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crime

Weird golf news of the week: You won't believe how many golf balls this guy stole

Meet Nathan Brown. He's 27 years old, resides in Missouri, and apparently, loves stealing golf balls.

Brown, who has been nicknamed the "golf ball bandit," recently confessed to stealing golf balls from a Maryland Heights (Mo.) driving range on three separate occasions dating back to November 2013. The total number of golf balls stolen? A whopping 42,000.

Related: More weird golf news

Here's the FOX2Now report:

Brown stole all of the golf balls, valued about about $20,000, from the Golfport Driving Range. His most recent theft occurred in October.

"That almost put us out of business because you need golf balls to operate," owner Carol Boggs said.

"We couldn't imagine that anybody could come in here and pick up that many golf balls without somebody recognizing that there's somebody out there picking golf balls," added Boggs.

The Grind: John Daly gets engaged and Paulina Gretzky has a baby shower

Smartly, Golfport Driving Range puts its own logo on the balls and updates it each year. That probably made it a bit tougher for Brown to unload his stolen goods (is there a black market for range balls?), though, police have only recovered about 2,000 of the golf balls so far.

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Weird Golf News

Apparently, there's a place called Casino Golf Club. And it keeps getting broken into

First off, there's an actual place called the Casino Golf Club? Sounds awesome.

Turns out, it's located in Australia and like it sounds, it doubles as both a golf course and a casino. Again, awesome.

Related: This thief in a Hawaiian shirt is slicker than he looks

What's not awesome, though, is all the crime the club has suffered recently. According to the Ballina Shire Advocate, the club has been broken into six times in the past four weeks.

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The above photo is from security footage that shows three people breaking in while a fourth waits outside in the early morning hours on Nov. 21. Fortunately, no one was hurt since a cleaner working at the time locked himself in a closet -- you can see he left his supplies in the middle of the floor -- after the intruders broke through the glass doors with bricks.

Police are still investigating a myriad of crimes, which include everything from stealing a set of golf clubs to damaging a poker machine. Again, this place is called Casino Golf Club.

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Weird Golf News

Weird golf news of the week: Thief in Hawaiian shirt is slicker than he looks

Police are looking for a man who stole golf clubs from Pelican Point Golf Shop in Gonzales, La., according to the Gonzales Weekly Citizen. If authorities catch him, they should consider adding a charge for wearing a hideous Hawaiian shirt.

Surveillance video from Nov. 16 caught an older man wearing such a shirt -- along with an equally obnoxious hat -- red handed. Or in this case, black slacksed.

Related: An unauthorized history of Tiger Woods' jeans

The man bought a few small items, but stuffed golf clubs down his pants and walked out of the store when the clerk went to help someone else. He pulled the same stunt again a little later. Here's a screen shot of him from the video:

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Apparently, the man isn't as clueless as we thought. The four clubs he took are worth a whopping $1,448.97, and despite dressing like Chris Berman, he has yet to be apprehended.

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Weird Golf News

Weird golf news of the week: Fleet of golf carts stolen from private club

Golf carts get stolen all the time, but they're usually abandoned after being used for late-night, alcohol-influenced joy rides that wreak havoc on golf courses. Not this time.

Related: More weird golf news

According to NJ.com, eight golf carts were stolen from the Hollywood Golf Course, a private club in Ocean Township, N.J. Police say the gas-powered Club Car carts were taken sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

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The report says the thieves, who have yet to be caught, cut a hole in a chain-link fence on a dead end street. Police believe the carts were then loaded onto a trailer.

That certainly makes sense. A clean getaway on eight separate carts, particularly ones that run on gas, would have been a bit tricky.

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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.

Related: More weird golf news

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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