I walked off once. It was a Saturday morning round. After it took 3 hours to play the front, with a 3-group outing of 12 players that the outing director decided to put out first thing in the morning, which is just mind boggling to me.... So since there was a 2-group backup on the 10th hole, we decided to go inside the clubhouse at the turn to use bathroom, grab a snack, etc... We spent 5 minutes at-most in there. The group behind us (a twosome) was right on our asses. Naturally, the group behind us decided to go straight to the 10th tee after playing the 9th. So we get to the 10th tee and now there are three groups waiting to tee off ahead of us.
The par4 11th is a 300-yard par4. If the wind is helping, there's a chance that a longer hitter can at least get his tee shot to the green-side bunker since there's a downward slope at the 250-yard carry range that is effectively a speed-slot to gain another 30-40 yards of rollout. Pin was in the back of the green, some 75 feet away from where the twosome who skipped us at the turn was putting out.
I decided to give the green-side bunker a go... hit it great. Got a very favorable bounce and my ball missed the bunker, ending up on the fringe. Again, some 75 feet away from where the twosome ahead of us was putting out.
One of the guys in the group ahead looked back, raised his arms in the air to point out that he wasn't amused whatsoever with someone (me) hitting "into" them. (Really wasn't hitting "into" them, though, with my ball ending up some 25 yards behind.
He walked over to the bunker, picked up my ball and threw it in the lake just to the right of the green. I couldn't believe what just happened.
So I immediately hop in the cart and drive up to confront him. "Why'd you throw my ball in the water? It was nowhere near you guys!" He replied, "What's the rush? We've been waiting for the last 3 hours, 20 minutes and there's nowhere to go. What you did was rude." I said, "No, what you guys did was rude. You knew we were waiting endlessly. We spent 5 minutes using the bathroom and grabbing drinks at the clubhouse, but you motored right on through without asking if it was okay to go ahead of us." He apologized, and then I apologized, and I simply took my
bag off the cart and walked to the parking lot.
But I made a slight detour.... on the way to the parking lot I decided to go inside the clubhouse to ask the assistant pro (who was and still is) a good friend of mine. He was manning the fort that morning. They had GPS cart systems that displayed on their computer monitor inside which groups were out of position, also showing how many minutes they were behind. I walked behind the counter and took a look at the GPS monitor. The outing was over an hour out of position... no course rangers speeding up play on the course. I said to him, "Homey... WTF! It took us nearly four hours to play 11 holes. Why aren't you guys monitoring what's going on out on the golf course?" He apologized, but the truth of the matter was that he and his staff were more concerned about their fantasy football league than they were doing what they were paid to do.
I just walked out of the clubhouse and shook my head.
It was that very day that I decided that I'd had enough of public golf. I was gonna either find a private club that I could afford, or I was gonna quit the game altogether.
Found a reasonably priced private club about 15 miles away and that's where I went the following year. Spent the better part of 5 seasons there, and the longest weekend round I experienced was 4 hours and 5 minutes.
It was like a Utopian golf experience for me... not having to wait, not having to spend 5+ hours waiting on the group ahead.
PS - great shooting, even if it was only 13 holes!