Golf Beat: PIN numbers, tee times are a pointed topic

Published: Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013 - 8:12 am

Grant Peck doesn't want to give his credit card number to somebody he doesn't know over the phone.

Brent Cohen, the general manager at Empire Ranch, wants to ensure that everyone who reserves a tee time for peak hours shows up, so he's insisting on one.

What's a player and course operator at odds to do?

In Peck's case, reserve a tee time elsewhere.

"I'm not about to give a guy carte blanche with a credit card over the phone," Peck said. "No other course is asking for one. I always call them back and adjust if we're going to lose some people."

In Cohen's case, keep insisting on a credit card for tee times Friday and Saturday between 8 and 11 a.m. And let people know he's the only person with access to the numbers once they've been input into the course's computer system.

"We have a big no-show problem," Cohen said. "We're trying a different strategy to alleviate it."

The idea of asking for a credit card to guarantee a tee time started about 10 years ago when no-shows were running between 5 and 25 percent, depending on the day and course.

The policy waned over the years as some courses started overbooking to account for no-shows rather than putting off potential players. Cohen is opposed to that strategy; Empire Ranch has been asking for credit card numbers for two months.

"We've had a couple of no-shows, but we haven't charged anybody," Cohen said. "We've contacted people, but we haven't charged them. We're just trying to protect ourselves, trying to make people understand how important a tee time is in our business."

Golf Expo next weekend

The annual Haggin Oaks Golf Expo is April 26-28. Some highlights:

• The just-released Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2014 video game will be available at 16 stations in a "gaming truck."

Cindy Morgan, who played Lacey Underall in "Caddyshack," will do an on-stage interview, sign autographs and pose for photos.

• National long-drive champion Ryan Winther and "Big Break Greenbrier" contestant Isaac Sanchez – both local boys made good – will make appearances.

• The Sacramento Golf Council Putting Championship will be conducted in men's, women's and junior divisions.

Et cetera

Gary Loustalot, the first head pro at DeLaveaga in Santa Cruz and with longtime ties to Sacramento, died March 31 in Angels Camp.

• Pacific's Matt McClure won the Davis City Championship over the weekend. His two-round total of 7-under-par 127 was three shots better than Elk Grove's Hunter Rappleye and Carmichael's Stephen Griggs.

• The Roseville City Championship is this weekend at Woodcreek. Sacramento's Cameron Champ, the sixth-ranked junior boy in the country, is signed up.

Call The Bee's Steve Pajak, (916) 326-5526.

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