News & Notes from the World of Golf

The golf world still generates news beyond a few tournament results. Here's a look at a few headlines.

Amp up that Lesson Program!

A homeowner in Erie, Colo., says his house has been hit by around 900 golf balls since his family moved into their home next to Vista Ridge Golf Course.

Bad golfers have peppered the house, smashing windows and leaving holes in the stucco-sided structure. Eight years ago, Jim Bynum and his wife bought the then-new home within the development that surrounds the course, hoping it'd be a safe haven for their family.

"Never having any idea that we were going to be living in a danger zone," Bynum told reporter Will Ripley of 9NEWS. "The first hundred golf balls was sort of a surprise," Bynum added, unaware there'd be far more directed his way.

When the Bynums bought the house they signed a document clearing the Vista Ridge developer and Homeowners Association of any liability. "That is a risk you take on when you buy a home on a golf course," said Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

Complicating matters, according to Walker, is that if the Bynums were to file a separate claim each time a hacker slams a ball into their house they'd risk losing their insurance by filing multiple claims.

Amazingly, only one golfer in their eight years of residence has taken responsibility, forcing the Bynums to pay for repairs, which have amounted to $12,000.

Bynum wants to put up a safety net, but the local zoning rules prohibit that without special permission from neighbors, the golf course, the homeowners association, and others. "Everybody says no," Bynum said of the plan.

Bynum wonders how long it'll be before something dire happens. "Will it take someone getting killed?" he asked. "We're in danger every time we leave the house. Someone is going to get hit."

9NEWS tried to contact the Vista Ridge homeowners association and golf course but did not get a response.

Another European Pro to Make Home in U.S.

Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano is the latest European pro golfer to relocate to the U.S. And like the many others - including Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson - the 33-year-old from Madrid is bringing his family.

The seven-time winner in Europe is moving December 4th to Miami with his wife and three young children. In addition to South Florida being the home of his swing coach, Mariano Bartolome, who works at Doral, Fernandez-Castano is smitten with the area.

"It's a very Spanish place and a city I like a lot," he told The Associated Press's Doug Ferguson. "There's a lot of Spanish people. It's a city I've always enjoyed, and also you've got direct flights to Madrid. So it will be easy for my family, my in-laws, anyone who wants to come visit."

Fernandez-Castano has already found a house in Key Biscayne, which is near schools. "I have to say, when I chose Miami, I wasn't thinking so much about the golf itself. I was thinking more about my family. In Florida, there are golf courses everywhere. There's a lot of choices. But I wasn't thinking about the golf."

His family is thrilled with the change of scenery. "They only time they have been to the U.S. was last year after Bay Hill," he told Ferguson. "They came and we went to Disney World. (The children) believe they're going to be living with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and Pluto."

Byron Nelson Coming to Dallas Earlier than Anticipated?

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the Byron Nelson Championship might be moving from Four Seasons Resort and Club in Irving's Las Colinas to the new Trinity Forest in Dallas sooner than expected.

Work is now scheduled to start on the Coore & Crenshaw-designed Trinity Forest golf course after the first of the year, with it possibly opening in 2015, a year ahead of schedule. The course will be built on a former landfill along Loop 12 east of Interstate 45.

The "Nelson" is under contract to remain at Four Seasons through 2018, however, with the tournament slated to move to Trinity Forest the following year.

"To my knowledge, nothing has changed about that contract," said Vail Tolbert, a Four Seasons spokeswoman. However, a spokesman for Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Sam Merten, said Rawlings hopes "AT&T, the Salesmanship Club and others can negotiate an agreement that would enable the Bryon Nelson to come before the expiration of the contract with the Four Seasons."

The Dallas City Council has pledged $12 million toward course construction. The nonprofit Salesmanship Club overseeing its development is committed to raise $20 million. Rawlings noted that group has worked out terms with a lender for up to $30 million.

The Austin-based Coore-Crenshaw firm has several highly regarded projects in its portfolio, including the recent renovation of Pinehurst No. 2, the site of both the 2014 U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open, the first time in history the two major championships will be held in consecutive weeks at the same venue.

Crenshaw is excited about the possibilities at Trinity Forest. "As a native Texan, it is a great honor for our firm to be selected for this project," the two-time Masters champion said in a January 2013 news release.

"The site is interesting," added Coore. "It has great character is inherently appealing for classic golf. It has the potential to yield an outstanding golf course."

Feherty Launches "Warrior Call"

David Feherty will be holding his Troops First Foundation's inaugural Operation Warrior Call event on Sunday, November 24th. The nationwide effort has been established to encourage service members to reach out to fellow "battle buddies" in order to reconnect and check on each other's well-being.

The Northern Ireland-born Feherty, an on-air reporter for CBS Sports and Golf Channel - the latter of which broadcasts his popular "Feherty" series, has long been a supporter of American troops since relocating to Dallas and becoming a naturalized citizen.

According to a press release for the event: "Many warriors return from the battlefield facing a host of serious challenges. The wounds of war, both visible and invisible, sustained by the force through multiple deployments have been well-documented. Once home, the possibility of service members becoming disconnected from their fellow warriors can be exacerbated simply by the challenges and demands of everyday life. Moving forward, the health of the military community can be strengthened by warriors staying connected to warriors."

Feherty's Troops First Foundation asks service members to participate in the Operation Warrior Call event by following these steps on the 24th:

1. Make the Call: The best advocate for a warrior is another warrior and lessons learned are valuable assets.

2. Answer the Call: This is the best way to continue looking out for the warriors on your left and right.

3. Be Honest: Situational awareness can lead to a positive course of action.

"These three simple steps are easy to do and can go a long way to help facilitate a service member's successful reintegration," says SGT Omar Avila, U.S. Army (Retired), Warrior Liaison for Feherty's Troops First Foundation. "For many, the stress of being deployed is not over when we arrive home. We need our nation's Armed Forces to have access to our most valuable resource - each other. We are asking you to become an advocate for our nation's warriors by assisting the foundation with this important initiative."

Continuing communications between "battle buddies" on the home front may be essential to transition out of the stress endured from serving in a war zone. The comfort of knowing that a trusted friend who has also been "outside the wire" is a phone call away could mean the difference between a good decision and a bad decision on any given day, but the call needs to be made and the phone needs to be answered.

For more information, visit or call 301/776-0790.