For most families living on the fairways of the Campbell River Golf and Country Club at the Shades of Green Estates enjoy a pleasant and quiet time in their backyard patios watching the deer, a variety of birds and of course the golfers.
There are several homeowners on the corner of the fifth fairway, however, who have learned that golfers like to try and take shortcuts when hitting their golf balls.At least two or three times a day, the Stewarts and their neighbours get hit by golf balls attempting to fly over their homes to cut the corner on the fifth fairway. For many homeowners this would have been a negative too much to take. Not Helma Stewart!
After discussion with the management of the golf course, Stewart contacted Campbell River Hospice Society to see if she could assist them in raising funds. Stewart then started collecting these balls and others found along the out of bounds area of the golf course.
At first these balls were given to the Hospice Society to be provided to the golfers at their annual tournament.
However, the balls kept hitting their patio, truck, and broke the outdoor kitchen glass doors several times.
So Stewart decided that by penalizing the golfers, who her hit her home, maybe this would have fewer golfers aiming so close to her home.
The Campbell River Hospice Society and the golf course management agreed to her plan, as did Quality deSigns who supplied her with a sign. Stewart then began by telling golfers that because their errant golf balls hit her house (or one of her neighbour’s homes) that they were being penalized $10. They were also told that if they paid the penalty, they would receive an egg carton of a dozen golf balls and that all money collected would be donated to the Campbell River Hospice Society.
Stewart noted that “nine out of ten golfers are very supportive of her efforts and many give more than ten dollars for their penalty!”
She also noted that she has gained a new respect for those golfers who come straight away to apologise and when they are told of what she is doing tell her: “this is a great idea!”
Those golfers however, who pretend to have hit their ball all the way down the hill and then drop a new ball, instead of making Stewart angry, they make her laugh.
On Sept. 21, Stewart presented this season’s collection of penalties, totaling $1,080 to Louise Daviduck, manager of the Campbell River Hospice Society.
Asked if she would continue to do this, Stewart’s response was: “YES! I have met so many nice golfers and have had some great conversations and we are all helping a very worthwhile organization.”