The article below was recently in the Villager. It references an article from Arizona. Please share with your HOA as it does a good job of explaining the reasons behind the new “golf only” rules for our course:
Dear Charbonneau Residents: The notice below appeared on May 27, 2015 in the Sun City West (Arizona) News. We want to share it with you to add to everyone‟s understanding regarding the recent decision to post signs throughout Charbonneau, which state there is to be no walking on the golf course.
Sun City, like Charbonneau, has homes surrounding their golf courses. They have decided to not only „ask‟ people not to walk their courses, but have also posted them “NO TRESPASSING.” Many golf courses have had to fence-in their property to control this safety issue. We do not want to take that step.
While most feedback we‟ve received has been positive, some residents have expressed strong frustration. Please read the article below.
We (Charbonneau Residents) are not alone with this issue.
Posted by Sun City West News, May 2015
Golf courses are for GOLF
The Rec Centers periodically receives requests from residents that the golf courses be opened for walking, bike riding, roller blading, and dog walking. Seems like those would be great uses for all that green space, right?
Well, not according to our insurance company. As it stands, those activities are considered trespassing, and we are asking our residents for help in stopping this problem.
Opening the golf courses to multiple uses is not covered under our insurance policy. The dangers of walkers or riders getting hit by stray balls is just too high. Most insurance companies wouldn‟t even cover us at higher fees for this use.
In October 2014, we had a very serious incident involving a golfer being struck by an errant golf ball. This is a person playing the game, knowing the etiquette and risks, knowing where to stand and how far back to be when another golfer is driving the ball. In this case, the golfer was waiting for the course to clear when he was struck on the head by a ball. It split his head open, and he had to be airlifted to Barrow Neurological Institute. The air transport bill alone was $6,000, plus there were high medical bills. Nobody claimed responsibility for hitting the ball.
If this can happen to a golfer who understands the game and the course conditions, imagine what can happen to a child or a non-golfer who doesn‟t know what is happening on the course.
What about night use, when the golfers are gone? We‟ve inquired about this as well, and the liability continues to exist because of the high possibility of someone getting hurt. The courses are not lit – nor will they be because we don‟t want to disturb the residents living along the courses – and bicyclists and walkers could easily get hurt out on the courses where there are no employees at those hours to offer help.
This is not a liability the Rec Centers can incur. As a result, all our courses are posted as “no trespassing.” This means the courses are open only to paying golfers.
And yet, we find we have trespassers breaking these rules. For the most part, these trespassers are our own residents – individuals who decide to have picnics on the courses, wade or fish in the lakes, take grandkids for joy rides in golf cars, or simply walk their dogs and leave their pet‟s waste in their wake. And of course there is the occasional golfer who decides to slip in on a later hole just to “hit a few” without paying fees. This is theft.
Please, help us keep our courses safe for everyone and don‟t be one of these people. We know the courses are tempting and your quick visit in violation of the rules may seem harmless. But all it takes is one accident and we have incurred a high cost.
Beardsley Park is great for picnics or walks. There is a pedestrian walkway north of the community, an indoor track at Palm Ridge and outdoor track at Kuentz behind the softball field. Plus we have the Par 4 course at R.H. Johnson. We have two dog parks. Fishing is available at Lake Pleasant. If you just want to hit some balls, check out the driving ranges where you can get a bucket of balls and play to your heart‟s content.
Please, save the golf courses for golfing. If you see someone trespassing, please call the Posse at 623-584-5808; we have given them permission to remove people from our property. If violators do not move along, the Posse may call MCSO, who can issue a ticket for trespassing.
Here is the full article and comments from residents:
Thank you for your support, Charbonneau Golf Club