, Port Arthur, Texas


December 25, 2013

West golf notepad: Wild tee shots can be harmful to your health


Golfers who launch errant shots at Babe Zaharias Golf Course are hereby forewarned; A precedent has been set in a Reno, Nev., courtroom that would allow a homeowner to shoot you and not have to do any jail time.

Jeff Fleming, facing 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine after blasts from his shotgun struck a golfer whose wild tee shot crashed through his bedroom window at Lakeridge Golf Course in Reno, got off with five years probation. The victim is fine, after having shotgun pellets removed from an arm and both legs.

According to an Associated Press story out of Reno, Fleming’s attorney said his client was just trying to scare the golfer, not injure him. If that’s the case, his aim is worse with the shotgun that the golfer’s was with his driver.

Best part of the story, meanwhile, is the tale spun by Fleming’s lawyer, Larry Dunn, who said his client was sleeping when the wild tee shot came crashing through his bedroom window.

“It startled him and sprayed him with glass shards,” said Dunn, who claimed his client thought somebody was shooting at him. “He anticipated the ball coming through  the window might have been intentional and thought there was potential harm.”

The off-target golfer made the mistake of taking a drop near Fleming’s yard, where the ball left the course. Next thing he knew he was under siege. Fleming had grabbed his shotgun and fired from some 50 yards away. But, according to Dunn, only to scare the golfer.

“There’s no question the single shot he fired was a warning or to scare him,” Dunn said. “There was no intention to hit him. He’s an outstanding citizen and it is just an aberration.”

So how did the golfer react after the shot was fired? Like anybody with common sense, he ran like hell. It wasn’t until later he discovered the damage. No word on whether a civil suit will be forthcoming.

Again, you guys who hit wild hooks and slices toward homes lining Babe Zaharias have been warned. Either get your game under control or start taking along some body armor.

CHIP SHOTS: A six-event schedule has been announced for the Junior Winter Tour Tournament Series, co-hosted by The First Tee of the Golden Triangle and the Southeast Texas Junior Tour. First tourney is set for Jan 18 at Babe Zaharias. Other stops include Idylwild Golf Club on Jan. 25, Belle Oaks GC on Feb. 1, Henry Homberg GC on Feb. 8, Brentwood Country Club on Feb. 15 and Bayou Din GC on Feb. 22. Five age flights, — 7-9 Co-Ed, 10-11 Co-Ed, 12-13, 14-15, and 16-18 — will be offered for boys and girls. Entry fee is $20 for each tournament. More information is available at or by calling the Babe Zaharias Golf Shop at 722-8286 . . . Lamar ex Casey Clendenon missed by one shot of gaining limited access to the Tour during its recent Q-School in Palm Springs, Calif. Clendenon finished the 108-hole grind over the PGA West Stadium Course and the Jack Nicklaus Resort Course at 11-under-par 421 . . . Chris Stroud spend a couple of days in Jacksonville, Fla., last week playing in something called the Henry Tuten Gator Bowl Pro-Am. Paired with three amateurs in a best ball format, Stroud and his team led after an opening day 61, wound up tied for first with three other teams at 122 and lost in the playoff. Stroud gets back to action for real Jan. 9-12 in the Sony Open in Honolulu . . . The team of Raymond Darbonne, David Arnaud, Richard Sibley and Ron Overstreet won the Babe Zaharias Dogfight with 19 points. Second with 17 points was the foursome of Earl Richard, Larry Johnson, Charlie Huckaby and Allen Suire. Closest to the hole winners were Ivory Hatch (No. 2), Drake Romero (No. 7), Charles Leard (No. 12) and Arnaud (No. 15) . . . The team of Mike Lansford, Cecil Norris, Alan Louviere and A.W. Young won the Bayou Din DogFight with 14 points. Second at 13 points was the team of Steve Picou, Cole Lee, Billy Thillet and Art Miller. Closest to the hole winners were John Denton (No. 2), Norris (No. 7), A.W. Young (No. 11) and Picou (No. 17) . . . Jim Brown finished plus 9 to win the Friday Seniors at Belle Oaks. Second at plus 4 was Joe Vanderweg, with Major Rising and Norm Shannon tying for third at plus 1. Rufus Mier won closest to the pin on No. 15 . . . The second game at The Babe was played in a points format, with the team of Cap Hollier, Joe Benoit, Ben Thornton and R. Gloede taking first place at plus 2. Second at even was the team of Joe Gongora, Mark Petry, Harold Wilkinson and Malcolm Tiller. Closest to the pin winners were Earl Richard (No. 2), Gongora (No. 7, No. 12) and Thornton (No. 15) . . . The Super Saturday Game at The Babe was played in a best 2 ball format. On the front, the team of Cody Almand, Roger Koch, Glen Marino and Dan Flood won with minus 4. On the back, minus 4 was the winning score for the foursome of Gene Rountree, Rick Pritchett, Don MacNeil and Charlie Huckaby . . . Perfect place to play a round of golf today, once all the gifts have been opened, would be Christmas Lakes Golf Club in Santa Claus, Ind. Yes, there is a Santa Claus, and the weather there today is conducive for a chilly 18 holes. High temperature today will be 40, with the wind out of the Southwest at 13 mph. Merry Christmas to all golfers. Here’s hoping I get to write about many of you making a hole in one in 2014.

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