Golfer totally buggied on the drink-driving range
A MAN suspended from a golf club for drink-driving his buggy for a late-night putt during a wine and jazz event has launched a legal bid to overturn the ban.
Bribie Island golfer Michael James Thomson claims he was so drunk after Bribie Island Golf Club's Wine and Jazz night on June 16 that he can't remember what he did.
But Mr Thomson's golf mates told him he and three others drove along the fairway in Thomson's cart to play on the 18th hole, and at least one passenger fell out of the cart during the "harmless" fun.
Details of the incident were revealed in Brisbane Supreme Court where Thomson filed documents this month asking the court to lift the three-month suspension.
According to court documents, no one was injured falling out of the cart, but CCTV showed Mr Thomson shoving mate and fellow member Eddie Sharma after he accused him of letting him fall out of the vehicle.
Mr Thomson, an avid golfer and the manager of Fairways Golf and Beach retreat, a hotel next door to the golf club, has also asked the court to order the club's board apologise to him and "admit wrongdoing" in the club's monthly newsletter.
"I am amazed that this matter has gone this far," Thomson told the club's disciplinary committee on August 10, adding he should have been given a warning.
Mr Thomson and Mr Sharma were both suspended for three months on July 27, two others were not punished. Mr Sharma has not challenged his suspension.
Club manager Steve Middleton told the court Sharma and Thomson breached the rules because fairways are out-of-bounds after 6pm.
"It is a requirement of the club that if a member wishes to play on the golf course, that they need to enter their name in the online timesheet system or at the pro shop before commencing to play," Mr Middleton told the court.
At the July 16 disciplinary hearing, Mr Thomson told the committee: "I do not wish to make an excuse for my behaviour as it was reckless and irresponsible and accept that there may be sanctions".
He told the disciplinary hearing that he must have been quite drunk on the night of the incident because he was told "three people consumed more than five one litre bottles of red wine after a long period drinking beer".
Mr Thomson, who is representing himself in court, alleges the club's disciplinary committee is a "boys club" playing "power games" due to "animosity" dating back to when Mr Thomson served on the committee last year.
Woormim man Robert Vaughn Thompson, a club member who played drunken night-golf with Thomson on June 16, wrote to Mr Middleton asking why the incident was "such a big deal". He told Mr Middleton he knew a club member who told club chairman Bob Reily to "get f---ed" when Mr Reilly was "marshalling for the championships and no action was taken against that member".
The club's lawyer Rhett Kennedy told Mr Thomson in an email after his lawsuit was lodged that the club would be opposing the legal bid because Thomson had "admitted the charges" on July 16 prior to suspension.
Mr Thomson has joined another golf club. No future court date has been set.