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Weird Golf News

Convicted drug trafficker claims he got rich from retrieving golf balls. Judge doesn't buy it (obviously)

A convicted Australian drug trafficker has been ordered to give back nearly $1 million in property and cash, according to The Queensland Times. What's so weird about that? Get a load of his excuse.

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Robert James Upson, 60, claimed he made the money legitimately by . . . wait for it . . . retrieving and selling second-hand golf balls!

Unfortunately for Upson, Justice Philip McMurdo either has a working knowledge of the used golf ball market or simply a solid grasp on reality. The judge didn't buy Upson's story.


"I have to say that having regard to the evidence of Mr. Upson work and business history, this is a surprisingly high figure for Mr. Upson to have had from legitimate sources in the subject period," McMurdo said.

"There is also Mr Upson's claim that he was making very large amounts from retrieving golf balls, but this is unsupported by any documentary evidence."

Upson was appealing his eight-year jail sentence for selling his own-grown marijuana for more than a decade -- during which time court documents showed he made 347 cash deposits totaling $1,282,943.93. It is not known if Upson will appeal again, but if he does, he should probably come up with a better reason for having all that money.

(h/t The Queensland Times/a>)

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Weird Golf News

Somehow everyone survives after small plane crashes on Utah golf course

Plane crashes usually don't have happy endings. They also usually don't involve golf courses.


But incredibly/fortunately, both passengers who were traveling on a small plane that crashed onto Valley View Golf Course in Layton, Utah are fine, according to an AP report. Witnesses said they heard the plane's engine sputter and stop before clipping a tree and ending up upside down near a sand trap.

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The passengers names weren't released, but police said the pilot was treated for minor injuries and another man was taken to a hospital in fair condition. We're giving a wide open golf course -- thanks, winter! -- most of the credit for the incident not being a lot worse.

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Weird Golf News

Weird golf news: Golfer survives drive-by shooting at Kansas City course

Tiger Woods made headlines last week for walking off after 11-plus holes at Torrey Pines with a bad back, but an amateur golfer had to WD on the 12th hole at his local course Tuesday for something a lot scarier: a drive-by shooting.

According to, a 63-year-old man, who wishes only to be identified as George, was shot in the leg while in the fairway of the 12th hole at Painted Hills Golf Course in Kansas City, Kan. Despite hearing a strange noise, George didn't realize he'd been shot until his playing partner pointed out his leg was bleeding profusely. The two immediately rode a cart back to the clubhouse, where George was taken by an ambulance to a hospital.

Related: Man's plan to get new golf clubs backfires badly

"[It was] super frightening. I thought I was going to die," he said. "In fact, I made up my mind when I was in the ambulance that if I lost consciousness, I was going to be in heaven with my mother and father."

Fortunately, that never happened and George has been released from the hospital, although the bullet remains in his leg for now.

Police believe shots were fired from a moving vehicle, but no arrests have been made. Authorities don't think George was being targeted, but was merely a random victim.

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Here's the report, including George's interview, from KMBC 9 News Kansas City:

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Weird golf news of the week: Man's plan to get new golf clubs backfires. Badly.

Are you looking to upgrade your golf clubs? It's a thought that crosses a lot of golfers' minds, especially around this time of year when Golf Digest's Hot List issue serves as a reminder that there is a light at the end of a dark, snowy tunnel. But if you're thinking of making a switch, do NOT do what this Florida resident did.

According to a story in the Ocala Star Banner, a man wound up getting arrested for filing a false report that his clubs (that he valued at $2,030) had been stolen out of his car in a golf course parking lot. Apparently, Joseph Louie Ioime was hoping that if he said his clubs had been taken, his wife would buy him a new set. Brilliant!

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Not a great plan to begin with, Ioime butchered its execution by leaving the clubs he said were stolen in the trunk. Yes, really. When police called to the scene of the "crime" found the clubs (Ioime had told authorities the trunk was broken, but an officer opened it up), the jig was up.

