The NAPLES (FL) DAILY NEWS reports today William Abbott sometimes wears a hard hat when he’s puttering around in the backyard of his Florida home. Abbott’s house, which since 1995 has been next to a golf course, is hit by as many as 200 golf balls per day. That adds up to over 30,000 golf balls over the years.
(Dude needs to sack up)
Hundreds of dimpled balls — Titleist, Maxfli, Top Flight and even yellow range balls — that come from neighboring Stonebridge Country Club every year.
Most land with a soft thud in the well-kept lawn behind William and Dorothy Abbott’s North Naples home. But some crash through their living room windows, smash garden ornaments, crack the concrete roof tiles, and rip holes through their lanai screens.
Dorothy Abbott was hit once with an errant golf ball. William Abbott, who used to wear a hard hat outside, has had close calls.
Dorothy Abbott said, “What’s coming next? What damage are they going to do? We are afraid for our lives, being hit by golf balls, and being an invalid.”
The Abbotts home was not part of a golf course residential development. The layout was constructed next to their house seven years after they built their personal abode.
Even more bizarre is they’ve never received a dime for the damage wrought by the golf course.
For more than 15 years, the Abbotts have battled with Stonebridge, which they said has gone through at least three owners, trying to get reimbursed for the repairs they’ve had to make to their home, and ultimately to get the first hole redesigned to end the problem once and for all.
For more than 15 years, the Abbotts say they’ve gotten nowhere.
They’ve talked to the club managers and sent dozens of letters through the years. They’ve talked to lawyers, and they’ve talked to Collier County sheriff’s deputies, too.
Still the golf balls keep coming.
“I did meet with the general manager at the country club,” said Cpl. Ron Turi of the Sheriff’s Office’s North Naples community policing unit. “Unfortunately, it’s a civil situation.”
Several attempts to reach Stonebridge General Manager Doug Brown on the phone and via e-mail for comment were unsuccessful.
But according to a Sheriff’s Office incident report from last June, Brown told Turi that he didn’t have any long-term solutions. He said he’d been working with an architect to change the landscaping, but didn’t know if that would eliminate the problem.
The couple has spent “thousands” on repairs and that doesn’t even count the roof, which needs to be replaced. And good luck getting anyone to buy the house.
William Abbott said, “I want them to pay for the damage to my property, that’s all. I’m not trying to be a meanie.”
That’s probably dude’s problem.