A unique situation has developed at The Hamptons Golf Club in Calgary, after a homeowner says her kids aren’t safe to play outside with the amount of golf balls that land on her property.
A judge has ruled an injunction in her favour that has forced the golf club to move the tee boxes up 200 yards on the 10th hole, to eliminate the chance of balls landing on her property.
Homeowner Jiamei Liu says she knew when she bought the property that golf balls could land in her yard, but she says the amount landing on her property has been excessive.
“Time-to-time doesn’t mean 150 to 200 balls per golf season. My two neighbours confirm three to five balls per year which is a huge difference.”
John Chen lives next door to Jiamei, and confirms only three balls have hit house in eight years — an amount he says he’s comfortable with.
“I still think the chances are low, and we did not pay for any of the damage since we moved in.”
Gord Courage is the director of golf at The Hamptons, and has been in the golf industry for 30 years. He says this situation could have wide ramifications for all golf course communities.
“All over the world, and certainly all over Calgary, there’s golf courses that have houses nearby, so something like this could drastically change the golf industry and certainly changes our golf course,” Courage said.
Members at the private golf club say the changes to the 10th hole affects the integrity and enjoyment of the course. can’t relate to the homeowners position.
“If you don’t know that there will be golf balls flying around your house and you choose to live on a golf course, I have have zero pity for that person,” member Murray Patterson said.
“One-hundred per cent their choice. I feel sorry for them, but at the same time they knew what they were getting into.”
Member Peter Grime says there’s an accepted cost to the benefits to living on a golf course.
“It shouldn’t happen all that often, but that’s part of being on a golf course. You get the unrestricted views and everything else, perhaps there’s a cost to it,” Grime said.
As for a middle ground solution, protective netting isn’t an option: the homeowner does not want the netting for home value and aesthetic reasons, while the course has a restrictive covenant against putting up nets.
The Hamptons Golf Club is considering planting bigger trees by the row of houses to adjust the golfers aim off the tee box.
The golf course has appealed the injunction, which will be ruled on in September, until then the hole will remain as a shorter par 4.