RACIAL VILIFICATION, ALCOHOL ABUSE, CRONYISM & VIOLENCE IN AUSTRALIAN GOLF – BONDI GOLF CLUB, THE WORST CLUB IN AUSTRALIA IF NOT THE WORLD.
Here is the long-running saga of the worst golf club in Australia, if not the world. You will read about systemic and long running racial and religious hate, violence, alcohol abuse, cronyism, and anti social behaviour inside Australian golf. You will also read how it has been covered up by Golf Australia and Golf NSW who, despite overwhelming evidence (supplied below), refuse to admit it is happening and, as it appears, is happy for this appalling and disgraceful situation to continue.
Read on, but you had better be seated because if you’re not you will surely fall over in disgust. The letter below and all the documented evidence was sent to both Golf Australia and Golf NSW. Their disgraceful replies of denial are also seen below.
Ms Sue Fabian 13th October 2015
Deputy Chairman Golf NSW
PO Box 195
Arncliffe, NSW, 2205
Dear Ms Fabian,
I write to you to lodge a series of complaints against the board and management of Bondi Golf & Diggers Club (BG&DC) situated on Military Rd, North Bondi, Sydney, Australia. I strongly believe it is in the best interests of the game of golf, the local community, and public that the conduct and behaviour of the board and management of BG&DC be brought to your attention.
Attached to this you will find a series of documents and a CD. The documents reveal a long held culture of alcohol abuse and anti social behaviour, and an embedded culture of cronyism, intimidation, aggression, and bullying by some members including board members of BG&DC. The documents also reveal the steadfast refusal by the board of BG&DC to fairly and equally uphold the long-established rules and etiquette of the game of golf favouring some club members over others. The dates on the documents reveal that this culture of abuse, aggression, prejudice and bias within the club has been stretching back many years.
The CD shows many images of what one can reasonably call the disgraceful, dangerous, and dilapidated state of BG&DC building and surrounds due to the long time neglect of the (BG&DC) board.
Madam, over a long period of time I have been subjected to hostility, bigotry and prejudice at BG&DC for no reasons other than my religion and the fact that I came to BG&DC from the very well respected New South Wales Golf Club (see below). I have been a loyal fifteen-year member of BG&DC and the club has failed by a long measure to meet modern community standards of acceptable attitudes and behaviour.
Therefore I believe a full investigation should now be undertaken into the nature, and past and present actions, of the club and of some on the BG&DC board. While not wishing (or attempting) to pre-empt the fairness and thoroughness of any investigation, I sincerely believe that the BG&DC must, for the good of the game and the community, be removed from the list of Golf Australia (GA) affiliated golf clubs. I also believe that those responsible at BG&DC be held to account for their actions.
However, as a yardstick, I consider it important that you have some information about me, and my golf history.
I was a dental professional for forty years (dental artistry and engineering) and my dental skills, writing, photography, media, and professional achievements can be seen on my website www.openwidebook.com. My professionalism and integrity have never been disputed.
I was brought up living in Tunstall Ave, Kingsford. My ‘backyard’ was the then seventh (now sixteenth) fairway on the Australian Golf Course and my childhood introduction to playing golf was on the nine-hole course that used to exist within the northern boundaries of the Australian Golf Club until Mr Jack Nicklaus redesigned the Australian in 1977.
Over the years and in addition to my fifteen years membership at BG&DC, I have also been a member of Eastlake GC, St Michaels GC, and for nearly twenty-three years, New South Wales GC. I recently resigned from NSWGC because my wife and I rarely play now – for reasons explained further on. Along with years of regular play in Australia, I travelled quite extensively playing in Europe, Thailand, Indonesia, Hawaii and mainland US, Canada, New Zealand, and Fiji – without incident.
I encourage you to consider contacting NSWGC about me. Amongst other things, you’ll be told that not only I was a member, but also my mother, father, sister and youngest son Stephen were/are also members – and the Parker family was one of only two or three other ‘three generation’ families in the club. I was regularly seen playing on course, on the practise facilities, and at functions put on by the club (eg, Australian Open etc). My conduct at all times was exemplary having no complaints against me or no issues for any reason for me to appear before any board or committee – apart from receiving a trophy for my once winning Cock O’ the Walk. A copy of my book lies in the NSW club library.
In addition to my life long participation in the dental profession, I also participated at community level in kids’ soccer for twelve years, being a qualified soccer coach and former president of Queens Park Soccer Club in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. I was also a fifty-five year member of (ski club) Kosciusko Snow Revellers Club and I have skied in a great many resorts and regions around the world – again without incident.
I stand by everything I have written in this document and in the attached documents to be the truth.
