In Spring 2017, Erik and Athina Tenczar moved into their new house next to Indian Pond Country Club in Massachusetts. Specifically, beside the fairway of the 15th hole.
A dream house beside a golf course, what could possibly go wrong? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot, with the family regularly subjected to golf balls from wayward shots appearing in their garden, as well as said golf balls shattering their windows, denting their house and even forcing their three daughters to wear cycling helmets when they went out to play.
According to The Boston Globe, in a four-year period, the Tenczar's have picked up nearly 700 balls on their property and no longer fix the broken windows. Instead, they cover them in thick plastic sheeting. The repetitive nature of the golf balls landing in the area became so bad that they even built a partition to shield a small section of their deck from flying objects.
Athina describes the golf balls as: "Gunshots, when they hit the house," with Erik stating that: “It’s been emotionally taxing on us.” After four years, the couple decided to take action, going on to sue the Indian Pond Country Club for trespass over the repetitive strikes.
The conclusion? Well, the couple have gone on to win a permanent injunction against golf balls on their property, with a six-day trial in Plymouth Superior Court in December awarding the Tenczar's $3.5 million for damages and mental and emotional suffering. (With interest, the award totals $4.9 million, court records show.)
Following the case, Indian Pond have since reconfigured the tee box for the 15th hole, with the Tenczars stating that as a result, it has been months since they’ve seen a golf ball on their property.
In March, lawyers for the country club filed a notice that it would seek to appeal the case, with the club's lawyer, John Flemming, claiming that: “I’m extremely confident that the injunction will be struck down. In my opinion, as a matter of law, the verdict of $3.5 million for alleged emotional distress is against the weight of the evidence.”
The couple admitted that they anticipated putting up with some amount of sound and distraction from living beside a golf course. However, they were not prepared for the extent, frequency, and intensity of all of it, with Athina stating: "Honestly, if you have all these houses on a course, I assumed it was safe.”
After moving in April 2017, it would take about a month before the first near-miss, as a golf ball bounced at Erik’s feet as he unbuckled his child from her car seat. Not long after, the first broken window was discovered in the loft. The next window to shatter was below the deck, whilst the Tenczars were above and the third window to smash sprayed shards of glass over the toys in the play room.
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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