Thanks to Mj On Golf for pointing this one out.
Moaning Golf Loses Legal Fight
A GOLFER has lost a legal battle to rejoin a historic club which threw him out because of his constant complaining.
Stuart Crocket was expelled from Tantallon Golf Club in North Berwick after a dispute with fellow members.
The retired businessman exasperated officials at the 152-year-old club by lodging 170 complaints in one year. He twice tried to sue for defamation after alleging that negative remarks had been made about his conduct.
Now a judge has rejected his legal bid to overturn the ban against him at the ancient East Lothian course.
Mr Crocket claimed his removal was “unlawful” and based his argument on an interpretation of the club rules.
But Lord Reed was unimpressed by much of his defence, adding that it “belong(s) to the world of Lewis Carroll”.
But the 81-year-old branded his treatment at the hands of the club “disgraceful” and promised to consult his lawyers over a fresh court challenge. “I have been told by my lawyer not to speak about the case. I will talk with my advocate before deciding how to proceed,” he said.
Mr Crocket, a divorcee with no children, joined the club after he retired from his accountancy business and moved to North Berwick in 1986. But after sending dozens of written complaints to its committee, he soon attracted the ire of other golfers. He was formally requested to stop making “excessive, improper and unnecessary” use of the club suggestion book.
Later, a group of 37 disgruntled members condemned Mr CrocketÃ¯¿½s “continuous apparent disquiet” and urged his expulsion from the club. Members voted 101 votes to one to cast him out. He had earlier refused to accept an offer to resign.
It was the first time a member had been asked to leave in more than a century.
When another club member accused him of being spiteful, Mr Crocket unsuccessfully attempted to sue him for defamation. The action had time-lapsed as the offending remark had been made eight years earlier.
In another defamation case, he attempted to sue the club over a memo describing his continued presence as a “source of disharmony within the club”.
Tantallon Golf Club was established in 1853 and its clubhouse stands around the corner from Mr CrocketÃ¯¿½s home.
A lawyer for Mr Crocket alleged that the 37 members who lodged an official complaint against him should not have been entitled to vote for his removal.
Lord Reed called this argument “manifestly untenable”.
Mr Crocket claimed another club rule meant an investigation had to be carried out before he was asked to explain his actions.
Lord Reed was unswayed by the argument, adding: “It was the Queen of Hearts whose maxim was Ã¯¿½sentence first – verdict afterwardsÃ¯¿½; and a construction of rule 22.1 which might be summarised as Ã¯¿½verdict first – trial afterwardsÃ¯¿½ would appear equally to belong to the world of Lewis Carroll.”
Club secretary Tom Hill, declined to comment on the case.
Mr Crocket’s complaints
AMONG the long list of complaints made by Mr Crocket were:
Ã¯¿½ A gripe over members who wore their overcoats in the clubhouse, which he said was contrary to the official dress code.
Ã¯¿½ Dissatisfaction that the club badge did not observe the rules of heraldry. He reported the matter to the Lord LyonÃ¯¿½s Court.
Ã¯¿½ Unhappiness that the course was closed for a few weeks in winter to protect the greens. He objected to the club manager.
Ã¯¿½ Protesting that another member was in the Winter League team when the person had not kept up to date with payment of subscriptions. Mr Crocket was later disciplined by the club as a result.