The Local Knowlege

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.


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.

... Read
Weird Golf News

Weird golf news of the week: Georgia residents fight for increased golf cart rights

Owning golf carts has become commonplace in Chatham County, Ga. Unfortunately, for most residents, the use of those vehicles away from the golf course is for the most part illegal. At least, for now.


Residents are fighting a state law that prohibits the use of golf carts and similar vehicles on public roadways (except in communities that adopt specific ordinances), according to this comprehensive report from the Savannah Morning News. An updated version of the law that went into effect in July has caused more people to be pulled over by police while driving these "personal transportation vehicles" and Savannah-area residents are not happy.

Related: Man loses 83-day appeal over issue with his golf handicap

County Commissioner Helen Stone says she's probably received more letters complaining about golf cart restrictions than any other issue.

"I think I've gotten close to 50 emails urging us please to look at something to allow golf carts, especially in the area of Isle of Hope," Stone said.

Lawmakers argue that driving golf carts is a safety issue. The smaller vehicles generally don't have features like turn signals and seat belts.

Residents argue golf carts help cut down accidents, deter crime, and play a big role in the area's social scene.

"It's very much become part of the lifestyle out here," said resident Jeremy Summerell. "We live on an island where we don't have a lot of traffic."

Related: More weird golf news

Stone said areas with lower speed limits, less traffic, and smaller roads could see the use of golf carts on public roads legalized sooner, but it won't be for awhile.

"It's going to take a little bit of time," Stone said. "I hate for people not to be able to use them. They're environmentally friendly. They're a good way for people to socialize and be out. . . . But we've got to look at all of the safety issues surrounding the situation."

So there's hope for the Isle of Hope in its golf cart crusade. In the meantime, keep it to cart path only if you don't want any trouble with the authorities.


... Read
Weird Golf News

Weird golf news of the week: Man loses 83-day court appeal over handicap dispute

This might be the weird golf news story to top all weird golf news stories in 2014.

We'll start with the basics. On Thursday, Thomas Talbot, a retired insurance official in Dublin was denied an appeal in an Irish court in which he claimed his former golf club had defamed him by accusing him of having a false handicap.

Related: More weird golf news

If that's not crazy enough, the appeal took 83(!) days in Ireland's High and Supreme Courts before finally being rejected. Justice Susan Denham helped make the ruling and said the system, "would benefit by further development and use of case management so the best use can be made of scarce court resources for the benefit of all litigants." Gee, do you think?


Talbot was suing the Hermitage Golf Club, one of its officers, Eddie Murphy (great name!), and the Golfing Union of Ireland. He felt the club was accusing him of cheating when it sent him a certificate that gave him a 13 handicap, accompanied by the phrase: "General Play (Handicap Building)."

Essentially, Talbot thought the club was accusing him of artificially inflating his handicap. Of course, that would anger any golfer -- although not as much if true -- but taking the club to court? Really? Oh yeah, and this all happened in 2003!

It gets weirder. Apparently, in 2004, Talbot, who also unsuccessfully sued the club for conspiring against him, got into a confrontation with the club's manager over the certificate he received and was suspended. According to Laois Nationalist, Talbot is the third person to be suspended by the club in 40 years. The other two were suspended for abuse of club property and singing songs with inappropriate words in mixed company. OK then.

Talbot, 77, now faces a rather large legal bill. Just a guess, but this decade-long pursuit of clearing his name as a sandbagger probably wasn't worth it.

... Read
Weird Golf News

This is why you don't do radio interviews while you're driving...

Odds are, you've probably heard a few radio interviews regarding the Ryder Cup the past couple days. But we doubt you've heard any that ended quite like this.

Related: 9 Reasons Why The U.S. Lost The Ryder Cup

Melbourne Radio's Mark Allen, a former Australian golf professional, was giving his thoughts on the action at Gleneagles while driving on Tuesday when he rear-ended a car. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Here's the extremely entertaining audio:

SEN Radio host Kevin Bartlett's reaction was the best. First he exclaimed some sort of Australian slang word ("Jingos!"?) before asking, "Not the Mercedes?"

Yep. It was the Mercedes.


After ending the interview for legal reasons -- and because Allen had to deal with the accident -- an incredulous Bartlett went on.

"Can you believe that he's had a crash while speaking on radio?! That is a first, that is an absolute first! I reckon's that'd make a good promo, don't you think?"

Not sure about that, but golf experts everywhere can learn a lesson from this one. Don't analyze and drive.

... Read
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.


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)

... Read
Weird Golf News

Weird golf news of the week: Man charged for drunk driving a bar's golf cart

By Alex Myers

According to a story in the Iowa City Press-Citizen, a man was charged for drunk driving a bar's golf cart. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Before you laugh, golf cart DUIs happen more than you think. They just usually happen on a golf course.


But Mitch Iverson was arrested outside of Bobber's Bar and Grill at around 11 p.m. on Wednesday. Probably not the best idea, Mitch.

