When you buy a house, you like to feel safe, but that’s not the case for one couple. They have to worry about their windows being busted and their roof getting hit by golf balls. It’s why they called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
In real estate, you know what they say is the most important thing.
Alex Cardenal: “The location, nice area, and we saw the potential of the house, so we bought it.”
And when Alex and Maria bought the house, they thought living on a golf course would be an added bonus.
Alex Cardenal: “But the three times that we came to see the house when we bought it, there wasn’t a golf ball in sight.”
They moved in. The terrible golfers started swinging by…
Alex Cardenal: “We get hit constantly. We did know we live on a golf course. We just never imagined that the golfers were going to be so bad. We would be in constant danger.”
The balls bounce off their impact resistant windows or make it to the front yard to ding and damage their cars.
Alex Cardenal: “Then I wake up one morning, and my windshield on my car is broken, so I had to replace the windshield. Not once, but twice already.”
Their property faces the fairway, where golfers are swinging for the green.
Hear that golf ball hitting near us?
Alex Cardenal: “It definitely wasn’t what we signed up for, nor anything that we imagined.”
Maria and Alex installed a pergola so their family could sit in the backyard. The golfers who cannot hit the fairway can hit the pergola.
Alex Cardenal: “And then the golf ball started hitting the pergola itself and penetrated the actual pergola, so I have about 13 holes in my brand-new pergola. So it’s destroyed.
Some of the golfers are not only bad shots, they have bad manners.
Alex Cardenal: “We would notice that my daughters were out tanning. The golfers would peek in and start looking, so I had to put in a privacy fence back there so the golfers wouldn’t peek into my home.”
After picking up buckets of balls on their property, Alex contacted the Killian Greens Golf Course hoping they would do something to protect his family.
Alex Cardenal: “And on both occasions, says that they’re not responsible for the actions of the golfers, nor are they interested in helping.”
Buying on a golf course sounds like the kind of location they talk about.
They forgot about the flying golf balls.
Alex Cardenal: “The safety of my family and my friends visiting, to get hit by a golf ball flying 130 miles an hour. I mean, you could probably kill somebody.”
Well, Howard, if you live on a golf course, is it open season on you and your property?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Just about. If you or your property are hit by a errant golf ball, you are out of luck. Neither the golfer nor the golf course is responsible. The only exceptions: if the course changes its configuration, or if a golfer acts recklessly or targets you intentionally.”
We contacted the Killian Greens Golf Course to see if they had a way to stop the incoming golf balls. They didn’t.
Their general manager wrote, “The golfer is liable for balls hit, not the golf course, thank you.”
So why does Florida side with the golf courses, Howard?
Howard Finkelstein: “Florida gives golfers and golf courses great protection because it’s part of Florida’s image: sun, surf and golf courses.”
It’s a beautiful property, where you have to be alert all the time.
Alex Cardenal: “It’s a hazard. You hear the ball, and you’re trying to duck somewhere so you don’t get hit by an incoming.”
It’s interesting that Florida is so one-sided in favor of golf courses. In many states, the golf course is required to protect the homeowners, but not Florida. Welcome to the Sunshine State.
Puttering around trying to solve a problem? Ready to swing into action? Don’t tell a birdie, tell us because trying to help is par fore the course with us.
With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.