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Sun City letter writer did not tell of his connection


This is in response to Mr. Emerson’s opinion letter (“Small group debate quite complicated,” Sun City Independent, March 1, 2023).

While admitting to be a small group member, he did not disclose his affiliation with the Recreation Centers of Sun City Golf Advisory Committee. Mr. Emerson apparently has not considered recusing himself from commenting on or voting on the fairness of the current small group prebooking system.

He stated, “The problem is not the small groups.” He also indicates that the small groups and non-resident tournaments take up 24% of the available tee times from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. — a 5-hour window. Using his calculation methodology and the real preferred tee times of 9 a.m.-noon — a 3-hour window — my calculations indicate small groups are taking 33% of the prime tee times of 9 a.m.-noon, not 24% as Mr. Emerson indicates.

While the current small group prebooking policy might be the best method to prevent these groups from gaming the system as they did in the past, the current board policy gives the director of golf the authority to schedule these prebooking groups. However, these groups continue to get the best tee times.

His theory is a problem with “supply and demand.” Yes, I agree with Mr. Emerson, supply and demand is a problem because the small groups are allowed to prebook 33% of the available tee times 9 a.m.-noon, reducing the supply of tee times.

While Mr. Emerson thinks the problem is “quite complicated,” I think the solution is quite simple and attainable. The goal should be a cohesive reservation system that treats all Sun City golfers fairly and restricts non-resident use.

  1. Small groups pay for the privilege of playing together as a group and have advance guaranteed tee times, but the prime tee times should be shared equitably with lottery users. There are many possible options to achieve this result that are not currently being considered.
  2. No non-residents or guests should be allowed in small groups. This is a privilege that should be limited to Sun City golf cardholders.
  3. The number of small groups and their size should be limited and capped. The number of available tee times are not increasing, and decrease during overseeding and split sheets.
  4. All residents should be allowed to book earlier than all non-residents. Restrict non-residents to booking four days ahead of tee times for non-resident card holders and three days for non-resident day players.