Juniors at BG&DC
There are none. No young girl has been a junior member for the fifteen years I have been a member of the club. In fact, I have witnessed active discouragement by the ‘Sunday Womens club’ (mentioned in an attached document) to those who enquired. Ten or more years ago there were five or six junior male members, now there are none. Despite being located in the heart of Sydney’s ‘affluent’ eastern suburbs Bondi Golf club does not attract juniors, nor does it attempt to do so in any way what so ever. The last junior, Mr Tyron Jackson (now at Bonnie Doon GC pro shop) left some years ago under acrimonious circumstances while working at BG&DC pro shop. Such was the bitterness, his father also resigned from BG&DC.
In addition, BG&DC displays a complete disregard and lack of willingness or effort toward any contribution to, or association with, any school, and business, or anyone else within the Bondi community or within the broader community. It is as if the club itself doesn’t exist. The openly hostile and aggressive nature of the club and TAB like atmosphere of the clubhouse discourages not only all young potential members from joining, but their families too.
Combine this with BG&DC’s ageing male and female membership, the long time neglect and disrepair of the building/clubhouse (see memory stick), few if any new adult golfing members, and no youth or junior players of any sort nor any hope of any, the future prospects of the club are very poor – fairly reflecting the style and nature of the board, the club in general, and their effects on the local and wider community.
Attitude & Behaviour
Bondi golf course is located on a public park and is a known tourist path. However, walkers are not playing golf and the course itself is heavily under-utilised, (particularly on weekdays) – often with two or less players on-course. Seeing this regularly (I walk my dog there), a year or more ago I suggested to the manager, Ms Liane Moloney, the creation of a BG&DC golf package (9 holes + food/drink) to be actively promoted to the wide market of tourists (Asian and otherwise) coming to Sydney. Both in summer and winter tourists flock to Bondi Beach every day either by the many tour buses that often fill the allotted beach parking, or individually – but none come to the course, a mere four hundred metres from the beach. In fact, all the tourist buses including the famous red ‘Sydney and Bondi Explorer’ tour bus actually drives right past the course and clubhouse, but not a single bus ever stops.
Despite Ms Moloney being aware of this situation, her response to my suggestion was the club prefers to seek advertisers for each hole.
Now as then, tourists from all parts of the world continue to pour into Bondi in the multi-thousands year-round, yet, after one failed attempt, no hole has an advertisement. When, at a later time, I mentioned this same idea to board member, Mr Neilan, he told me that “the committee makes the decisions and I should ‘f*ck’ off stay out of it”. Such language and attitude is the norm used by the board members and within the club membership generally.
In addition, I personally witnessed an accident whereby a walking tourist was badly injured after being hit ‘on the full’ in the mouth by a ball driven (off the 5th tee) by a playing partner of Mr Neilan. Irrespective of the fact that the victim was bleeding heavily from the mouth and in great distress, Mr Neilan callously left her to continue his game while leaving me to call an ambulance and tend to the victim till the ambulance arrived. After the incident I suggested to Mr Neilan and the board that multi-language warning signs be erected at commonly used course access points – again, that suggestion was scoffed at and ignored.
Mr Neilan remains on the board and is currently Captain of the club.
Slow play is an issue plaguing the game of golf at many courses, as is the issue of the refusal of some players to ‘call through’ following waiting players or groups. For many years this has also been a major problem at Bondi GC and even though this ongoing problem has been brought to the attention of the board on many occasions the board (particularly Mr Nelian and Mr Hannify) has constantly refused to remedy the situation or to appropriately deal with the those players refusing to follow established etiquette.
In addition, and for reason known only to themselves, the board continues to allow single public players and/or public groups less than four players to play on busy days rather than creating groups of four as is the norm on every other golf course in the world. Permitting small groups not only reduces the pace of play to a crawl, but also substantially reduces club income given many potential paying players leave the course and do not play rather than waiting up to an hour (or more) for tee times only to find they cannot finish their round due to loss of daylight stemming from unnecessary slow play. Irrespective of how many times this problem has been raised, the board consistently refuses to rectify this absurd situation.
Players in many clubs would like to play in the Warren & Gibson Shield golf tournaments, and it can often be a hot contest to be included in a team – but this rarely occurs at BG&DC. It is a well known ‘secret’ within the club that certain players, including board member Mr Hannify, ‘manipulate’ their scores (hence retaining their high handicap) to ensure they remain eligible to play in their Gibson Shield team.
Mr Hannify is and has long been considered a pivotal player in that team, and he remains a director of the club.
The pro shop has for years been at the centre of a variety of often very bitter disputes between the varying pros and the board. One consequence felt by all was the hostile atmosphere inside the pro shop.
