Liquor board renews golf club's license to sell beer Players who drink likely to misbehave, residents complain

April 16, 1996|By Dan Morse | Dan Morse,SUN STAFF

An article in The Sun's Howard County edition yesterday reported incorrectly the Columbia village in which some residents are complaining about the Fairway Hills Golf Club. These residents live along the course in Columbia's Wilde Lake village.

The Sun regrets the error.

For some golfers, there's only one thing to do after shooting the front nine in, say, 22 over par: buy more beer.

And that is one of the concerns for a handful of Columbia residents who last night again protested the sale of alcohol at the Fairway Hills Golf Club that slices through their neighborhood in Dorsey's Search village.


The residents made their case to the county Liquor Board, which was considering the club's liquor license renewal. The board turned down the citizens in November when it granted the license.

For months, residents have maintained that intoxicated golfers are more likely to misbehave, not to mention hook and slice balls into their back yards. Last night they expressed another concern: golfers who use their back yards as bathrooms.

"The consumption of alcohol does lead to a need to relieve oneself," Maryann F. West told the board, which comprises the five Columbia Council members.

The board voted 5-0 to renew the license, saying the club had not violated its promise to limit beer sales at the clubhouse.

It is possible, under the policy, to buy beer "at the turn," when golfers have finished playing their first nine holes. But course policy limits golfers to two beers at a time. And those are draft beers, difficult to carry to the golf cart.

The club has sold 133 Bud Lite drafts since starting beer sales six weeks ago, said Rob Goldman, head of membership services for the Columbia Association, which owns the course.

Fairway Hills has reported no incidents of drunken misbehavior.

Still, the testimony last night was not without its colorful moments.

Ms. West, whose yard backs up to the par-4 13th hole, produced a white bucket filled with 67 golf balls she said she had picked up from her back yard since the course opened last year. Ms. West said golfers have traipsed through her flower beds to get their golf balls.

Board member C. Vernon Gray, an avid golfer, noted, "I know a lot of people who don't drink who don't hit the ball straight."

On a more serious note, Ms. West said golfers are using her backyard as a bathroom, despite a portable toilet near the 12th tee.

"It's embarrassing," she said. " It's somewhat threatening to have men I don't know exposing themselves on my property."

Pub Date: 4/16/96

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