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19th Hole

Is this the worst “my clubs were stolen” story ever?

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Tom Owen. Remember the name, because this unfortunate gentleman may have the worst tale of club theft in recent memory.

Now, the experience of having one’s bag pilfered, never to be seen again, is awful. Your clubs are simply gone, and you have no idea who took them and where they went. Tom Owen had the first part of that experience, however, he knows exactly where his clubs are…and he can’t (legally) do anything about it.

Therese Henkin New Zealand’s Howick & Pakuranga Times originally reported the story.

Mr. Owen’s bag, with its thousands of dollars of equipment and his cell phone, was lifted December 15th from Howick Golf Course at Musick Point, New Zealand.

“They took everything, all my clubs, my bag, trundle, golf balls and my mobile phone which was tucked away inside the bag,” he told the paper.

However, as this is the 21st century, Owen was able to track his phone (which was in his golf bag) to a nearby residential address on Pigeon Mountain Road.

Presumably overjoyed, he called the police to report the theft and the location of his stolen property. One can only imagine his despair when he was told the authorities would be unable to lawfully search the premises and thus could not recover his clubs.

After reporting the incident, Owen was surprised to learn that police were not able to search the premises for the goods.

A police spokesperson explained.

“While we understand people may think police can use the tracking system people use on their phones and then send a patrol car to retrieve the property, under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012, police officers do not have the authority to enter a premise based off a locater app on a missing phone. If police resources are available and the technology can pin-point a specific address such as a household, Police are able to knock on the door and make enquiries, but not enter.”

Obviously, Owen isn’t a fan of the law, and he thinks it puts victims in a bad position. He’s right: Knowing the authorities can’t do anything, but knowing where your stolen phone, etc, is, do you risk your life taking the law into your own hands?

“It’s very frustrating to know where your stolen items are and not have anyone do anything about it. If police really can’t act on the information you give them, then something needs to change.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Does this make any sense? Do you join Owen in calling for a rewriting of the law?

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Crazy About Golf

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Here’s a cut/paste of a text my friend sent me the other day: “So a guy from my office was playing Stonebridge (his home club) by himself this weekend. While putting on one of the perimeter holes, 2 ‘youths’ snuck up, jumped in his golf cart and drove off. Clubs, car keys, wallet, cell phone, etc were in it. He chased them in the direction of the nearby projects but lost them. Cart was stripped and ditched by the time he caught up.”……only in New Orleans……

  2. Matt

    Jan 26, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    FWIW, you can get golf club insurance in NZ for a small premium but I’d never leave my expensive clubs out of eyesight at a GC for more than a minute. Police have a point here but it sounds like they’re being dicks about it – you’d expect a bit of follow-up such as a detective inspector checking it out. I’d screengrab all the gps info and ensure the iPhone tracker has the correct address then door knock all the neighbors and go to the cops if I learned anything about that address. If the police did jack all with my research then take the full story to a TV reporter.

  3. LEUNG Chi Sum

    Jan 23, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Simple. I would have just break in and take me stuff back, and if the guys there dare to charge me of illegal entry, I would charge them of theft.

  4. Mat

    Jan 23, 2018 at 4:17 am

    I love the automatic “guns guns guns” American reaction. We don’t really have guns here in New Zealand. It’s not some twisted right of everyone being a “well regulated militia”. Property crimes are a concern here, but our police don’t even carry guns. And before you say so what, I’ve had my clubs stolen here. It’s a problem. But we tossed out the old government because they were soft on crime. Ironically, it’s the Lefties that are now hiring police as quickly as possible. But ya, warrants are a thing, and there’s only so much you can do without proof – proof according to the law. And that law, as you might expect, is a little behind. Saw this in the States just a few years ago… it’s tricky, but I truly hope the guy gets his sticks back. Golf clubs are in the top-10 most common crimes here.

  5. BG

    Jan 21, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    My comment is awaiting moderation 😮

  6. ben

    Jan 21, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Steal my clubs please and put me out of my misery … 🙁

  7. Dave Rainone

    Jan 20, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    This is not the worst stolen clubs story. In 2010 a CT pro (Kevin Giancola) had his clubs stolen after he qualified for the final on the state PGA Championship. He won the final with a set he cobbled together.

    But imagine the feeling when you’d advanced to the final and someone steals your clubs.

    http://www.middletownpress.com/news/article/CONN-PGA-CHAMPIONSHIP-Giancola-uses-spare-clubs-11879873.php

  8. labillyboy

    Jan 20, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    I’d go knock his door with a couple large friends and a few guns…That is; If the police wouldn’t do it for me. Here I don’t think that would be a problem… It would not be pleasant to steal anything from me and having me find out about it.

