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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

Joe LaCava, Tiger Woods’ caddie, paid a heckler $25 to leave at the WGC-Bridgestone

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While Steve Williams would likely have taken a different route, Tiger Woods’ current caddie admitted to bribing a fan to leave his boss alone.

LaCava called into ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo” and told a tale of paying of a heckler at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

LaCava said the man heckled Woods throughout his final round at the Bridgestone, and on the 14th hole, LaCava interceded, telling the man to check out action elsewhere on the course. Interestingly/absurdly, the man said he would be happy to, provided LaCava reimburse him for his ticket.

Here’s the full transcript c/o ESPN.

Mike Golic: “Did you have any issues with the people at Bellerive?”

Joe LaCava: “Not at all, and you hit it right on the head, 99 percent of the guys and women are behind Tiger, pushing for Tiger. They want to see good golf in general they’re not anti-the-other-guys, but they’re certainly rooting for Tiger more so than the other guys. But, funny you guys ask that question. The week before in Akron, I had a little incident with a guy who was harassing my guy on the 14th hole at Akron the last day outside the ropes, roughening him up pretty good. And I said, hey listen bud, why do you gotta go there? Everyone’s having a good time, everyone’s pulling for Tiger. You don’t like the guy that’s one thing, but you don’t to be yelling at my guy, screaming negative stuff like that. And I said at the end of the day, if you affect him, his performance, it effects my bottomline. So he calls me a couple names and I go back and forth with the guy, and I say why don’t you just leave. And he says well if you give me $25 for the ticket that I bought today I’ll leave. And I said here you go, here’s $25.”

Mike: “Did he leave?”

Joe: “So I whip out $25 and he starts to go down the 14th fairway toward the green. I say look pal $25 is $25 you gotta head the other way. So he starts to head the other way, he goes 20 yards down the line, then he calls me a certain other, a swear word. So I run 20 yards back the other way and I’m going face to face with this guy. And all the sudden Tiger’s looking for a yardage, and I’m in it with this guy 20 yards down the line. So some cop has to come in, push this guy outta the way, and take him outta the tournament.

Mike: “So what did Tiger say when you came back to give him the yardage?”

Joe: “Well that’s a great question. We were so far to the right of the trees, and he was on his third shot believe it or not, we were still 150 yards away from the green, and he didn’t really know what happened. He heard the commotion, he heard the guy yelling at him, so we talked about it after the fact, but he didn’t really know how it developed. And he says I was wondering what happened, and he goes normally it wouldn’t that long to get a yardage. I said well a little incident down the road. He didn’t have a problem with it, and actually I gotta standing ovation for kicking the guy outta there.

Security probably should have happened sooner when LaCava was $25 richer.

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19th Hole

A brief cart ride (by his caddie) has big implications for Akshay Bhatia at the U.S. Amateur

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16-year-old Akshay Bhatia may be looking for a new caddie for his next event. The rising star of amateur golf was penalized when his caddie accepted a ride on a golf cart at the 14th hole during the round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur.

Bhatia would go on to lose to Bradford Tilley.

The match was all square at the 14th. Chris Darnell, Bhatia’s caddie, made a pit stop at the bathroom after Bhatia hit his approach. While the player walked to the green, Darnell was approached by what he believed was a USGA official driving a golf cart.

“The gentleman was wearing a USGA pullover,” Darnell said afterward. “I asked if I could get a ride to the green to keep up pace, and he said yes. So I hopped on the back, got up to the green, hopped off and thought nothing of it.”

Of course, neither players nor caddies can ride on any form of transportation during the round unless authorized, per the Rules of Golf. Bhatia was penalized accordingly and lost the hole after a (real) official spotted the infraction.

Particularly frustrating for the golfer was the fact that he had birdied the par-5 and believed he was going 1 up on his opponent, only to find out they were all square.

As mentioned, Bhatia would go on to lose in 19 holes.

Adding another layer to this drama, Darnell said Tilley’s caddie had done the same thing earlier in the match.

“I had already seen the other caddie in our group do it on the ninth hole,” Darnell said. “Same thing – USGA pullover, drove him from the bathroom up to the fairway – so I assumed it was fine. I didn’t point it out at the time because everything seemed kosher. He had the USGA stuff on, and I didn’t think anything of it.”

What are the chances Tilley or his caddie admit to the infraction now? And who is this mystery idiot who loves the USGA enough to drape himself in their garb but is daft enough to blatantly break a straightforward rule of competition?

Dumb rule? Certainly in this sense. But so many situations exist in amateur play that you can understand why the USGA would level a prohibition on transportation. Still, shouldn’t there be some room for interpretation? It’s difficult to argue Bhatia himself gained any advantage…

What do you think, GolfWRX members?

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19th Hole

Amateur makes 3 holes-in-one in 36-hole competition

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We’d like to say congratulations to Ali Gibb, 51-year-old amateur golfer, for winning her club championship at Croham Hurst Golf Club in England, Monday. Oh, and she made three holes-in-one on the day.

That’s right, during the 36-hole final, Gibb aced the fifth hole twice and only needed one shot at the 11th hole during her second 18.

“Today was just a weird day. It was just very, very strange,” she said, per a BBC report. “On my card I had a nine, two eights, sixes, fives, fours, threes, twos and three ones.

“I have had a hole-in-one before – three actually. One was here on the seventh, one at Surrey National Golf Club, and one at the Atlantic Beach Golf Estate in South Africa,” Gibb added.

“It’s just absolutely extraordinary. I think I will wake up tomorrow asking if I’ve just been dreaming about it and if it is club championship day today instead!”

Hopefully, Gibb doesn’t have to buy three drinks for everyone at the club.

What can you say about a story like this? Beyond once-in-a-lifetime stuff. If the odds of an average golfer making a hole-in-one are 12,500 to 1, what are the odds of a player making three aces in 36 holes? You probably have a better shot of winning the Powerball. Incredible stuff.

 

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