Another consequence of dispute was the bitterly contested cross litigation played out approximately two years ago between the club and then-pro Mr David Fearns Jr. This was rumoured to be a financial disaster for the club, yet repeated requests to the board for accurate information about the result of the case, such as “what was the court decision and what does that mean to the club?”, was dealt with in the board’s usual manner of secrecy and off-handed belligerence.
Further, there appears to have been little to no formal reporting (written or verbal) to the members about the true details of the case or the result (wild rumours abounded) – with secrecy being maintained at all times.
This raises questions as to the board’s propriety in regard to the speed and nature of Mr Glen Willey, Mr Fearn’s successor, to lease the pro shop without the appearance of any other potential candidate/s. After Mr Willey was installed Mr Neilan often boasted that, “Glen and me are mates”. Never the less, dispute soon erupted between Mr Willey and the club with Mr Neilan then saying “he’s in my bad books now”. Unsurprisingly Mr Willey soon left the club and has not been seen there since.
Cronyism & Bullying
Such is the situation within the club, few people if any stand for election. Despite having hundreds of members records show that the club does not always reach a quorum at the AGM – the comment most members’ make about the AGM is ‘why bother?’. Some years ago one vibrant lady stood for election– naturally she lost and, again unsurprising, she soon left the club and has never returned….such is the level of bullying within the club.
For many years I was a keen and regular golfer and ten or more years ago my wife took up the game. We played together in Australia and off shore. Now we rarely if ever play – and the discrimination and abuse we have received from BG&DC and its board is why we don’t miss it (see attached documents).
As you are aware an on-field incident occurred on December 1st 2013 (see attached document). That incident included a physical assault on me done by board member Mr Hannify. I reported the incident to the Waverley police and there is a police event number of that report. That event number is 5224460.
Inappropriate Sexual Liaisons
I should be somewhat apologetic for raising this particular issue because in normal circumstances such liaisons would be of no concern to me. However, due to the longstanding conduct and behaviour of some of the directors and the potential implications to the community, I feel that this issue must be brought to your notice. There exists unending rumours within the club of ‘possible’ sexual indiscretions involving Ms Moloney with some staff, and with “a director”. Therefore I feel it is in the best interests of the members and the public that Ms Moloney’s conduct also be investigated.
Plan For The Future
The alcohol and gambling based environment and often hostile atmosphere within the club has ensured that residents and businesses of Bondi and the broader community are disenfranchised with BG&DC, and the complete lack of advertising and association makes it patently clear they have distanced themselves from the club. This, along with the neglected and possibly dangerous state of the building (see memory stick), is the reason why I believe that Golf Australia should, at the earliest possible time, remove BG&DC from list of affiliated clubs, and that BD&DC should be given notice to vacate the premises at the earliest time permitted by any contractual lease arrangements currently held with the building owner (Waverley Council) or others.
This far from attractive and highly un-user friendly building is long overdue for demolition and should be replaced by a new facility that properly befits not only the game of golf, but also Bondi Beach, Sydney and Australia.
Bondi Clifftop Golf Club
I propose a new golf club, tourist attraction, and function facility be developed in conjunction with an up-grading and redesign of the course, including lowering the 9th green to create an amphitheatre whereby the putting surface can be seen from the new club house. I propose the new name be Bondi Clifftop Golf Club as this accurately reflects its unique location and the absolutely incredible 360 degree cliff top view (seen from the historic 5th tee battlement) that stretches over Bondi Beach, the city of Sydney skyline, Sydney harbour and Harbour Bridge, Opera House, and all the way north to Long Reef, south to Maroubra, and out over the Pacific Ocean.
Replacing the current barn that now stands, the new building design will be in environmental harmony with the slope and lay of the land – and will cater for golf players, the local and broader community (functions of all variety), and for visitors and tourists…… as well as their parking needs.
Further, I propose that unlike BG&DC where main income appears based on high alcohol sales and gambling, Bondi Clifftop GC will be socially responsible with its attitude to, and sale of, alcohol, and be free of all gambling including poker machines and horse/dog racing, the noise of which continually dominates the main lounge very much creating the atmosphere of a TAB. Revenue will be derived from numerous areas including (affordable) club membership, clubhouse patronage, outdoor café patronage, functions, and of course, golf – the new club owning and managing all pro shop activities in the appropriate professional manner.
One other source of income is parking.
