Chris BaldwinThis Week at Dec. 14, 2005

Please fire at will at golf course houses

No one wants to ding the house of that fool who bought an all-glass enclave five steps from the fairway. But I'm starting to think it's a good idea.

Maybe that will keep all those concerned golf subdivision home owners inside their living rooms.

Is there anything more annoying than the people who bought a house on the side of a golf course getting all indignant when someone bounces a Pro V1 off their wall?

You chose a house located just off the fairway and you're shocked, absolutely shocked, that it gets hit by golf balls?

Let me guess. You're the same couple who goes berserk if your shoes get splashed on an amusement park water ride or if there's violence in a Quentin Tarantino movie.

Look, no one forced you to buy a house on a golf course. Last time anyone checked, those golf side properties are not typically on any public housing list. It's not the only possible house you could afford. It was your decision to go the golf course home ownership route. You wanted the cache of living on a golf course, the convenience of a quick walk to the clubhouse.

Heck, you may have simply wanted an excuse to buy one of those souped up golf carts so you could tool around the neighborhood like Barney Fife.

That's your call. Making it means you're in the line of fire. That means your pool, your walls, your flowers, everything outside your person (then I'll scream "fore"). No one cares how far you think your humble abode is from the fairway. If it's facing the fairway, it's fair game.

Golfers who paid good money for their recreation shouldn't feel any responsibility to reign in their games because some developer placed houses too close to the course. Pull out that monster driver and let it rip. Anything that shatters or cracks is just part of the game.

Heck, make John Daly proud. Go for that extra, extra 20 yards, sideways, straight or street.

The truth is that homes on the sides of golf courses are a pox on the game. They take away from a course's atmosphere, remind you for 18 holes that there are annoying people who insist on having a fairway as their backyard. Yes, golf course home owners are an economic engine that many courses depend on to survive.

And? It's not the restaurant customer's responsibility to make sure the chef gets a good wholesale price on the fish to stay open, is it? Golfers are customers. They should be able to play the game without worrying about curtailing their shots, pathetic as they may be.

The next time some homeowner walks out his patio door and glares at your group when there's a slight rustle near his house? Fire one off his roof and let out a nonchalant, "My bad, buddy."

It's time for golfers to take back the courses, one plate rattling shot at a time.

As always, welcomes your comments.

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