Golfers call Fore! to make others aware of mis-hit balls. Etiquette is less clear on what to do when a four-door Lincoln sedan is barreling across fairways and doing doughnuts on greens.
Such was the case about 10 a.m. Thursday at Jackson Park Golf Course when a 37-year-old man drove a car onto the South Side course and cruised around for about 20 minutes before police stopped him.
All the while, stunned golfers looked on.
Officers, lights and sirens activated, pulled over the man on the course and, guns drawn, arrested him.
“I was like ‘Oh s---! This guy’s driving on the course,’” said Brian Pino, 41, who was about to putt for a birdie when the man drove on the green next to his ball and right over the flag.”
“He was as calm as an old lady in a parking lot trying to find a space.”
Allan Ryan was about to hit a 3-wood when he looked up in disbelief.
“There’s this car going across the fairway running over the 150-yard marker,” said Ryan, a retired business executive from the North Side.
Tanisha Wembley was scolding a man who didn’t pick up his dog’s poop along a sidewalk that borders the golf course along 67th Street when she looked up and saw police, guns drawn, yelling “Get out of the car! Get out of the car!”
The man complied.
“And all the people playing golf continued playing golf as this was happening and were just kind of looking over like ‘Wow! Entertainment!’” said Wembley, 49, who was in the neighborhood visiting a friend.
A golf course employee followed the man in a golf cart.
“But there wasn’t much I could do,” he said.
The car also drove over a soccer field adjacent to the first hole and plowed through the net of a goal.
“Thank God there weren’t kids playing out there,” said the employee.
The driver, Scott Chapman, whose home address is about four blocks south of the golf course, was charged with criminal damage to property and simple assault because he drove his car at an employee, said Sally Bown, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department.
Calls to Chapman went unanswered Friday.
No one was injured.
“He kind of ripped up one of the greens a little bit, so the groundskeepers were a little upset,” Bown said, noting there was about $10,000 in damage.
It’s unclear why he did it, Bown said.
Pino, who shot a video of the incident on his phone, said it was a wild round of golf but it didn’t affect his game.
“You know what’s funny, I shot the best round of my life,” he said.