Undoubtedly Bondi has parking problems and is very expensive, as locals well know and a multitude of visitors have discovered. Therefore, in conjunction with the appropriate authorities (such as Waverley Council and land owners Sydney Water), I propose the establishment of an underground public and members’ parking complex that would have no impact on roadside parking while also adding significantly to club revenue. The sloping lay of the land and shape of Military Rd going south past the golf course makes an underground parking facility ideal. Entry to the facility will be from Military Rd in proximity to Blair St on the northern aspect of the course, and the exit will be situated lower down around the bend leading directly back out onto Military Rd southbound. There are alternatives that can also be considered. Also, the numerous benefits of safe off-street truck deliveries cannot be ignored given the dangerous situation that currently exists in the parking area (see memory stick).
Footpath access to the parking facility entry is also ideal as the clubhouse is located a mere four hundred metres (400m) from the north end of Bondi beach – making it a short and easy walk to the entry where parking fee machines will be placed. Many golf clubs (especially in cities) find parking issues problematic, costly and/or not cost effective, and is often intrusive to local residents. In contrast, the underground Bondi Clifftop GC parking will be discreet, un-intrusive, and profitable – and is a far better solution to the parking that currently exists.
Tower of Reconciliation/Commemoration
The Bondi ‘stink pipe’ (seen in images provided) does not rate highly as a favourite Bondi structure, with many people preferring it be removed. However, as the pipe has been structurally reinforced due to its heritage listing, removal is not possible. The pipe stands in the immediate proximity (approx. forty metres) of millennia-old listed indigenous carvings, therefore I propose that the pipe be brightly painted by the indigenous (former) land owners in their traditional art to represent peace and reconciliation between all people who come to Australia. Given the substantial surface area of the pipe, images of famous Australians (hopefully including golfers), images of ANZAC, and of other iconic Australian scenes could be included. I suggest the pipe be named the Tower of Reconciliation or Tower of Commemoration, and since it can be seen from many miles around, it should be brightly lit so to be highly visible at night as well as the day. It is not hard to imagine the future global exposure ground and air photo and promotional opportunities this important symbol could have for the game of golf, for Sydney, and for Australia.
Golf is loved as a global game and Bondi Beach is one of the four most iconic and most visited beaches on the planet – Waikiki (Hawaii), Venice Beach (California), and Copacabana (Brazil) being the others. Therefore, with proper planning and forethought, Bondi Clifftop GC and the Tower of Reconciliation/Commemoration can and should be forever known and intrinsically associated with these two human passions – especially given it’s easy access to it’s unique beach location, and the fact that time-pressed tourists will have an opportunity to experience what should (if done thoughtfully) become known as the best ‘short order’ (nine hole) course in the world atop one of the best city views in the world. Many people (including tourists) do not play golf due to the time needed for 18 holes, meaning the new club has a wonderful opportunity to capitalise on this and offer a well managed short-time-but-heaps-of-fun nine holes…. just for the view and the cliff top golfing experience.
Cricket has long recognised changing trends of society and has reacted accordingly, hence we have ODIs (one day internationals) and also the even shorter version of T20 (Twenty/twenty). Tennis has also now recognised the changing needs of players and fans by introducing and promoting their shortened version, Fast4Tennis, to attract a wider range of players.
Now is the time for the game of golf to do the same and expand into new and shorter versions to attract and cater for new golf enthusiasts – and there cannot be a better place on earth to start than Bondi Clifftop GC.
These documents provide overwhelming evidence about the destructive conduct of the board of BG&DC, the appalling state of the club and the clubhouse, and the detrimental effect the club has on the community. BG&DC has disgraced themselves, their landlord Waverley Council (to whom I have also written a complaint regarding BG&DC), the game of golf, and the community in general. If ever a club and its board have brought their sport/game into disrepute, then BG&DC is surely the top of that list. I reiterate, every word and every sentence I have written in all the documents provided are the honest truth.
There now exists an opportunity to change the very nature and style of city golf, as well as the face of Bondi and Sydney – if not Australia – forever. The real questions now are – do you care and do you have the courage to do anything about it?
Please note – the idea of a Tower of Reconciliation/Commemoration is my original idea. Nowhere in any public forum (including but not exclusive to print, radio, television media, social media, or online) has this idea ever been thought of, discussed or printed. Therefore, as it is my original idea, under Australian law I own all copyright and no Tower of Reconciliation/Commemoration of any form may be implemented without my written permission.
I am available at the above contacts when you wish to speak further.
Thank you for your time.
BONDI GOLF CLUB ALCOHOL ABUSE -COMPLAINT LODGED WITH OFFICE OF LIQUOR AND GAMING
To: Compliance Officer
Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing
GPO Box 7060, Sydney NSW 2001 28th August 2014
I wish to lodge a formal complaint against the Licensee, Board and management of BONDI GOLF & DIGGERS CLUB (BG&DC) for the following reasons.
