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Golfing with Strangers - watch out!
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TOPIC: Golfing with Strangers - watch out!

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leef2020
Golfing with Strangers - watch out!
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    March 26, 2016


Favorite Golfer:
    Jack & Jordan
Favorite Golf Course:
    Baltusrol


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Saturday December 16, 2017 12:18 PM
In all my years of golf, I've never given a 2nd thought to my golfing partner's integrity. That has changed now, after my round Thursday at The Crossings at Carlsbad. No, I am not talking about someone who cheats by not counting all of their strokes/penalty strokes or uses a foot-wedge from time-to-time.

There was nothing out of the ordinary with the guys I was paired up with for the round. Two were Crossings Club members like me, and my cart partner was visiting from Texas. All three hit the ball a lot farther than I do, and we played different tees. I asked how he found out about the course, and he said when he was visiting LegoLand a few years earlier with his son, he of course noticed the course. He was a pleasant enough guy, and though we didn't share a ton of stories, I heard all about his work as a 'diver' on decommissioned oil rigs, his 15-year old son, and any number of golf courses he's frequented in California. He asked all of us if we've played this course, or that. And, he was playing Torrey Pines the following morning with his brother-in-law with whom he was visiting with and sister, of course.

The only 'odd' thing about this guy is that I saw him go through an entire dozen of new Titleist Pro-V1s during the round. After slicing his first tee shot on #3 out of play, he teed up another one and repeated the ball flight into the same place. Then, he would smartly drop another new ball in the fairway near where his ball flight entered the Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA). This happened at least three times, and on the 13th hole, he actually lost two off the tee to the right, knocked his next shot into the ESA on the right, as well, and then his next shot into the green sailed left of the green, into the ESA next to the green. Four brand-new Titleist Pro-V1s lost on one hole. Never did I see him pull out a used ball to ease the pain. So, he's not hurting for money, I guess, was my thought.

So, after the round, we said our farewells and I wished him well. I went upstairs and set my bag down outside the front of the clubhouse and went in to use the men's room before my hour-long drive home. He was just leaving the men's room with his clubs in tow. As I came back out 2 minutes later and went to my bag, two gentleman came up to me and said, "stay here for a few minutes, we need to talk with you." "Don't worry, you've not done anything wrong, we'll tell you what's going on." WTF? I've not done anything wrong?!? Other than the three double-bogies on the day, of course, I know I didn't do anything wrong!

Turns out, these two guys were law enforcement. One was from Carlsbad police and the other was a U.S. Marshall. Evidently, they'd been tracking my playing partner, for some time, including via the course's GPS and were waiting to apprehend him, which they evidently had just done moments earlier. He was 'wanted' in 3 states, I think they said, including outstanding warrants in Texas and California. They called him a 'scammer'. Basically, his entire M-O was to join up on golf courses with other golfers and make trips back to the cart/bag during the round and pilfer things from his playing partner(s) when they were occupied making shots, etc. I heard them say something about finding a Rolex watch and other things in their search of his vehicle. As I had just purchased a very smart $14.67 Casio watch on Amazon, I wasn't too worried, however.

They asked that I verify that there was nothing was missing - no credit cards, cell phone, etc., and, nothing was, as far as I could tell. Evidently he uses those for a while before they are cancelled. So, lucky for me that I have cheap stuff, I guess. But, it does give me pause and will now leave me a bit on guard when paired up on a golf cart with a complete stranger (not GKers, of course). They believed that the clubs he used and new golf balls were all stolen. Makes sense, as the Ping G400 driver/shaft combo obviously was not right for him. But, he did hit the Titleist 917 3wood well. Perhaps the Bushnell rangefinder was also pilfered. And, it does explain why he didn't give a crap about rifling through all those Pro-V1 golf balls.

They told me he wouldn't be making his 11:00am tee time at Torrey Pines, on Friday.
REPLY
 Message #86493
abbacat
RE: Golfing with Strangers - watch out!

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    May 27, 2013


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    N/A
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Saturday December 16, 2017 1:18 PM
Wow, that's crazy!!
REPLY
 Message #86495 - This was a reply to message #86493
rob1563
RE: Golfing with Strangers - watch out!

Southern Nevada Community Staff

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    July 3, 2010


Favorite Golfer:
    Ryan Moore
Favorite Golf Course:
    Wolf Creek


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Saturday December 16, 2017 3:00 PM
I always hear about guys taking advantage of unattended bags while the owners are warming up on the range but such a bold move to do so during a round. Secluded areas and very few witnesses to explain how you walked into my sand wedge if you're caught pilfering from a bag on the course.
REPLY
 Message #86496 - This was a reply to message #86493
RDDenn
RE: Golfing with Strangers - watch out!

