Useless Rangers

I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not at all sure what purpose “rangers” serve at a golf course.

It was very slow today at the Lake Forest Golf Club in Ann Arbor. Two groups ahead of us there was a father his young daughter playing as though they owned the joint. Dad was giving lessons to the girl. At each point, she would take a shot and hit it poorly. Then Dad would drop another ball, and another. It was interminable.

There were three groups backed up behind us.

After more than an hour of this nonsense, I was waiting for my partner to tee off when I noticed the ranger driving across two fairways straight at the father-daughter team.

“Good,” I thought. “He’s going to take care of this.”

But he passed them by. And then he passed the group immediately to our front and headed straight for my position. He arrived with an important message: “Your push cart is too close to the tee box.”

I must have gawked, because he quickly said “Its a rule. They have to be ten yards from the tee box.”

“You let three hundred pound guys STAND on the tee box,” I snapped. “That cart doesn’t weigh a fifth of that and it’s not even touching the box. And what about those two holding up every player on the course.”

“Nothing I can do about that,” he said. Then he drove off to search in the woods for balls.

After nine holes, my partner bailed on the course, and I made the turn. I joined a new group at ten. On the fourteenth, the same ranger drove up. This time, he had an important message for another in my group, who was driving a power cart.

“Your cart is too close to the green.”

The guy’s cart was actually at least fifty yards from the green And there were no signs or ropes specifying otherwise. But he apologized and moved his cart back.

And then the ranger headed off to look for balls on the treeline. The ranger never did move the slow players along, and a quick afternoon outing turned into a five hour crawl.

I don’t know what the course is paying him, but whatever it is, it’s too much.

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1 thought on “Useless Rangers”

  1. I don’t want to bash all volunteer rangers, some have been helpful in the past.  However, I have to admit the majority don’t seem to add a lot to the golf experience.  If they are not given authority to move play along, then at least they might fix ball marks or rake bunkers when they see a problem.

    My best ranger experience occurred in Florida.  We were at a Venice area course and paid a fairly stiff rate.  The course was wet and the rule was “cart path only.”  At one point we were sitting, waiting for the group ahead.  A ranger came driving down the path going in the opposite direction.  I pulled our cart over to let him pass and got maybe one or two wheels slightly off the path.  He stopped, sneered and said, “Cart path only.”  I replied, “I understand.  I was just trying to make room for you to pass.”  He glared at me for having the affrontery to actually respond to him.  “Cart path only!”, he said, then drove away.  Of course, we informed the manager at the end of the day that we would never play the course again.  I can only hope that the ranger found himself with nothing to do for the rest of the year.


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