The BG&DC has a long history of entrenched alcoholism both amongst the board and its patrons. I bring to your attention the following events:
Sir, Bondi Golf & Diggers Club has a proven history of serving underage people, specifically the well-known and well publicised events relating to school children of Waverly College where, after being served alcohol to the point of gross intoxication, those children went on a rampage damaging cars and property at Bondi beach. The police are well aware of that event.
Now the level of intoxication has become so bad that one of the board members, Mr S. Neilan, is widely referred to as ‘Staggers’. He is not known as ‘Staggers’ for any physical impairment (he is an excellent golfer and walks without hindrance) but due to the quantity of alcohol Mr Neilan consumes on the premises over extended periods of time and this includes consuming alcohol while, as a board member of BG&DC, performing his weekend duties for club members.
Further, Mr Neilan has previously been witnessed driving his motor vehicle (formerly a Toyota Cressida) away from the premises while intoxicated.
In addition, I have personally witnessed their former employee (Mr Glen Willey) drinking alcohol while on duty. When I commented to him about this he spat on me from the terrace where he was drinking with a club member, Mr Tyrone Jackson, who was still a junior member at that time. Mr Tyrone Jackson witnessed this event. Mr Willey considered his actions to be humorous. I verbally complained to the board about this but no action was taken.
In addition, numerous regular patrons are well known to drink heavily and can often be found at the club heavily intoxicated yet still receiving bar service. I have not once witnessed or been made aware of any offer of assistance from the club to those patrons.
Also, it is very well known and even boasted about within the club the disgusting habit of urinating in bottles whilst on buses returning from official club events. This occurs due to the amount of alcohol consumed prior, during and after those events and, while returning to the club, some members urinate in bottles whilst on the bus. In fact, it is accepted as common practice that any member participating in those events to ‘take their own bottle’ prior to departure from the club. This is known a ‘parrot’ for urinating in to.
Further, I have been verbally abused and vilified by being called ‘a f*cking Jew’ by a club member and former club captain, Mr Leo Adam, who is well known within the club to be an ‘aggressive drunk’. Numerous patrons including a former officer of the court Mr Neville Banwell (who subsequently took Mr Adam to task about it) witnessed this religious vilification that occurred while Mr Adam was heavily intoxicated.
It should be recognised that this is not the first time racial and/or religious vilification has occurred at the club, it is well known and on the public record that a Sikh gentleman was refused service by the club. Never the less, my complaint to the board about Mr Adam went unheeded and no action was taken by the club. Mr Banwell can be contacted on 0424 348 612.
Also, I have personally witnessed years of great harm and destruction caused by the Bondi Golf & Digeers Club’s continuing to permit one particular patron’s gambling and gaming even though they knew, and it was well known throughout the club, that that patron was a heavy drinker, is addicted to morphine (due to the chronic pain caused by failed back surgery), and has a gambling addiction.
This patron is Mr Karol (Charlie) Wiederman and the facts are as follows.
Mr Wiederman was involved as a victim in an armed robbery that occurred at the BG&DC in North Bondi. He suffered a gunshot wound to the head and, after years of physical and emotional suffering, was awarded the sum of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) as victim compensation by the appropriate authorities.
The reason I am aware of this is due to the fact that his wife Mrs Ewa (pronounced Eva) Wiederman was a long time loyal and trusted employee of the company I owned at that time, located at Bondi beach. I supported her morally (and to the best of my ability, financially) throughout her ordeal of the shooting and also throughout the difficult years of Mr Wiederman’s mental and physical deterioration due to the gunshot wound and his unresolvable back problems -when it became clear that due to his mental and physical state Mr Wiederman was no longer able to work to support his family.
His mental and physical heath deteriorated to the point that Mr Wiederman became addicted to legally acquired morphine and as a result he slept all day and was awake all night…forcing Mrs Weiderman to support him in every manner including financial. Mr Wiederman is now heavily obese, is well known (at the club) to quickly become intoxicated, and his speech is often incoherent due to slurring. He also has a gambling/gaming addiction.
As a result Mrs Wiederman was forced to restrict Mr Wiederman’s access to their money knowing that every cent she gave him went back into the club via gambling on poker machines and horse racing. I can assure you that the ongoing distress this caused them and their daughter was extreme. Mrs Wiederman can be contacted at (BH) 9365 2957.
The appalling fact is that Bondi Golf & Diggers Club is and has long been very well aware of Mr Wiederman’s plight, yet I have witnessed board members laughing at him behind his back saying that all the money Mr Wiederman puts into gaming and gambling at the club ‘was keeping the club alive’. It is well known that Bondi Golf & Diggers Club has been on a financial knife-edge and is struggling to survive.
