City This Is What Happens When You Play In the Street
posted by October 24 at 15:48 PMon
The Seattle Urban Golf league has apparently been dissolved and several golfers may face criminal charges after a bystander was hit with a foam golf ball during a drunken game of golf on Capitol Hill over the weekend.
Seattle Urban Golf has been around for about three years. Participants bring their own putters and swat foam golf balls through the streets in a 9-hole course, drawn with chalk. Each hole is conveniently located near a bar.
During this weekend’s event, police were called to Boylston and Pine around 8 pm after a golfer struck a bystander with a foam golf ball. The golfer has since posted a lengthy apology on Craigslist.
I was playing my way to the final hole, in the street between the BMW
dealership and the mini-mart on Boylston.
My swing was good and connected squarely with the ball, and for the first time that outing I got some decent loft - unfortunately my technique was far from perfect
and it began to hook. My ball flew over an obstacle and hit a man on a cell phone squarely in the face!
I was embarrassed, and flustered, and, since it was nearly the last
hole, I may have been a bit hasty in my reaction. I offered to pay for
any medical bills, but apparently this was taken as sarcasm.
According to Eric, one of the golfers who was arrested, at least four squad cars showed up after the man called 911, and police rounded up about 20-30 golfers.
“I was just putting my way down the sidewalk when a bunch of police cruisers swept in,” he says.
Eric—who asked that we not publish his last name—was not involved in the golf ball “assault,” but he says he was arrested for obstruction after he refused to show an officer ID—earlier today, a Tacoma judge ruled that refusing to show ID is not a crime. At the precinct, Eric says he saw two other golfers in holding cells. He was released after about two hours.
This isn’t the first time Seattle Urban Golfers have gotten in trouble. Eric says police were called to an event in Georgetown last year after someone hit a car with a golf ball.
Still, Eric says, golfers try to play safe.
“Yes people get good and drunk but there’s a pretty major emphasis on don’t jaywalk, don’t block traffic, don’t piss off the neighbors, always use foam balls and plan on having a safe ride home,” Eric says “[But] there’s a credible effort to mitigate the recipe for disaster that is 100 drunks wandering around Capitol Hill with golf clubs.”
Eric has contacted the ACLU and will be filing a complaint with SPD’s Office of Professional Accountability.
“I think [this is] a predictable lesson in what happens when you get a large group of people together to drink, swing golf clubs and walk around the neighborhood together,” Eric says.