June 17, 2009

Golf courses miffed by inflated resellers

Officials at New York state golf courses said they are frustrated by a company that sells second-hand reservations at inflated prices, but they can't stop it.

Bethpage State Park director Dave Catalano said the company, New York Golf Shuttles, has been buying up coveted tee times for the Bethpage Black course -- which charges $60 per round for locals and $120 for out-of-state visitors -- and reselling them for $850 to locals and $900 to out-of-staters, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

These guys are a major annoyance, Catalano said. It goes against our policy and our philosophy but there isn't much we can do to stop it.

New York Golf Shuttles owner Felimon Betito, 51, said claims that his company floods the Bethpage phone lines to pick up the maximum amount of reservations are totally false.

We have one person who makes calls, he said.

Betito said his company's aim is simply to allow the affluent to obtain the best tee times with minimum effort.

If you're a guy with millions, paying 850 bucks isn't much, he said.

Long Island State Parks chief Ron Foley said authorities can't go after the company for scalping because playing golf is a participatory event and therefore exempt from scalping laws.