As somebody who works within the golf industry, I would love to own a home that backed on to a golf course.
As somebody who works within the golf industry, I wouldn’t think of owning a home that backed on to a golf course.
As nice as it would be sitting outside on a glorious summer morning enjoying my coffee, I know only too well that I’m liable to have a ball of whatever brand plunk into my cup if I’m lucky enough to escape being clunked on the noggin.
Through my own experience, I know that shots go awry more often than the egos of most golfers would allow them to admit. Slices and duck hooks are bound to interrupt that backyard barbecue, if you dare have one.
However, a homeowner or a potential homeowner needn’t work within the golf industry to understand that fact, the same way that person needn’t work within the airline or railroad industries to understand it might be noisy if you purchase near an airport or train tracks.
Yet, they do it anyway and complain about it when intrusions on their lives become reality. Such is the case in Scarsdale, N.Y., where a legal battle is taking place between the owner of a $3.7-million home near the Quaker Ridge Golf Club.
We ran that story in our links section and you can read it here.
Quaker Ridge was first opened for play in 1918 and throughout most of its history, an errant shot off the second tee along the right side of the fairway would fall into the woods. Then, the land was sold to a developer in 1999.
Efforts have been made by the club to alleviate the problem, but the legal action continues through various courts. It is believed that Quaker Ridge has already spent more than $400,000 on course modifications and legal fees.
We’ve seen similar cases take place in Canada and the golf industry in the U.S. is keeping a close eye on this case as it unravels.
The fear is that if the homeowner wins, it will empower more neighbours to take similar actions against golf courses, including those that aren’t exactly flush for cash these days. In the case of municipal courses, it could leave taxpayers on the hook.
It would seem that some kind of compromise can be reached and Quaker Ridge has made efforts to alleviate the problem, but a homeowner should have known through due diligence before making a purchase that golf balls landing in the yard was not only a possibility, but a probability.
What about the developers and municipal planners?
These days, it seems, there is a develop-first, ask questions later mindset and that too must be taken into consideration when we’re talking about million-dollar homes going next to a golf club that is nearly a century old.
All efforts need to be taken by a golf course to live in harmony with its neighbours, but the reasonable expectation that golf balls might enter a yard should have been considered from the beginning and through the purchasing process.
Of course, each case has its differences, but sole responsibility on the golf course that is encroached upon in the first place is generally unfair. There are plenty of parties that should accept responsibility as well.