LA golfers frustrated by tee time 'black market'

Golfers in Los Angeles trying to schedule tee times at public city courses say it's "impossible" to do so through the online reservation system, alleging that bots are snatching up all the available times and selling them on a "black market" for profit. On Monday, the Los Angeles Golf Advisory Committee met to hear golfers' concerns.

The committee chair claimed the meeting room had never been so full, packed with frustrated golfers.

LA has about a dozen public courses, but those trying to book tee times say "for years now, the city of LA golf tee time reservation system has been broken."

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Not only are the times unavailable, golfers claim brokers are selling those times for profit on the black market.

"I've spoken to plenty of people at Rancho Park and Griffith Park, and everyone has a broker," one golfer told the commission. Another said that he was told by another who's used one of these brokers that it's "the only way to get a time on a Saturday or Sunday. It's not right for a public course to be allowing this."

Enthusiasts claim the issues have been going on for years, dating back to the pandemic, and they believe it's now time for action.

"It's clear that not only are there golfers violating the rules of the city for getting their desired tee times, but it now appears that there are individuals exploiting the system for profit," golfer Anthony Guerrero said.

Golf instructor Dave Fink says these brokers "have essentially privatized public golf. It's been heart-breaking for all of us regular people who depend on these public parks to play this beautiful game."

At the end of Monday's meeting, the commission decided to have another meeting, during which they'll appoint an independent commission to investigate the issues.