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Weird Golf News

Weird golf news: Man uses golf club as a weapon to defend church from burglar

It goes without saying you should never steal from anyone, let alone a church. But if you are dumb enough to do it, make sure you stay away from a particular church in the Beacon Hill area of Seattle.

Related: Georgia residents fight for increased golf cart rights

Komo News reported the church's caretaker saw a suspicious man coming out of the basement he had broken into. The caretaker grabbed a golf club, chased the man down and struck him, breaking the club. Hopefully, it wasn't a new driver.

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The caretaker the repeatedly punched the suspect, who apparently had been preparing to steal a pair of bicycles, before eventually the cops showed up and arrested him.

Related: More weird golf news

No word yet on if the caretaker has chosen to replace his weapon/club or if he's going to have the old one reshafted.

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crime

NFL bust Ryan Leaf's legal woes continue. Here's what golf had to do with it

While Peyton Manning is the NFL's reigning MVP and in the midst of a five-year, $96-million contract, the man who was almost picked ahead of him in the 1998 draft just got sentenced to five more years in jail. Perhaps, you're familiar with the struggles of Ryan Leaf, but you might not have realized what his legal problems have to do with golf.

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Leaf's latest sentence stemmed from him violating his Texas probation when he pleaded guilty to felony burglary and criminal possession of a dangerous drug in Montana in 2012. At the time, Leaf was already on probation for burglarizing a West Texas A&M football player's home to obtain pain pills in 2008. Leaf, who played just four seasons as a pro and is arguably the biggest draft bust in NFL history, was an assistant football and golf coach for the school at the time.

But the golf connection doesn't end there. When cops searched Leaf's truck in 2012, they discovered two pill containers -- one of which had another person's name on the prescription label -- in his golf bag.

Related: Peyton Manning hangs out with Rory McIlroy after season opener

Leaf originally denied knowledge of the containers. He later used golf as an alibi, saying the other person -- an acquaintance -- had left the pills in his bag after the two had played a round of golf together. The acquaintance said they hadn't played golf together and Leaf was charged with breaking into the man's home to steal the pills.

The good news for Leaf is that he probably won't serve any more jail time -- for now. The Texas judge who handed down his latest sentence gave him credit for the time (approximately 27 months) he served for his crimes in Montana.

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News & Tours

Weird golf news of the week: Two men charged in on-course fight over "casual water"

By Alex Myers

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that two men were charged for assault at Springfield Golf Course in South Union, Pa. The reason for the altercation? A dispute over "casual water." No, really.

Related: Man charged for drunk driving a bar's golf cart

According to police, the two men, aged 63 and 42, got into an argument on the fifth hole on Sunday when they came across "casual water" on the green. It seems the younger man was unfamiliar with the rule, but asked his playing partners for help with a decision.

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On No. 6, the younger man apparently tried to use the rule himself for his ball in the fairway -- and the older man didn't like it.

"You didn't know the rule on 5, and suddenly you're an expert . . . when it benefits you," state trooper George Mrosko said, describing the conversation. "That was the gist of why it ignited and why it got heated up."

Both men sustained minor injuries in the brawl that included the older man hitting the younger man with a golf club. Again, this is a true story.

In case you want to brush up on Rule 25-1 -- which deals with "abnormal ground conditions" -- before your next round, click here. But don't worry, most people won't hit you with a golf club if you're not an expert on the subject.

(h/t @redbaron4life)

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News & Tours

Did these British burglars steal $1 million in golf clubs?

By Alex Myers

Have you ever worried -- even for a moment -- about the security of your golf clubs when you leave them unattended at a course? Well, these two guys in England probably will give you nightmares then.

Related: Man steals golf clubs... and a bunch of steaks

The good news is that Daniel Lloyd and Joe McCaughey have been caught. The bad news is it came after the pair stole golf clubs and other valuables from lockers at 36 courses in England, according to the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency.

