Facebook Twitter



Broken windows, cracked siding and dented garage doors - sounds like someone's living on the wrong side of the tracks.

But in this case, it's the wrong side of the fairway.Some homeowners around the Eaglewood Golf Course in North Salt Lake are fed up with the speeding golf balls that pock their lawns and the scars they leave on their homes. And while they agree that broken windows are part of the deal when living near Eaglewood, they fear for their safety and the safety of their children.

"Living on a golf course, you shouldn't have to worry about your kids," said Debbie Swonson, whose family has lived near Eaglewood's 12th hole for a year and a half. "They're not safe anywhere."

A sympathetic North Salt Lake City Council promised the residents some help in solving their problems but said Tuesday that there isn't much they could do.

Swonson says that most of her family has had near misses with line drives. Even Swonson's cleaning lady has had a scare, when a ball broke through a third-floor window and pelted her vacuum.

Swonson's neighbors, Scott and Susan McGuire, said that while the broken windows were a nuisence, they were spurred to action when their daughter was hit in the head by a golf ball.

"It ricocheted off the deck, so it wasn't direct," Scott McGuire explained. "She got a big lump on her head, but it could have been worse."

The McGuires, using four 25-foot wooden poles, strung up a net on the southwest side of their yard. That cut down on the line drives coming onto their property, but they are still getting windows broken.

Swonson believes that if the city would put some kind of barrier near the hole's tee boxes, it would cut down the number of balls coming their way. Swonson and her husband brought their ideas to North Salt Lake's City Council on Tuesday.

Mayor Clare Jones, who calls himself an avid golfer, has played the 12th hole at Eaglewood. He said barriers by the tee boxes will not help the Swonsons.

"It's not that we're not willing to do what we can," Jones said. "We're planning on planting some trees in that location. But whatever we do along those tee boxes, Mrs. Swonson, is not going to help."

According to Jones, a slicing shot is the Swonsons' problem.

"A slice is an unusual shot, and it's going to curve to the right once it hits its maximum elevation," and balls will hit that elevation after they pass the tee boxes, Jones said.

The council encouraged the Swonsons and others with similar problems to construct a net like the one McGuire put in his back yard, and it promised the city's cooperation in allowing construction equipment to have access to back yards through the golf course.

Jones also asked them to consider putting trees such as poplars in their yards.

"Sometimes we have to forgo the view to protect our children and our houses," he said.

Greg Stimpson, Eaglewood's assistant golf pro, says that the residents shouldn't expect to be free of problems.

"You come out here and give people a weapon and a projectile and say `hit it as far as you can,' there's bound to be problems."

"The majority of the people are going to hit the ball left or right," he added. "When somebody gets hurt, it's going to be a big problem," said McGuire. "It will be nice to prevent it."