are awesome. Even the receptionist and guy in the locker room were nice. However, there’s are so many unnecessary and redundant rules and procedures as well as a serious lack of communication amongst the staff that always ends up ruining my experience there.
Why did the girl at the front desk take my bag tag to begin with? And why did the locker room guy take my passport instead of telling me that I needed it later? And why did the bag claim guy, who already confirmed that his colleague had my passport, still insist that I walk back to the locker room before he could give me back my clubs?
This article probably seems petty but after four hours on the course, I don’t want to deal with crap like this. I’ve misplaced plenty of bag tags while at other courses and they’ve never made a fuss about it.
Upon leaving, the guy says to me, “You can’t just take your bag. Next time, you have to go back and get your passport,” which prompted me to say, “It’s ok. If you can’t be more accommodating, then I don’t have to play here next time.”
I probably won’t be going back to Valley Golf anymore because as I was pulling away, he says to me, “Ok sir. Don’t comeback then!” Wish I got his name…sayang…
NOTE: The views expressed in this article are that of Will Hsu and not of the other writers on this site… at least I don’t think so??