The report states the two simply dressed as golfers and entered golf clubs to commit their crimes. And while evidence from 36 of their burglaries was used in their trial, officers believe the two could have stolen from as many as 1,000 lockers, taking goods worth more than $1 million in golf clubs alone.

Related: Florida police investigating gambling on golf course

The duo's crimes date back more than four years and their thefts were featured on BBC's Crimewatch in 2010. After a three-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Lloyd and McCaughey were convicted of conspiracy to burgle and sentened to five and three years in jail, respectively.

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News & Tours

Weird Golf News Of The Week: Teens trash California course, don't get away with it

By Alex Myers

OK, so maybe teens taking golf carts and tearing up a course isn't that weird, but this case was a little extreme. According to KFSN, three teens, aged 14-16, were arrested for breaking into the cart barn at Yosemite Lakes Park Golf Course in Fresno, Calif. The kids damaged the course by driving carts all over, but their mischief didn't stop there.

Related: More weird golf news

The report said the kids severely damaged three carts and a fourth one is still missing. Having broken in through a side door, they rammed golf carts into the main garage door until they smashed through. Then they stole security cameras and burned them to conceal evidence they had been there. So how were they caught?

"While they managed to steal the cameras, they didn't manage to demolish the video so the video was there, captured all three committing the crime," said Erica Stuart of the Madera County Sheriff's Department.

Whoops. Are kids not watching crime shows these days? Now the trio may face felony charges for vandalism, burglary and arson. 

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News & Tours

This week in weird golf news: Did a golf club help stop a potential crime spree?

By Alex Myers

We've passed along a couple stories recently in which golf clubs were used to commit horrifying crimes. So it's nice to finally hear about a club helping to stop a crime.

Related: More weird golf news

That's reportedly what happened Thursday morning in Indianapolis, according to IndyStar.com. A man used a putter, which he kept in his house for protection, to beat a home invader and then held him down until police arrived on the scene. 

It was apparently the second home the suspect had broken into that morning. Despite a younger woman suffering an epileptic seizure during the first break-in, and the suspect firing a gun during the second invasion, no one required hospitalization.

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News & Tours

This week in weird golf news: Did an Arizona man murder his ex-wife with a 7-wood?

By Alex Myers

Steven DeMocker, who was convicted of first-degree murder in October, was denied a retrial earlier this week in Prescott, Ariz, according to the Associated Press. DeMocker was previously found guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Carol Kennedy, in 2008.

A 7-wood is believed to be the murder weapon in the bludgeoning, although it was never found. Experts examining the victim's skull "testified during the trial that the breaks were similar in shape to a golf club." DeMocker handed a headcover over to authorities, which was used as evidence, along with the fact that he'd stashed money and clothes on a golf course near his home.

Related: Was a golf club used as a murder weapon in India?

DeMocker, 60, is believed to have killed Kennedy while she was out running in the woods behind her home and then to have placed the body inside her home to make it look accidental in order to collect on her life insurance policy. Footprints and bike tracks helped convict DeMocker in the absence of an eyewitness, with DNA tying him to the scene and the supposed murder weapon.

DeMocker, who has been jailed for more than five years, will be back in court Jan. 24 for sentencing.

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News & Tours

Weird golf news of the week: Golf carts don't make good getaway cars

By Alex Myers

This just in: using a golf cart as your mode of transportation for fleeing a crime scene isn't the smartest move. And doing it at night only makes it worse.

Weird Golf News: What do you mean my 59 doesn't count?!

A burglar in Australia found that out the hard way, according to The West Australian. The 20-year-old man broke into a storage shed at the Royal Fremantle Golf Club on Wednesday night. Hopping in a golf cart, the man avoided arrest at first -- until he crashed into a bunker.

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The man was tracked down by a police dog and arrested. The report didn't mention if he suffered injury, but his golf cart decision will hurt him more when he goes to court. He now faces charges for aggravated burglary and stealing a motor vehicle. Again, not smart.