  9. Sean Foster-Nolan

    Jan 20, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    They use that kind of technology to track stolen vehicles…I guess now if you steal a car in NZ you don’t have to worry about being nabbed.

    • ben

      Jan 21, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      … but only if you hide the car in your garage and deny entry to the police …lol

  10. HB

    Jan 20, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Doesn’t make sense to me. Why have the protection on your phone In The 1st Place. God..no normality in this world now.

    I know what I would feel like doing if they were my clubs.?!><\^[{}

    HB

  11. Irv

    Jan 20, 2018 at 8:03 am

    I’m sure if it was a stolen sheep they would have done something about it pronto.

  12. douglas terry

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    They stole his Stan Thompson Ginty irons? (circa 1975) The bastids!

  13. phil

    Jan 19, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    The thief won’t be playing those clubs now. He’ll try to sell them to a used sports equipment store or on line. Try to catch him showing the equipment at his home and then visit with somebody big and scary. Watch him fold.

  14. James T

    Jan 19, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    I’m guessing the thief is a golfer, too. More than likely he was at the course the day he saw your clubs were unattended and stole them. From his known address (where your phone is) look up his name and then look up his GHIN handicap. If it’s substantial (high) then challenge him to a match for a set of clubs. Remember, he’s got an extra set to lose in a bet.

    Or, even better, follow him when he goes to play golf. When he steps into the pro shop to pay for his round steal his clubs. Perfect karma! (Accidentally drags his clubs across the side of his car when leaving)

  15. TJ

    Jan 19, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    Should have initially gone with the police and called his phone while they were at the front door.

  16. Getemgoose

    Jan 19, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    I may sound like a crazy veteran but I’d do some recon, kit up, and get my stuff back.

  17. Dino

    Jan 19, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    I’m surprised that New Zealand would enact a law that pre-empted the legal concept of “probable cause”. The police in most common law societies would have had probable cause to enter the premises and look for stolen property, etc. This is especially so given that a witness (victim) would have sworn a statement to that effect.

  18. theD0n

    Jan 19, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Guys, police need a warrant to enter a house (with limited exceptions). And entering someone else’s house can get you killed. With a little reconnaissance, just catch the occupant when he leaves the house…

  19. allan

    Jan 19, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    I had my clubs stolen from my garage and reported it to the police and insurance company who said they would replace them at current inflated prices. I got the money and fortunately had a second set of clubs to play with.
    Two months later I was visiting a second hand sport store and saw my clubs on the wall. I called the police and they confronted the store owner. He denied any culpability and the police left saying nothing much could be done and if anything was done I wouldn’t get my clubs for at least 6 months anyway. I told the police to close the report file. They agreed.
    I went to the store owner and offered him $200 for the clubs and he quickly accepted my offer. I made a lot of money on the deal.

  20. Bruce Ferguson

    Jan 19, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    I’d have walked up to the residence (with a witness) and explained to the occupant, “Look, I’ve tracked my phone to your home, I’d like my clubs back, or I’m afraid I’ll have to contact the police”. I’d bet the resident would have complied. Of course, now that the story is public, the thief knows the police won’t do anything about it.

  21. JD

    Jan 19, 2018 at 11:14 am

    So the guy couldn’t walk in there himself? I would gladly get a breaking and entering charge and take a few punches to get my MP18’s back.

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19th Hole

If GolfWRX sponsored a player on the PGA Tour, who would it be?

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Here’s an interesting question: In an environment of hat/visor deals being divested from club deals, and more players going without headwear sponsorship than we’ve seen recently, what if GolfWRX sponsored a Tour pro?

LYG, original poster, posed the question

“If all Golfwrx members put in $100 — and we REALLY sponsored someone, who would it be?

“ASSUME we could afford anyone. (That’s a big assumption — please don’t reply how we could not afford this…even though some people will still go down that rat hole).

“Who WOULD YOU WANT?”

As you can tell from his liberal use of all caps: LYG is passionate about the subject, and kudos to him for kicking off an excellent discussion.

Here are a few of the suggestions.

GatorMD says: Jason Dufner

MtlJeff says: “We could easily afford it. You can get your logo on a top 50 player for 50-100k. Henrik Stenson? I’ve never heard a bad thing about him here.”

Night train says: CH III

Duffer987 says: James Hahn

Beluga99 says: I think KJ Choi’s weekly club changes would get my vote as representative of the wider Golfwrx.
Bladehunter says: Now this is a great idea!!!! I vote Harold Varner 100%…. William Mccgirt would be my #2 guy .

