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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

Rick Shiels shoots +41 in 3-round pro-am tourney. GolfWRX members discuss.

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There’s no way to sugarcoat this: Rick Shiels’ golf game did not travel with him to coastal Spain. Sorry, Rick, (who is by all accounts a great guy). The YouTube personality, instructor, and club reviewer extraordinaire teed it up in the three-round Costa Daurada International Pro-Am at Lumine Mediterránea Beach & Golf Club in Spain.

Shiels carded rounds of 88, 88, 79 to finish at 41 over par, last in the field of 17 golfers and seven strokes worse than any other pro.

Not surprisingly, GolfWRX members are discussing the popular YouTuber’s performance and asking some tough questions.

Londoner writes

“This is not intended as a bashing thread. We have all had rounds where it felt like our first. But I thought pros had some level of consistency cracked. Ric hit 41 over for 3 rounds in a pro am…
The winner was +2. How does a pro unravel like that?”

Cornwall1888 suggests

“He’s simply not very good, that’s why he makes money from YouTube and sponsors, not playing golf. He’s probably a 2 or 3 handicap who had a terrible week.”

Stumpnav continues the thought that Shiels may simply not be a good tournament player

“I think Rick spends most of his time at the range using his launch monitor and not enough on the course. He knows how to play swing but not how to play golf. Doesn’t diminish his instructional ability or the enjoyment of his channel.”

Hawkeye77 doesn’t think the scores necessarily reflect his abilities as a player

“On vacation with his family, little or no play or practice in winter, not all that surprising. I’ll bet anyone he played with had a great time.”

Plenty, like Merkury10, defended Shiels and offered potential explanations

“All pros can have a stinker like that. We just aren’t watching them on Sunday. They either missed the cut or played the early tee time not televised. I agree with what was said earlier. I suspect he spends the majority of his time in the hitting bay and not out trying to shoot low scores. Rory 5 putted this weekend, and he’s no Rory.”

03trdblack has a theory about where Shiels is deficient

“Serviceable swing but his chipping and putting are pretty bad. He’s a driving range pro that lives on the GCQuad instead of on the practice green.”

There’s much, much more to the discussion and plenty of hot takes on both sides…and plenty of folks who loved or hated the new Driver vs. Driver panelist before he fired three miserable rounds. In other words, you’ll want to check out this thread.

And it’s neither here nor there, but still worth disclosing, Shiels contributed to this site in the past. You can see his archive here.

 

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19th Hole

Jordan Spieth is a disgusting, pathetic thief, according to Billy Hurley III

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Allow your boiling blood to cool, golf fans. While Billy Hurley III did in fact call Jordan Spieth disgusting and pathetic (among other things), it was all in good fun. And believe me, you’ll have no regrets about clicking through to this article.

Spieth and Hurley are both running for chairman of the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council which, not surprisingly, advises Commissioner Jay Monahan on policy decisions.

Davis Love III is the current PAC chair, and the election to determine his successor ends February 13. In a calculated 11th-hour attack ad, BH3 tore into his opponent in this brilliant satirical video.

Spieth, for his part, enjoyed the Golden Man’s spot.

This is hilarious stuff. Really, really well done. Hurley has long been a favorite at GolfWRX for his brand agnosticism, and he gave us a hell of an interview back in 2015.

Well played, Mr. Hurley. You’ve got GolfWRX’s vote.

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Lee McCoy blasts Colombian golf fans, claims they harassed him for his hat, shoes, other “free stuff” during tourney

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Lee McCoy, wasn’t exactly pleased with fan behavior at the Web.com Tour’s Club Colombia Championship in Bogota, where the tied for 20th.

Now, we can’t vouch for the decorum outside the ropes at Country Club de Bogota. One’s tempted to remember some of the clueless spectator antics at the Olympics in Brazil last year. That said, there’s the PGA Tour Latinoamerica and both Web.com and PGA Tour events in South America where we assume fans are acting appropriately, so painting with a broad brush in any color doesn’t make sense.

We’ll stick to the facts, then: No Laying Up’s Tron Carter tweeted the following pair of emojis Sunday night. He appeared to be responding to a since deleted tweet, which we can assume was the one screenshotted in his following tweet.

In a seeming rebuttal to McCoy’s claims about fan behavior, and as a suggestion for how professional golfers ought to interact with spectators, the co-founder of ProTraj Holdings tweeted a shot of tournament winner, Ben Taylor signing autographs.

McCoy deleted his Twitter shortly thereafter.

We attempted to reach Lee via his management, TLA Worldwide, but did not receive a response. McCoy did, however, offer the statement below to Golf Digest.

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