A safety update on local golf balls

Back in June, an errant golf ball from the Dyker Beach GolfCourse smashed Brian Leonard’s truck while it was parked on SeventhAvenue between 90th and 92nd Streets. After months of headaches, hewas finally given recompense when he visited small claims court onSeptember 8.

Leonard won his case against the American Golf Corporation, whichleases the Dyker Beach course from the Parks Department. He wasawarded about $460 to fix the damages to his truck, but still feelsthe root of the problem needs to be solved – safety.

Leonard has been calling upon the Parks Department and AmericanGolf to put up a stronger safety barrier around the course toprotect pedestrians and motorists from stray golf balls. He hasbeen in touch with Community Board 10, where district managerJosephine Beckmann sent a letter to the Parks Department on June27, asking them to look into the lack of preventive fencing onholes 9 and 14. She never received a response.

Leonard points out that he is not the only victim. When he was incourt, he saw a similar case to his, in which another man allegedthat he was driving his car down Seventh Avenue when his windshieldwas smashed by a golf ball. Luckily, neither he nor anyone else washurt

I am going to send them a follow-up letter because this issomething that needs to be looked at, Beckmann told the HomeReporter. These incidents warrant a real look to see ifadditional fencing can be added, especially along Seventh Avenue.This seems to be a bad location.

Lee Finkel, American Golf northeast regional director, said thatthe Dyker Beach golf course has existed with its generalconfiguration and location with minimal issues for nearly 100years. They have minimal issues with errant golf balls, but ofcourse, from time to time, this does happen, he said. AmericanGolf and the Parks Department are sensitive to these matters. Weare both working with consultants to reduce the risk of errantshots.

But, Leonard says he is not buying it. They (American Golf) toldme that they feel that it’s safe just the way it is – that itrarely happens and it’s just a nuisance, he said. It doesn’t holdwater – if you kill or hurt somebody, it’s not a nuisanceanymore.

Both Leonard and Beckmann hope the issue is fixed soon. It wouldbe beneficial for them to look at their policy and their safetyfencing, Beckmann said of the Parks Department, which did notrespond to requests for comment by press time.

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