Ioime tried to claim he had an identical bag and set for practice. He eventually confessed to the scheme and was taken to the Marion County Jail. Forget about his wife getting him new clubs, this guy would be lucky if she posts his bail.

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Weird Golf News

Why a U.K. golf club claims criminals are responsible for horses tearing up its course

A United Kingdom golf club is facing 100,000 pounds (more than $150,000) in damages following the latest round of horses getting onto the course. But the club isn't willing to chalk up the problem to merely mischievous animals.

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According to Telegraph & Argus, the Calverley Golf Club in Yorkshire has authorities investigating the situation. Facing high bills and an upset membership, club officials are taking action because they believes someone has been repeatedly cutting wire fencing to allow the horses onto the property.

"We keep repairing the fencing but someone keeps cutting it to either encourage or push the horses through -- it's criminal damage and it's got to stop," head greenkeeper Paul Brown said.


Three of the course's 18 holes are damaged to the point where golfers can't play them, and Brown said, "It looks more like Wetherby race course [rather] than a golf course."

This is a lot more devious -- and clever -- than the old "let's steal golf carts and drive them on the greens" form of vandalism. But don't get any ideas! If someone is responsible, we hope they're caught. Winter golf or not, people shouldn't be forced into playing only 15 holes.

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News & Tours

Weird/awesome golf news of the week: Lee Westwood saved a man from drowning

Lee Westwood's performance under pressure at major championships has long been questioned. But boy, did he prove he can come up clutch off the golf course.

The reported that Lee Westwood saved British millionaire Colin Davies from drowning in Barbados on Friday. Here's how Davies said the story went down:

"I have Parkinson's disease so to enter the sea was foolhardy or stupid.

"As soon as I entered I realised I was in trouble. My legs wouldn't move, and my wife Linda was out of earshot.

"By the panic that affects a man when faced with the end of his days I found enough strength to try to reach the beach, I became frightened and called out for help.

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"The family next to us on the beach heard my cry and within a second a muscular male grabbed me and, with tremendous but gentle care, got me back to my lounge bed.

"I was so shocked by the whole affair that I didn't convey my heartfelt thanks to the Samaritan who had rescued me.

"My wife returned to our part of the beach, packed up the stuff and headed for the room. A man some way from the incident asked me if I knew the man who had helped me? Still in a mild shock, I replied no.

"The beach Samaritan was Lee Westwood."

A "muscular male," eh? Those off-season sessions in the gym really must be paying off.


Westwood hasn't said much about the incident, only mentioning it when someone on Twitter joked he might have a new career as a lifeguard:

Helping a stranger? Downplay it all you want, Lee, but that's pretty awesome. In fact, Davies hopes Westwood gets rewarded in a major way for his aquatic heroics.

The Grind: Tiger loses a tooth, Allenby gets kidnapped, and Natalie pitches sports bras

"If there is a power looking over us," Davies told the Birmingham Mail, "I hope he takes note and delivers three majors to this kind and gentle human being."

We agree, but we're pretty sure Westwood would settle for one.


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Weird Golf News

A man nicknamed "Tiger Hoods" built a mini-golf course in Brooklyn out of trash

People react differently to tough times. Very differently. When one Brooklyn man's wife divorced him, he turned to creating a mini-golf course out of trash to feel better.

On Tuesday, The New York Times ran a feature on Alfred Evans, 53, the man behind the makeshift course. Go check out the story to see photos of all the different unwanted items and debris he's used for his creation.

"I can't afford therapy," he told the Times. "This is my therapy."


However, the collection of interesting holes, including an empty Pringles can that's decorated by a children's basketball net, doesn't just make Evans happy. Local residents, especially children, enjoy playing on the layout that is situated between two bus stops and runs alongside the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. And for his efforts, Evans has earned the affectionate nickname, "Tiger Hoods."