Lastly, yet another incident involving the serving of alcohol to a heavily intoxicated club member occurred on Sunday, third of August 2014 (03/08/14). This club member, named Mr Michael Pashley, became intoxicated on that morning prior to an inter golf club event played at Balgowlah Golf club between that club and Bondi Golf & Diggers Club (the event in known and the Warren/Gibson Shield). Mr Pashley’s intoxication caused an on-course incident to which no positive remedial action was taken by Mr S Nielen or Mr G. Hannify, both of whom are Bondi Golf & Diggers Club board members and both were present at Balgowlah on the day in mention.
Further, Mr Pashley continued to drink heavily while on the bus returning from the golf event (see earlier comments), and then while already heavily intoxicated was continued to be served alcohol upon returning to the Bondi Golf and Diggers Club premises on Military Rd, North Bondi with Mr Nielen, Mr Hannify and other board members present at that time.
This resulted in an ugly incident where loud, foul and abusive language was used in the presence of other patrons and members and Mr Pashely ripping off his gold shirt and yelling “get f+cked” in the club house. The events described here was witnessed by Mr Neville Banwell who can be contacted on 0424 348 612 (see above comments).
Sir, I genuinely and sincerely believe it is in the best interests of the public that the Licensee, Board and management of Bondi Golf & Diggers Club should now be subjected to a thorough and comprehensive review of all their actions in order to ascertain whether they and the club are fit and proper to retain their liquor and gaming licenses.
Thank you for your time.
Tuesday 19th April, 2005
Mr S. Meads
President Bondi G.C.
5 Military Rd,
It is my sad duty to inform you of a series of most unpleasant and distressing incidents that occurred to us at the club on Sunday 17th April, 2005.
You are aware that there have been some discussions recently about the status of women members playing with men in Sunday competitions, while still being eligible to enter the women’s competition for that day’s play.
On the date mentioned above, club member Sharrin Rees and I were booked to play in the day’s competition. We checked in at the appropriate time at the pro shop, and were told that we were to play with another couple, which we were happy about.
As it happened, the others failed to arrive, leaving Sharrin and I to play as a twosome, which we were also happy about.
Having paid the appropriate green/comp fees, we proceeded to play. After completion of the round, and checking and signing the cards as normal, Sharrin attempted to hand in her card to the women’s representative at the club.
It was then that she was told that her card would not be accepted as she did not play with the women. This is in direct contradiction to what we have been told on previous occasions relating to this issue.
Further more, Sharrin returned to our table upstairs with tears in her eyes, explaining to me that the manner in which she was treated by the women’s representatives was nothing short of the most appalling rudeness and callousness.
Sir, I believe it is now appropriate that the board decides on what is their desired ruling on this issue, and that this directive is then set in writing and appropriately publicized, in fairness to, and for the benefit of all members and guests. Please understand that we are not attempting to have any rules changed, only that the rules and/or directives that exist are explained clearly to all members, and adhered to by all, including the women’s representatives.
If this situation has already been discussed and directives have already been issued by the board in favour of women members being able to play with men but remain in women’s competition, as we have been previously told it has, then we can see that there may have been a number of very serious breaches of codes relating to behaviour by, and duty to members, by duly elected club officials, or their representatives.
Mr Meads, I will now inform you of one particularly shocking event that occurred on course in recent months. Sharrin, myself, and my son Stephen whom you know is a member, were playing on a Sunday in a situation as just described, when we witnessed an event that can only be described as deliberate cheating.
On that day there was a women’s long drive competition on the 5th. As it happened Sharrin had a drive that, at the time, was recorded in the usual manner on the marker provided. While we were teeing off the 7th, the three of us witnessed a foursome of the usual “Sunday women” pick up the marker on the 5th, read it, and then proceed to move it to a ball that, while longer off the tee than the markers last position, had not actually come to its resting position on the marked fairway. The ball that this grouped marked was clearly off the cut fairway. This ball was in the hollow on the 5th fairway, in clear view and in close vicinity to the 7th tee. Sharrin was shocked, and Stephen was incensed to such a degree that he wanted to approach the women for an explanation. As I was not 100% sure of the accepted ruling on this, I restrained Stephen from approaching that group. In the weeks afterwards I made enquiries about what is the standard practice at other clubs and with other players regarding these sorts of ‘long drive competitions’. Now I know that there was, without any doubt what-so-ever, and in the minimum, a most serious and deliberate breach of etiquette and sportsmanship by this group.
