Sale of beer, wine at golf course approved Fairway Hills gets Liquor Board OK

November 07, 1995|By Dan Morse | Dan Morse,SUN STAFF

Golfers playing Howard County's newest course now can head for the traditional 19th hole -- drinks in the clubhouse -- thanks to a decision last night by the Howard County Liquor Board.

The five-member panel -- the five Howard County Council members -- approved the sale of beer and wine at the Fairway Hills Golf Course in Columbia despite concerns expressed over the last two months by some nearby residents.

The residents felt serving beer and wine will set a bad example for neighborhood children and possibly lead to more errant shots into their back yards.

Also last night, sitting as the County Council, the members voted to offer tax breaks for people who renovate historic properties. The property owners can deduct up to 10 percent of what they paid for labor or materials from their property taxes. Preservationists have said that of about 630 historic sites in the county, about 100 could be lost if they are not given protection.

At Fairway Hills, the Columbia Association, a huge homeowners' group that manages recreational facilities in Columbia, will sell the beer and wine. Under the Liquor Board's order, the association will not be allowed to sell beer and wine at individual holes from roving carts, said David Carney, the Columbia Association lawyer in the matter.

Golfers are permitted to bring drinks purchased at the clubhouse onto the course with the Liquor Board's approval, but they are not permitted to bring their own coolers of beer or wine.

The Liquor Board also set limits on beer and wine sales after discussing, among other concerns, whether each member had ever seen a drunken golfer.

Among their comments on the issue of drunken golfers:

C. Vernon Gray: "I've never seen a drunken golfer on a course itself."

Mary C. Lorsung: "Not being a golfer that puts me in a real disadvantage here."

Darrel E. Drown: "Well, I've always wanted an excuse for my [shots] not going straight but I've never seen a drunk golfer."

Charles C. Feaga: "I've enjoyed a cold beer on the golf course. No, I never have" seen a drunken golfer.

Robert Bellamy of the Columbia Association pointed out that some golfers simply enjoy a drink after playing.

"They recount their round," he said after the meeting. "They tell stories to each other, tell lies to each other."

He said residents should not fear golfer getting drunk. "You can only carry so many draft beers," Mr. Bellamy said.

Two opponents of the beer and wine sales showed up for the meeting but did not speak. Ginger Scott took detailed notes on a legal pad while her husband, Thomas, tape recorded the meeting.

They are particularly concerned about how close holes 13, 14 and 15 are to homes in the Running Brook community.

The Scotts said they were pleased at the restrictions on beer and wine sales. But they plan to protest renewal of Fairway Hills' liquor license next year, according to a letter they delivered to Mr. Gray, the board chairman. The letter carried 13 signatures from eight addresses.

"This may have been the most politically astute thing the Liquor Board could have done," Mrs. Scott said after the meeting. "At this point, this is as much as we had hoped for."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.