And of course, there are plenty of mentions of Tiger Woods scattered throughout.

So, what do you think, GolfWRX members? Who ought to have the honor of wearing the GolfWRX logo on his hat? What master tinkerer and unrepentant club ho? What tryer of techniques and scholar of swing science?

Let us know who you think the man for job ought to be.

My vote: After Jason Dufner paid out of pocket for those National Custom Works irons, he sealed the deal. Let’s get Dufner in this WRX 9FIFTY snapback!

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19th Hole

Jeff Golden issues statement on Florida Mid-Am incident

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Jeff Golden is sharing more details about the events of May 16 at the Florida Mid-Amateur Championship.

If you recall, police were summoned to Coral Creek Club during a rain delay in the Golden-Marc Dull final. Golden alleged Dull’s caddie, Brandon Hibbs, punched him in the face during a parking lot altercation. Dull and Hibbs both deny the incident occurred.

Rather than paraphrase or pull quotes, it seems appropriate to post the majority of Golden’s statement as is, since it’s his attempt to speak for himself and set the record straight.

“When my name was announced on the first tee, my opponent’s caddie immediately asked an off color question. I laughed off the timing of that question, along with many other examples of bad etiquette to come. Alcohol appeared to be influencing his behavior. I’ve never seen an opposing caddie engage in so much conversation with a competitor. On the eighth hole I had become extremely frustrated because I was forced to back off my shot two different times when my opponent and caddie were talking and moving. I expressed my disappointment with their etiquette to the match referee following our group.”

“The ruling that came from the caddie’s comments on the ninth hole started because of a simple question that I posed: “Was that advice?” I thought this was the only way to slow down the caddie, clean up the etiquette and play a gentlemanly match. I felt justified in my decision, especially since my opponent then asked his caddie, “Why did you say that?” The caddie recused himself from the match, but he didn’t leave the property.”

“…I didn’t even get my bag out of my car when the caddie reappeared and said he’d like to apologize. I most likely had a smile on my face, because I was ready to put the past behind us, and he punched me in the face. I was knocked to the ground, and by the time I looked up, he was walking away, to my surprise, toward the clubhouse. The pro shop is a separate building, so that’s where I immediately went for help. The inside of my mouth was bleeding and my face was throbbing. I realized my hand was also hurting –that’s what broke my fall instead of my head.

“The pro shop employee called the police and was extremely helpful, getting me ice and offering any help I needed. The police arrived, and the deputy concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to justify pressing charges. I gave a recorded sworn statement to the deputy recapping the events.”

“The FSGA has one job, and that’s to follow the Rules of Golf. Unfortunately, there’s no rule for an inebriated “ex-caddie” punching a player in a match-play rain delay with no witnesses.”

“The FSGA gave me one option when the rain stopped. I had to play. My opponent had the option to concede the match and take responsibility for his caddie, but he told me he had nothing to do with what occurred.”

Golden further indicated that he conceded the match because of “physical and emotional distress, pulsing pain in my face, dizziness and cuts on my right hand.” He indicated he was surprised the FSGA didn’t suspend the match.

With respect to that point, it’s probably worth pointing out that FSGA executive director Jim Demick said that Golden “didn’t want to play anymore.”

“Regrettably, the golf course was very playable and Jeff understood that he needed to resume the match. I think he was just ready to go,” adding police “found absolutely no evidence of an assault.”

The FSGA hasn’t provided additional comment or modified that statement.

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19th Hole

Must be the Arby’s: Beef Johnston deadlifts 485 lbs

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Update: Thanks to WRX member Sam who pointed out: “The correct term for that lift would be a rack pull (weight does not start on the ground).”

An Instagram video posted by the European Tour’s Performance Institute shows Beef Johnston readying for a deadlift attempt.

Fueled by Beef ‘n Cheddars and curly fries, Johnston steps in for an attempt at hoisting 220kg (485 lbs).

To the uninitiated (me), the feat certainly looked impressive. But just how impressive? I fired up Google to find out…

Per PhysicalLiving.com

“Dan John, suggests in his book, Intervention: Course Corrections For The Athlete And Trainer, that the average weightlifter should be able to deadlift between 1 and 1.5 times their body weight. I think that’s a good general recommendation for most people who are interested in health, fitness, longevity, and quality of life. However, Coach Dan John also considers a deadlift using double your bodyweight to be a game-changer. So, there are certainly benefits to be had from doing more than the minimum.”

Johnston reportedly weighs 212 pounds. Thus, Beef lifted nearly 2.3 times his body weight.

Impressive stuff (don’t tell Brandel Chamblee).

WRXers who lift heavy things, what do you think?

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