If you feel I am simply displaying ‘sour grapes’, then I am sorry as this is not my intention. Quite frankly, we don’t care about any potential prize or ‘glory’ that winning a long drive comp may bring. What is my intention is to make very clear to you that there are strong perceptions of a most serious problem developing within the club, at least within the Sunday women’s section. Another piece, most sad but true, of evidence to this is that we have met another couple who enquired about joining Bondi GC to play together in comp. After a run-in with the Sunday women on this issue, this couple was so aghast at the attitudes of some, they simply turned their back, walked away, and have now joined another club.
As I said, all we request is a definitive ruling by the board on the issues raised, and adequate publishing of such so there can be no further ‘misunderstandings’.
A final, and also a sad note, is that on the date mentioned above, Sharrin and I played immediately behind a women’s group that included Ms O. Mahoney. This group could not have displayed their contempt for us on course in any stronger terms without being down-right rude. The question is why? We had no run-in with them at any time, we complimented Ms O. Mahoney on a fine shot when the occasion arose, we picked up and returned some personal property that had been inadvertently dropped by them…only to be greeted by stony cold unfriendliness from that group. Remembering I told you that we were a twosome, and we were following this very slow foursome who had fallen substantially (more than one full fairway) behind the group in front, it would not have been remiss for them to call us through, as it was clearly obvious to all that we were waiting for them at every hole. I must stress to you that I do NOT lay the blame in any way at all on Ms Mahoney, even though I mention only her by name. Clearly Ms Mahoney was not the senior member of the group in terms of lowest handicap, and even though she was the eldest, responsibility for this clear and deliberate abuse of etiquette must lie with the lowest handicapped adult member. You will trace those responsible via the booking sheet.
As I said, there are some serious problems developing within the Sunday women’s section, in their attitudes to other members and guests, manifested both on course and in the club house.
I appreciate that you may dismiss this letter as I am no longer a member of Bondi GC, (I am a paid up social member of the Diggers)….. however I am the father of a junior member, also the permanent partner of another member, as well as a regular visitor and player at the course.
In that vein, I thank you for your time in reading this note and I look forward to your reply to the same address as Stephen Parker.
COMPLAINT TO WAVERLEY COINCIL
To: Mr Arthur Kyron 13th October 2015
PO Box 9, Bondi Junction 1355
Dear Mr Kyron,
I wish to lodge a complaint against the Board and Management of Bondi Golf and Diggers Club (BG&DC), situated on Military Rd North Bondi, for the following reasons.
Attached you will find a CD with many images showing the neglected and dangerous state of the building occupied by BG&DC. You will see tattered and decaying safety nets, dangerously exposed electrical wiring in the car park, and a building in complete disrepair. Also, after a serious accident of ball strike on a tourist, the board of BG&DC, despite numerous requests, steadfastly refused to erect warning signs for non-playing walking tourists. This is not a new situation but has developed over many years and is due solely to the complete lack of care by BG&DC that is recklessly endangering the public and is allowing the building to become an ugly eyesore on the rapidly modernising Bondi landscape.
In addition, attached you will find a copy of a raft of serious complaints lodged with the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing about the conduct of BG&DC. These complaints accurately reflect the anti-social and unlawful actions of BG&DC and its board in regards to the ongoing abuse of the service and consumption of alcohol on that premises. BG&DC has a proven unlawful past in regards to the serving of alcohol and also to its racist policies, and both these issues continue to remain unresolved.
Also attached is a copy of a complaint made to the NSW and Australian golfing authorities in regard to the racial abuse, verbal and physical aggression, bullying, and violent behaviour displayed by the some on the board of BG&DC over a very long-time basis.
BG&DC has unequivocally proven itself a disgrace to Waverley Council, to the Bondi community, to Sydney and NSW in general, and to fine tradition of the game of golf.
In the documents attached I have explained all this in detail, and I have also offered a carefully thought out long term plan to remove BG&BC and replace it with a modern, forward thinking vision for the future.
I can be contacted at the above details and look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your time.
BEHAVIOUR OF CLUB MEMBERS AND THE BOARD’S REFUSAL TO RECTIFY THE ISSUE
Monday October 9, 2006
Mr S. Meads
President Bondi Golf & Diggers Club
Military Rd, Bondi
It is with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you and the club board of yet another on course incident involving Ruth Morris.
On Sunday October 8th Ruth Morris displayed what I consider to be one of the worst acts of unacceptable behaviour I have ever been unfortunate enough to witness, let alone be a victim of.
My playing partner Sharrin Rees and I had a tee time booked for 9:14am. Ruth Morris and her playing partners were booked after us at (approximately) 9:21. Upon arriving, with the appropriate time to prepare, at the course, we, as is the normal custom, presented to the pro shop and were told that we were to follow the group who were on the tee preparing to tee off.
