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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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News & Tours

Well-known youth golf instructor facing 65 felony charges of sex abuse

By Alex Myers

A prominent Northern California youth golf coach has been arrested on 65 felony charges of child sex abuse, SFGate.com reported. Livermore police said Andrew Nisbet, 31, sexually assaulted several boys ages 12 to 17.

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Nisbet is well-connected in the golf community. The PGA Director of Instruction at Las Positas Golf Course in Livermore, was responsible for the creation and/or development of several youth golf initiatives, including the GRIP Junior Golf Academy, which he runs.

In a story on KTVU.com, Det. Steve Goard of the Livermore Police Dept. said, "He [Nisbet] used a lot of the promise of stardom, expensive gifts. It was just a slow, grooming process in which he knew exactly which kids he could perpetrate this crime and be successful."

On Tuesday, before news of Nisbet's arrest broke, he was named the winner of the Northern California PGA Section's 2013 Junior Golf Leader Award. In that press release, it mentioned Nisbet starting a program called "The Race to Pebble Beach" in which golfers can earn a round at the famed course.

A testimonial on the GRIP Junior Golf Academy's website from Rudy Duran, Tiger Woods' childhood coach, calls it "The best I have seen. . ." Nisbet's bio says he has instructed more than 90 golfers who have gone on to play collegiately, as well as coached pros on the Japanese and Asian Tours.

Nisbet has been recognized as a US Kids Golf Top 50 Master Teacher and has helped run the US Kids Golf World Championships in Pinehurst for the past five years. In February, Davis Love III presented him with the PGA Junior League Golf Trophy at the annual PGA Merchandise Show. He has been fired from his job and is being held in jail without bond, according to SFGate.com.

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Nisbet's arrest came after two students came forward. A third victim has emerged since, meaning more charges against Nisbet could be coming.

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News & Tours

This week in weird golf news: Was a golf club used to commit a double murder?

By Alex Myers

Nearly five and a half years after a highly-publicized double murder was committed in India, a verdict has been reached. Of all things, it was golf that had a major part in the final outcome.

Related: Golf's biggest turkeys of 2013

The Times of India reports that dentist Rajesh Talwar and wife Nupar were found guilty of killing their 14-year-old daughter, Aarushi, and servant Hemraj Banjade at their Jalvayu Vihar home in 2008. The decision upheld a theory by India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that Mr. Talwar's golf clubs were used to commit the crime.

With the case seeming to have stalled, the CBI introduced the idea, which medical examiners concluded was a possibility based on the injuries of the deceased. Mr. Talwar, a member of the Noida Golf Club, was asked to turn over his clubs.

Related: Crocodiles keep attacking at Cancun course

Although forensics weren't able to find blood or DNA from the victims on any of the clubs, they discovered two of the clubs were much cleaner than the others. The CBI was also suspicious of Mr. Talwar hiding a club in his loft after the crime occured. That was enough for a judge to uphold the theory and add an obstruction of justice charge. Sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday.

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News & Tours

An intense $12 million drug bust just went down at an Australian golf course

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

Aren't golf courses just the best? Fresh cut grass, nice weather and the smell of crystal meth in the air . . .

Wait, what?


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The scene at Kogarah Golf Club in Sydney, Australia. Photo via the Herald Sun.

That was the case at Kogarah Golf Club in, Sydney Australia on Wednesday when a Tactical Operations Unit, the Australian version of a SWAT team, seized $12 million (about $11.1 million US) worth of methylamphetamine in the club's parking lot. Four men were arrested and will be charged with commercial drug supply offenses, according to the Herald Sun.

Related: Golf and insider trading make a bad twosome

Two of the accused men reportedly drove a white van containing more than 22 pounds of "ice" hidden inside a TV to a nearby house, where a third man entered the van. The three then drove to the golf course where they were arrested. A fourth person was arrested later that day in connection with the seizure.

It's worth taking a moment to put this drug bust in perspective.

The $11.1 million pot (?) from the drug deal is more than any tournament's purse on the 2013-14 PGA Tour schedule, and is about five times more than the combined purses of the Australian PGA and Masters, which is being held this week. The recipient of the cash would have been the leading 2013 PGA Tour money winner by more than $2 million, and would have pocketed a little more than what Tom Watson made on the course in his entire career.

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