In an email to members, the Country Club announced Wednesday it will begin using club staff as marshals sporadically for five weeks to address the problem of people sneaking onto the courses to play for free.
Don Thames, director of golf, wrote that he heard about the problem from members and began touring the South Course between 7 and 8:15 p.m.
Here's what he found, Thames wrote: "Golf members playing golf with unauthorized (unpaid) guests, resident non-members playing golf (unpaid), House members playing golf (unpaid) without checking in and of course, kids just looking for something to do. Upon finding these folks, I took the appropriate action (nicely) and asked them to leave or in some cases, charged their member accounts."
Here's the full text of Thames' note:
Sneaks, rules and a solution in the works
As supporters of the Club and payers of dues, our members expect and deserve the benefits of a private club. One such benefit is the right of privacy and its corresponding benefits. As a Club we want our golf courses to be enjoyed by members and our guests. On the other hand, we do not want our courses to be used by unauthorized persons that play the courses for free, use the greenbelt to walk dogs or in general to trespass for any reason.
We all know that we have a problem in this regard. We have sneak-on’s, dog walkers, trespassers, children using the courses as a playground, rules violators and various other subsets of the aforementioned. Most of the above violations are seasonal in nature and occur during the long days of summer.
As Director of Golf and self proclaimed Chief of Police I have seen the abuse first hand after hearing many stories told to me by members concerned about the problem. In response, I began touring the South Golf Course between the hours of 7:00 to 8:15 PM in an effort to monitor potential transgressions. I focused on removing golfers that were sneaking on. I found a variety of different categories of people trying to do something beyond the rules. The following dominated the list in no particular order: Golf members playing golf with unauthorized (unpaid) guests, resident non members playing golf (unpaid), House members playing golf (unpaid) without checking in and of course, kids just looking for something to do. Upon finding these folks, I took the appropriate action (nicely) and asked them to leave or in some cases, charged their member accounts.
Since bringing this problem to the Golf Committee, we have been in the process of a solution. For the next 5 weeks, golf staff will be marshaling the golf courses in the evening hours on unannounced days. We feel that this action and our presence will lead to fewer violations as attention and word of this action spreads.
In the meantime, the Golf Committee and ultimately the Board of Directors will be putting together a marshaling program that could be put into place to greatly eliminate this problem. So please be patient and aware that we are doing something about what many of you have been concerned about for some time. We are on it and will do our best to see this through.