"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Friday, April 08, 2016

Golf Clubs and the Law : Pay Up You Hackers! Of Course, We Mean That in Good Fun, Fore!

A great golf club case involving some legal heavyweights (U.S. Senior District Judge Paul Huck and Third District Court of Appeal Judge Frank Shepherd) has surfaced at Above the Law as reported by Kathryn Rubino in Legal Heavyweights Take Their Case To… Small Claims Court.

It seems that the Riviera Country Club in Coral Gables, Florida, has bylaws which provide "seniors" with certain financial privileges, including freezing the amount of dues payable and freeing the seniors from assessments.

Golf clubs have such provisions of course in order to retain older members, who due to their advancing seniority often use less and less of the golf club services offered, so that an "age" discount can make sense in such a context, even if some seniors play more at an advanced age then when they were younger, due to more free time. As Jack Nicklaus said: "The older you get, the stronger the wind gets; and it's always in your face."

The point in dispute is that the golf club is still charging the seniors with a $75 capital fee per month, which the seniors now claim is a violation of the bylaws, and so the case has gone to a small claims court to be resolved in a friendly manner, the claim asking for a declaratory judgment against the fees.

The sport of Golf is in many places going through some hard times as many club memberships are dwindling and younger generations are turning to other athletic activities. For golf clubs and golf courses, every dollar counts as a matter of paying the bills and staying solvent. We refer here to money issues and the renown Wentworth Golf Club in the UK, now in Chinese ownership.

When the already often more cash-heavy seniors begin to rake in the privileges at the cost of the younger membership -- this is an evil that marks much of American society today, the problem of wealth inequality -- then things must be "reassessed". Traditional golf club "assessments", often levied as lump sums for improvements, appear to us to be in a somewhat different category than "recurring fees" so that this is an interesting case legally.

What RESPONSIBILITY should members have viz. pursue? We are reminded here of a quote (via Ron Furlong, Bleacher Report, 50 Greatest Golf Quotes of All Time) by former Masters champion Bernhard Langer that should put a smile on every jurisprudential face: "Man blames fate for other accidents, but feels personally responsible for a hole in one."

On the importance of keeping Golf on top of the world, Robert Lynd stated: "It is almost impossible to remember how tragic a place this world is when one is playing golf."

We should try to make golf available to MORE, rather than to less, people.

See in this regard How to Join a Private Club, an article by Brett Avery at GolfDigest which discusses the ins and outs of private golf club financing and the money responsibilities that members face.

Of course, we mean this all in good fun out of love for golf, and, for all we know, perhaps these gentlemen play to a scratch handicap, so that the title "hackers" may not apply literally, and indeed it is merely a golf term often thrown by good players at each other in the "benevolent" spirit of the game.

Nevertheless, Golf's financial considerations remain a serious subject,
almost as serious as the game of golf itself.

to which we close with a quotation from Paul Harvey:
"Golf is a game in which you yell 'fore', shoot six and write down five."
Good Night! (to those who remember, and take a look at that link....)

Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1 :
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2 :
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.


    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically
    in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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