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    September 22, 2006


Favorite Golfer:
    N/A
Favorite Golf Course:
    Barona Creek


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Sunday December 17, 2017 5:56 PM
Playing at Los Verdes early one day, in the fog. We get to the second tee and the group in front of us is not hitting, waiting what I thought was an inordinate amount of time. I walked up and asked if I could use one of their carts to check if the fairway was clear, they nodded and I drove off. My buddy looks at them and says, "your wallet wasn't in there, was it?"

Maybe because it is a game of honor, we do not think of those playing as possibly stealing from fellow golfers. Those guys stealing clubs must be non-golfers, right. Yeah, your post is an eye-opener unfortunately. Sad times.
REPLY
 Message #86498 - This was a reply to message #86493
kviser
RE: Golfing with Strangers - watch out!

SoCal Community Staff

GK Event: Played in a GK Event LA-GK-Meetup-Winner: LA GK Meetup Winner

Member Since:
    February 4, 2005


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    Fred Couples
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    River Ridge


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Monday December 18, 2017 3:22 PM
QUOTED  Turns out, these two guys were law enforcement. One was from Carlsbad police and the other was a U.S. Marshall.

Must be a thing in affluent communities. If this happened in Los Angeles County I doubt you would see any cops. With all due respect to the police here, they have other duties and a golf thief is low on the priority list.
REPLY
 Message #86503 - This was a reply to message #86493
leef2020
RE: Golfing with Strangers - watch out!
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    March 26, 2016


Favorite Golfer:
    Jack & Jordan
Favorite Golf Course:
    Baltusrol


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Monday December 18, 2017 6:11 PM
Well, he had multiple outstanding arrest warrants, and was 'wanted' in 3 states. Likely, a failure to appear in court and/or other offenses. The U.S. Marshall was the one on his tail. Pretty sure if he was golfing in LA somewhere, the U.S. Marshall would've worked with the local police to nab his ass there, too.
REPLY
 Message #86510 - This was a reply to message #86503
zgolfinman
RE: Golfing with Strangers - watch out!
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    May 2, 2011


Favorite Golfer:
    Phil Mickelson
Favorite Golf Course:
    Carlton Oaks, Mt. Woodson


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Monday December 18, 2017 7:50 PM
Amazing experience Lee, never ever gave this a thought in all my years of golfing!
REPLY
 Message #86511 - This was a reply to message #86510
GDR23
RE: Golfing with Strangers - watch out!
GK Event: Played in a GK Event GK Cup: Past & Current Champions of The GK Cup

Member Since:
    March 21, 2006


Favorite Golfer:
    Woods--- Couples
Favorite Golf Course:
    Rustic Purisma Sandpiper


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Thursday December 21, 2017 9:00 AM
Scary story--thanks for the heads up
REPLY
 Message #86542 - This was a reply to message #86511
Alex326
RE: Golfing with Strangers - watch out!
Member Since:
    November 20, 2015


Favorite Golfer:
    N/A
Favorite Golf Course:
    Pebble Beach


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Sunday December 24, 2017 9:03 AM
Wow. That is a real eye opener. Throughout the year I play everything from high end courses like Pebble and Spyglass to $10 muni's. I'm always conscious of my bag at the lower end courses but never (before now) gave much thought to security at the higher end courses. My thought was that if they can afford a $$$$+ course they don't need to steal my stuff. Apparently, that's not the case!!

I still have old head covers for my M1 driver and 3 wood to conceal them because I knew they were highly sought after (by thieves) when they came out in 2016. I also have a couple of old "dog" towels I use to cover my clubs while they are in the car. No need to advertise what you have.
REPLY
 Message #86556 - This was a reply to message #86542
NateofCA
RE: Golfing with Strangers - watch out!
Member Since:
    March 10, 2004


Favorite Golfer:
    Me
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Tuesday March 13, 2018 2:33 AM
Thanks for sharing that story. Unfortunately crime and bad things do happen on golf courses sometimes so don't let your guards down. A friend got a club or two stolen from his bag after a round during a trip once and playing with some strangers who he's pretty sure stole his clubs. Tierra Rejada course in Moorpark, CA is a very nice upscale course in a low-crime small town and I recently read some cars got windows got smashed and some stuff stolen. It's right next to the freeway though which I think really made it an attractive target. These days criminals are getting more bold about traveling to more affluent smaller suburbs where they know crime is traditionally low and people are less protective. They know on a golf course you're going to be out there for hours. Be careful about what you leave visible in your car.
REPLY
 Message #87482 - This was a reply to message #86493

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