News & ToursApril 19, 2009

'It's golf slavery'

The lesson in this story in the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune of country club memberships gone awry is an age-old one: Read the fine print.

Apparently many members of Laurel Oak Country Club in Sarasota failed to heed that advice when they joined. Today, the club is suing them, according to the newspaper.

Todd Ruger's lead: "Laurel Oak Country Club refused to let Dale Berkowitz give up her membership after her husband died, and kept charging her monthly dues that included a fee for the golf locker he once used. When she stopped paying, the club sued."

Berkowitz is one of 38 members sued since 2007 -- 24 in the last week alone, the newspaper reports -- when they resigned their memberships and quit paying their dues.

"They say they never saw the fine print: The monthly bill keeps coming until the club transfers that membership to someone new," Ruger writes.

Fred Hallas was among those who was sued and told the newspaper, "It's golf slavery."

-- John Strege

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