The young Canadian pro Michael Duhamel was acting starter for that day’s event, and as is also the norm, Michael announced over the loud speaker the order of play.
For reasons known only to herself, Ms Morris rudely demanded that she was not going to await her position on the tee as instructed, but insisted she push in and tee off out of order.
Firstly I enquired from her what her tee time was, then informed her that we were slotted ahead of her. I reminded her that the starter had already announced the tee off order. She steadfastly refused to leave the tee, telling us she didn’t care what the starter said, that she was going to tee off and that was that! Sharrin Rees then went back into the pro shop to confirm the playing order, to be informed again that we were ahead of Ms Morris’s group.
We again requested her to vacate the tee, which she refused.
Overlooking her stunning rudeness and her unbelievable indiscretion, I informed her that as her group was four players while we were only two players, it was both widely accepted normal custom and correct etiquette for her group to ‘call us through’, especially as we were on the same tee at the same time and knowing that two players are substantially faster than four. Again, she refused all reasonable requests, stating loud and clear that she didn’t care, she was teeing off.
The end result was that after playing only one stroke, both Sharrin and I felt so sick and tired of this ongoing and unrelenting rudeness that we are forced to endure from Ms Morris Sunday after Sunday after Sunday, we picked up our ball and walked off the course, bypassing our normal purchases of post round lunch and drinks.
Sir, I use the words “Ms Morris’s ongoing and unrelenting rudeness” with much consideration. Our Sunday golf is now becoming a day of dread for us, instead of a day of pleasure due to Ms Morris’s actions towards us, but in particular towards Sharrin. Here are some examples. Sharrin had had some reasonable scores earlier this year. So, upon returning after a month or so away from the game while we were overseas, she went to the computer to check her handicap, only to discover that many of her cards had not been entered. In fact, many times Ms Morris has, and still does, refuse to accept Sharrin’s card at the end of play. This happens even though we always enquire as to what competition was being played that day and whether Sharrin was entitled to play, as well as paying competition fees through the pro shop prior to the start of each round. Ms Morris is still attempting to exclude Sharrin from competition as often as she can, knowingly and deliberately contravening what I believe was a specific directive to her from the committee about this matter. Now Sharrin refuses to approach this woman, instead asking me to hand her card in on her behalf due to the continuing gross unpleasantness of this woman towards her. This sort of behaviour from the “Sunday women” and Ms Morris in particular, seems to have become their norm. When Sharrin has, on the rare occasion, won a ball, Ms Morris has clearly demonstrated her extreme disdain when I (as Sharrin will not) approach Ms Morris to claim the ball. It is handed to me with about as much rudeness and unpleasantness as she can muster.
This situation is becoming untenable, and again I ask the committee to intervene. I understand the committee is well aware of the “Sunday women” situation. One only has to observe the lack of new, younger Sunday women players, let alone the very noticeable lack of junior females, to realise that some very serious problems have emerged. And questions as to why this has happened, despite the best efforts of the committee, must be asked.
Sharrin and I feel much loyalty towards the club, which is why I am bothering to write this letter. It is no secret that many potential new members have, in the past played once or twice, but, after coming into contact with Ms Morris and her group, have decided to join other clubs. Having no loyalty to our club, these people will not write to you of their concerns. We, however, are different and feel that the time has now come for decisive action. I am the past president of a large sporting club, and therefore appreciate the difficulties the committee faces in this regard. However, I feel that this ongoing matter has potential ramifications to the longer term prosperity of the club, and it now must be resolved.
Given that the committee has set a precedent, it is now the appropriate time for Ms Morris to be made an example of and be suspended from the club for a term sufficiently long to deter her, or any of her peers, from continuing this unpleasantness any further. Either towards Sharrin and I, or in fact any other people who have been in the past or may be in the future, become their victims. Simply from many discussions and agreement I have had with numerous members about these “Sunday women”, I am sure that that there would be ample support to change the constitution (should there be the need) to remove Ms Morris and, if necessary, her cronies as well.
I feel I am entitled to ask this rhetorical question…. what is the future for the club if these old and extremely nasty women are allowed to continue to spoil the fun and amenity for members, both present and future? How many people would continue to tolerate this madness as long as Sharrin and I have, and still come to the club and play each week? Not too many!
HERE IS GOLF NSW PATHETIC (IF NOT IDIOTIC) RESPONSE CLEARLY SHOWING GOLF NSW ENDORSES THE ANTI SOCIAL AND DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOUR OF BONDI GOLF CLUB