Thursday, May 31, 2012

Need for Effective Disciplinary Procedures Highlighted by Debaucherous Member-Member at Piedmont Driving Club

Piedmont Driving Club Clubhouse (photo credit:

The legal tabloid "Above the Law" is reporting that a recent member-member tournament at Atlanta's prestigious Piedmont Driving Club may have gotten a little out of hand, so much so that one member penned a letter to the club's president outlining the alleged misbehavior. In the letter, which has subsequently become public, the member alleges that some of his drunken fellow members played a few holes naked, intentionally hit into a group of other members putting on a green, mooned and generally disrupted a rehearsal dinner in the main dining room, demonstrated picking up a golf ball with their buttocks, and urinated on a putting green. Maybe they should call it Peedmont...

More details after the jump.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Greenbrier Offers to Acquire Wintergreen Ski and Golf Resort

(Photo Credit: The Greenbrier)

May has been a busy month for ski/golf resort mergers. Just last week, golf development giant Ginn Resorts sold its interest in Burke Mountain to nearby Jay Peak. Now numerous media sources are reporting that billionaire James C. Justice II, owner of the Greenbrier, has offered to purchase Virginia's Wintergreen ski and golf resort. Justice told the Charleston, W.Va., Gazette on Friday that the deal was valued between $12.5 million and $16.5 million.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Rules Talk: Strict Liability Bites Graeme McDowell at BMW PGA Championship

Graeme McDowell plays from the bushes on 18 (photo credit: The Independent)

Earlier this week, I wrote an article discussing the conceptual framework behind the rules of golf. In it I explained how the rules emphasize a concept known as strict liability, which described most simply, confers liability regardless of intent. I noted that it is the rules' preference for strict liability that is the main reason some golfers feel the rules are unnecessarily harsh, draconian and inflexible. 

Right on cue, a British newspaper, The Independent, came through with a story demonstrating that principle. In an article entitled "Trial by Television" author Kevin Garside makes the case that the application of R&A (also USGA) Rule 18-2 produced an unfair outcome on Thursday's first round of the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ginn Resorts Sells Burke Mountain to Jay Peak

The Ski Channel is reporting that Ginn Clubs & Resorts has sold Burke Mountain to nearby Jay Peak Resort. The purchase unites two of Vermont's northernmost ski resorts under the common ownership of a group headed by Bill Stenger. Jay Peak, by the way,  also operates a highly-regarded golf course which Golfweek ranked the #1 public course in Vermont. 

Details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but if the terms become public Tee, Esq. will analyze the deal in detail.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rules Talk: Morgan Pressel Penalized for Slow Play

Over the weekend LPGA Tour player Morgan Pressel lost her semifinal match at the Sybase Match Play Championship played at Hamilton Farm GC in Gladstone, NJ. In and of itself, the defeat was hardly newsworthy. However, that she lost in large part due to being saddled with a loss of hole penalty for slow play certainly is.

Pressel thought she had won the 12th hole to move to 3UP with 6 to play, but the penalty cost Pressel the hole and she ended up only 1UP standing on the 13th tee. She went on to lose on 17.

My thoughts and how it all ties back to the law after the jump.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

USGA Museum Burglarized

USGA Museum in Far Hills, NJ (photo credit: USGA)
Numerous sources are reporting that the United States Golf Association's museum in Far Hills was burglarized overnight on Wednesday. USGA officials originally remained silent on the artifacts that were stolen, but have since revealed their identity.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wolf Creek Ski and Golf Resort for Sale

Wolf Creek's golf course (photo credit:

Ever wanted to own your own four season golf and ski resort? Now could be your chance. Utah's Wolf Creek ski resort (Wolf Mountain) is up for auction along with the resort's golf course and a large chunk of developable real property.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Golfsmith to be Acquired by Golf Town

According to a Reuters report, one of America's largest golf retailers is about to be purchased by Golf Town, a Canadian golf company. The terms of the deal are that Golf Town will pay $6.10 cash per share of Golfsmith. That sum represents about a 30% premium over Golfsmith's Friday close of $4.71.

The news triggered a flurry of announcements from law firms seeking to represent shareholders who might oppose the acquisition. Suffice it so say Tee, Esq. will not post the names of those firms, but it is quite amazing to see how quickly the vultures - I mean "firms" - lined up after the announcement. Boards of directors are required to act in the best interest of a corporation's shareholders. Often, though apparently not in this instance, an acquisition or merger is subject to shareholder approval.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Guest Column: New Initiative Channels Golf Industry Disputes Away From Litigation

Tee, Esq. is pleased to feature an article by a guest columnist - attorney Robert Harris. As Mr. Harris explains below, he has been at the forefront of alternative dispute resolution in the golf industry since the inception of the movement and has much to offer on the subject. Thank you to Mr. Harris for sharing his time and his thoughts with our readers.

For almost thirty years, I have represented businesses and their principals in the resolution of disputes. Although much of my work has involved litigation in state and federal courts, I long ago became persuaded that, in most instances, business disputes are best resolved through mediation or arbitration.  Today, I devote a substantial portion of my time to serving as a mediator and an arbitrator.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Link: Many U.S. Country Clubs Modernizing for Survival

Today, Reuters is running an excellent piece penned by Kathleen Kingsbury entitled, "Many U.S. Country Clubs Modernizing for Survival." It's worth a read. The author's premise is correct, but as always, the devil is in the details. My thoughts on the article and the state of the private club industry after the jump.

Monday, May 7, 2012

UPDATE: Mission Del Lago Case

 Map from the San Antonio Express-News

Tee, Esq. readers may recall that we published a story some weeks ago about the bizarre incident that occurred at Mission Del Lago Golf Course near San Antonio Texas, where a golfer was struck in the chest by a bullet allegedly fired from an adjacent firing range. The golf course was able to obtain a temporary restraining order on March 14, which closed the rifle section of the shooting range. However, the parties disagreed as to the origin of the rifle shot that struck the unlucky golfer and litigation ensued. An update after the jump.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Topic Requests

Thanks to everyone who has stopped and checked out what we're doing here at Tee, Esq. I've received quite a few e-mails from readers with great questions. I'll do my best to answer your e-mails and if it's a general question, I'd be happy (with your permission) to post my answer on Tee, Esq.

I would also very much welcome suggestions for topics. Most of the topics I address here are either spawned by a newsstory or derived from a list of general topics I'd like to address over the coming months. Tips to interesting articles/news are always welcomed as well as suggestions, comments or critiques. So in short, keep those e-mails coming!