Call 11 for Action: Toledo residents worried errant golf balls will strike children

Residents in west Toledo are growing concerned over some errant golf balls smashing their property.

Neighbors said they are constantly whipping their heads when they hear someone teeing off on hole one at Maple Grove Golf Course in Bedford Township, which literally lays on the Ohio-Michigan line. The neighbors live in Toledo and their backyards are right in the line of fire.

“We’ve always got a few balls here and there but since they took the net down, we get a lot harder shots,” neighbor Robert Schroyer said.

Netting used to hang from two poles near the tee box, acting as a deterrent for crushed drives on the par-five hole. That was until about a year ago when it was taken down.

That’s when Schroyer said the trouble started. “Hitting property, breaking windows, and now we’re more worried about all the kids running around back here and there’s nothing to stop these balls,” he said.

“The line drives are coming in hot and I’ve got kids here all the time,” neighbor Luke Sorah added.

Sorah lives right next door to Schroyer and his house has become the neighborhood hang-out spot after school. He said he loves playing host and that won’t change.

“Just fix the net before a kid gets hurt,” Sorah said. “I mean, I’m not gonna stop having kids out here but we can stop having fast-flying golf balls flying at the kids.”

WTOL spoke on the phone with Rick Kimble, the owner of Maple Grove Golf Course, but he denied our request for an on-camera interview.

Kimble said he has purchased a new net but doesn’t have adequate staffing to put it up. He said it’s on his list, but not near the top.

Schroyer and Sorah were frustrated but not surprised. They estimated they’ve reached out to Kimble dozens of times in the last two years.

All they got was more destruction.

“A broken windshield, two broken windows on cars, a broken window on a camper. Just recently, the biggest window on my garage went through both panes, inside the building,” Schroyer said.

As summer approaches, neighbors acknowledged living next to a golf course comes with its dangers. They just hope tragedy isn’t the wake-up call that’s needed.

“If one bounces off something and rolls in our yard, we get it,” Schroyer conceded. “But not like this.”

Kimble would not commit to a date for installing the netting. Instead, he said he was focused on getting his course up and running as well as replacing netting on his driving range.