Related: More weird golf news

Of course, we don't condone what Mr. Iverson did anywhere, but why does a bar have its own golf cart? Isn't that just asking for trouble?

... Read
Weird Golf News

Weird golf news of the week: Man survives SECOND gator attack on golf course

By Alex Myers

Meet Stephen Martinez, the bravest -- or dumbest -- man in the golf industry depending on your perspective.

Martinez makes a living diving for golf balls and has done so for more than 20 years. On Wednesday, CBS Miami reported he was bitten by an alligator while collecting golf balls in a pond at Bonaventure Country Club in Weston, Fla.

Related: A PGA Tour pro's 5 tips for dealing with gators on the golf course

Fortunately for Martinez, he was able to leave the scene with what he called "minimal" bite injuries to his left hand and arm. Martinez described the gator as "aggressive," saying it "chased him down" in the murky water. Later that day, alligator trappers caught an eight-foot gator they believe is the same one that attacked Martinez. Here's video of the news report:

While Martinez won't have to worry about that gator anymore, obviously, there's always a chance he'll come across others. In fact, he knows from personal experience. In 2006 he was interviewed by CBS after suffering a similar attack at a golf course in Boynton, Fla.

Related: More weird golf news

But despite his repeated reptile run-ins, Martinez says he plans to continue with this line of work. For his sake, we hope this is the last time Martinez winds up on the news.

... Read
News & Tours

Weird Golf News of the Week: Nearly 100 unmarked graves discovered at golf course

By Alex Myers

Have you ever felt haunted by a particular hole? Maybe there's more to it than you think.

At North Fulton Golf Course in Chastain Park (just outside of Atlanta, Ga.), one man, park operations director Ray Mock, recently discovered up to 84 unmarked graves right near the fifth hole. WSB-TV in Atlanta had the story that includes this video:

How is this possible? Mock said he always knew there were graves in the park, he just didn't know exactly where until he looked at an old map. Then, he hired someone to use ground-mapping sonar to locate the plots. Again, how is it possible? It's not like we're talking one or two buried cats here. No one ever noticed that 84 graves went missing?

Related: More weird golf news

The answer seems to lie in who was buried there. Mock said two poorhouses were located in the park up until sometime in the 1960s and that those buried on the grounds probably resided there.

The graves are being marked with orange flags for the time being with possible plans for wild flowers and a sign explaining the graveyard. In other words, at least golfers will know if they're playing from a, um, buried lie.

... Read
News & Tours

Weird Golf News of the Week: An airport is worried about stray golf balls on its runway

By Alex Myers

For the past month, Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Carter County, Tenn., has been dealing with stray golf balls on its runway. A lot of golf balls.

In the report, airport manager Dan Cogan said there have been "well over 100 balls" at the east end of the runway where planes take off and land. The balls have appeared on four different occasions during daily inspections for the airport, which handles about 100 flights per day.

Related: More weird golf news

So what's the big deal?

"An engine can suck a golf ball up into it causing engine failure or damage to the engine and can run into a lot of money right away. And then if it's a moving aircraft you could have a major incident causing up to loss of life," Cogan said.

In other words, as tempting as it is, don't use your nearest airport as a driving range.

Local authorities aren't categorizing this as a crime yet, but Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said there's potential for a "reckless endangerment" charge. Whoever is hitting the golf balls might not be doing it maliciously, but they don't seem to be getting there by accident. Especially considering the nearest golf course is seven miles away.

Here's the report from WJHL News Channel 11:

(h/t Yahoo!)

... Read
News & Tours

New study finds titanium golf clubs can cause wildfires. Wait . . . what?

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

Here's the scenario: it's your second shot on a short par 5. You're feeling frisky -- you've been hitting it well all day -- and there's no trouble short of the green. You decide to go for it, and reach for your 3-wood.

That situation, or one similar to it, isn't just potentially jeopardizing your score, but could be setting the scene for a deadly and wide-ranging wildfire, according to a new study from the University of California at Irvine.

The study describes how the makeup of titanium clubs, when struck against a small, embedded rock or other hard services, produces "intensely hot sparks" that could potentially start a fire. The study added that sparks like this could have been the cause of recent golf course fires, notably the 2010 fire at Shady Canyon Golf Course in Irvine.

Related: America's courses are curbing their addiction to water

A selection from the study's release:

Titanium alloy golf clubs can cause dangerous wildfires, according to UC Irvine scientists. When a club coated with the lightweight metal is swung and strikes a rock, it creates sparks that can heat to more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit for long enough to ignite dry foliage, according to findings published recently in the peer-reviewed journal Fire and Materials

It continued:

One fire almost reached homes before they stopped it. This unintended hazard could potentially lead to someone's death, said chemical engineering & materials science professor James Earthman, lead author on the paper. A very real danger exists, particularly in the Southwest, as long as certain golf clubs remain in use.


... Read
Subscribe to Golf Digest
Subscribe today