"I didn't know what it would become," Evans said in the story. "But it became something bigger. It became a love. I call it the metamorphosis of an urban golfer."

The Grind: Tiger loses a tooth, Allenby gets kidnapped, and Natalie pitches sports bras

Evans, a lifelong Brooklynite who lives across the street from the course, said he has never played on a real golf course, but when he plays on his own design, he imagines that he's playing at the Masters. His favorite time to play is in the middle of the night under the glow of streetlights.

He also hinted he might not be spending as much time there since "he and his ex-wife are on better terms." Good for you, Alfred, but yeah, we can see how telling your spouse you're going outside at 2 a.m. in Brooklyn to play mini-golf would be a tough sell.

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Weird Golf News

The latest grow-the-game initiative? No, it's just a massive sinkhole on a Scottish golf course

You've probably heard about efforts to make golf easier through the use of 15-inch cups. But if that's still too hard, what about this?

Actually, as you can see this was not intentional, and it's instead a massive 14-foot deep sinkhole at Traigh GC in Scotland that is going to cost the club more than $30,000 to repair. Still, if you're still looking for your first ever hole-in-one . . . never mind.

This is not the first sinkhole on a golf course. In 2013, a man was swallowed into an 18-foot sinkhole at AnnBriar Golf Course in Waterloo, Ill. He was quickly rescued, but dislocated his shoulder in the fall. Fortunately at Traigh, no one was hurt.

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Weird Golf News

Weird golf news of the week: Country club bartender charged for threatening to poison John Boehner

A former bartender at Weatherington Country Club, Michael Robert Hoyt, was recently indicted for threatening to murder House Speaker John Boehner, according to a report by WCPO Cincinnati. The FBI says part of that plan included poisoning Boehner's drink at the private club in Butler County (Ohio).


These revelations all came about after Hoyt called police shortly after being fired from the club. When authorities visited his house, "Hoyt told the officer he was Jesus Christ and he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner is responsible for Ebola," United States Capitol Police (USCP) Special Agent Christopher M. Desrosiers said. "Hoyt advised he had a loaded Beretta .380 automatic and he was going to shoot Boehner and take off."

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Hoyt voluntarily checked into a psychiatric ward, where he said he believed Boehner and other members of the club had gotten him fired. Meanwhile, officers found ammunition, notebooks with writings on Boehner and Ebola, and lists of club members in his home, as well as an assault rifle at his mother's house. That was more than enough for the FBI to indict him for posing a "current and ongoing credible threat" to Boehner.

Boehner told the FBI he remembers Hoyt, but no negative interactions with him. Hoyt served Boehner for five years at the club. He is one of three people charged with threatening to kill the congressman in the past year.

After being charged, Hoyt was taken to the Federal Medical Center, a prison in Massachusetts where he was to be evaluated for no more than 45 days. He can be relocated after that period and he faces a possible sentence of 30 years in federal prison.

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Weird Golf News

Weird golf news of the week: Man gets harsh sentence for stealing golf carts

A Panama City, Fla., man has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for stealing golf carts, according to a report by Nathan Michael Huston, 38, received the sentence after charges against him were upgraded from grand theft to grand theft auto.

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This happened after the State Attorney's Office decided golf carts fell under the "motor vehicle" classification. Could this go down as a historic legal precedent? We wonder what the Supreme Court would say. 


According to the report, Huston stole three EZ-GO golf carts from his neighbors in November and was caught after one of the vehicle's owners told the Bay County Sheriff's Office he saw one of the carts in front of Huston's residence. This guy's not exactly a smooth criminal, huh?

When questioned about the carts, Huston first said he purchased them on Craigslist. Then he changed his tune and said he bought them from "a friend of a friend," but couldn't remember any names. Good story, bro.

The Grind: Everything you need to know about this week in golf

Huston pleaded no contest to the charges on Tuesday when he was sentenced. Unfortunately, only one cart has been recovered and returned to its rightful owner so far.

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