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News & Tours

Reno man gets probation for golf course shooting

By Alex Myers

Do you ever get nervous when hitting a shot with houses lining a hole? Well, this story won't make you feel any better the next time you're in that situation.

SFGate.com reported on Saturday that a Reno man received five years probation for an incident in September 2012. His crime? Shooting a golfer who hit a stray ball through the window of his house.

Related: More weird golf news

The altercation occurred at the Lakeridge Golf Course. According to the report, Jeff Fleming was waking up when a ball came into his bedroom, sending shards of glass his way. Fleming responded by firing a shotgun at an unidentified golfer who had dropped and was about to hit another shot.

Fleming's lawyer, Larry Dunn, said his client was only trying to scare the golfer, who ran away with a friend. It wasn't until after the golfer stopped running that he realized he'd been hit in his arm and legs.

Dunn said despite the location of Fleming's house, it had never been hit by a ball. Fleming had no previous criminal record and had faced up to 10 years in jail after pleading guilty to a felony charge of battery with a deadly weapon.

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News & Tours

Explainer: Who is Earl Dennison Woods Jr.?

By Luke Kerr-Dineen and Alex Myers

When news came through Thursday evening that Tiger Woods' half-brother, Earl Woods Jr., had been arrested after allegedly calling in a bomb threat to the government office where he worked, the question arose: Who is Earl Dennison Woods Jr.? We thought we'd help provide some answers.

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Earl Woods Jr. (left) pictured with Earl Woods Sr. in 2002.

How is Earl Woods Jr. related to Tiger Woods? 

Earl Woods Jr., 58, is the oldest of the three children Earl Woods Sr. (Tiger's father) had from a previous marriage. Woods Sr. married his first wife, Barbara Gary, in 1954 and Jr. was born a year later. Jr.'s brother, Kevin Dale and sister, Royce Renee, were born in 1957 and 1961, the latter seven years before Woods Sr. divorced Gary. Earl Jr. is also the father of Cheyenne Woods, Tiger's 23-year-old niece who is a professional golfer on the Ladies European Tour.

OK, and what happened yesterday?

On Thursday, Earl Jr. was in Phoenix working for the government as part of the Department of Economic Security. According to the Associated Press, Woods Jr. called the front desk from a cell phone at about 8:30 a.m (MST) saying he had a bomb and was going to blow up the building. The front desk reportedly notified the building's security and 100 people were evacuated. Woods Jr. later voluntarily came forward, telling management he made the call "as a joke." He was arrested soon after "for suspicion of attempting to terrify, intimidate, threaten or harass others." Authorities say Earl Jr. is apologetic and is fully cooperating with the investigation.

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Are Tiger and Earl Jr. close?

Apparently not. In an ESPN.com column from April 2012, Rick Reilly wrote that none of Tiger's half siblings have heard from the golf star since the death of their father, Earl, in 2006. Earl Jr. was said to be especially upset about this, saying that Tiger should help Kevin, who has multiple sclerosis and has been confined to a wheelchair. "I'd like to [slap] Tiger, wake him up," Earl Jr. told Reilly. "I'd like to say, 'Don't come knocking on the door when you need a bone-marrow transplant.' To see this is the response we get? Maybe when you see the world like he does, you don't see what other people are going through. But, seriously? You've got problems with your knee? That's nothing compared to what Kevin is going through. Nothing."


So, is Tiger connected to the family at all?

Tiger seems to have a good relationship with Cheyenne, who won the 2011 ACC Championship at Wake Forest and is currently a professional golfer. Woods has invited Cheyenne to spend time with him on his yacht and the two hung out at the 2013 Masters. But even that doesn't seem to have thawed the relationship between Tiger and Earl Jr. "Tiger had Cheyenne down to Florida for three days to spend Thanksgiving on his boat," Earl Jr. told Reilly. "I asked her [afterward], 'Did he ask about us?' She said, 'No.'"

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