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Pennsylvania golf course calls cops on black golfers for playing too slowly

The Sisters of the Fairway said they were keeping pace with the group ahead of them but skipped the third hole to avoid any trouble.

A public golf course called the cops on a group of black women after kicking them off the course for not keeping up the “pace of play.”

The women say they were discriminated against.

The five women, all regular members of the Grandview Golf Club in York, Pennsylvania, are experienced golfers. Their group even has a name, the Sisters of the Fairway, and they’ve played all over the country. They say they’re familiar with golf etiquette and expectations around pace of play.


“I felt we were discriminated against,” one of the golfers, Myneca Ojo, told the York Daily Record. “It was a horrific experience.”

The women were on the second hole of the course Saturday when a white golfer, Steve Chronister, whose son is a co-owner of the golf course, confronted them, saying they were playing too slowly. The interaction wasn’t a friendly one.

"He was extremely hostile," Ojo said, according to the local paper.

After a second verbal altercation, after the ninth hole, the club owner asked the women to leave and called the cops.

“During the second conversation, we asked members to leave as per our policy noted on the scorecard, voices escalated, and police were called to ensure an amicable resolution,” the club said in a statement on Monday. No charges were brought against the women, according to the York Daily Record. The first rule on the scorecard: “The pace of play is monitored by Grandview Golf Course. Contact will be made with your group if you fall behind.”

The U.S. Golf Association is implementing a change to its rulebook in 2019, recommending that players golf more quickly and recognize that their pace of play affects others on the course.

The women said they were keeping pace with the group ahead of them but skipped the third hole to avoid any trouble. It’s common golf etiquette for a group playing quickly behind another one to play through and go past them. But that’s not allowed on busy days at Grandview, according to the rules posted on the back of the scorecards. Usually, there’s a staffer around to let groups know when they’re playing too slowly to avoid confrontations between groups of golfers.


One of the club’s owners has since called the women to apologize to them. But the women still feel wronged.

“There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner,” said one of the other golfers, NAACP executive Sandra Thompson, according to the Associated Press.

Grandview Golf Course could not be reached for comment.

The incident comes on the heels of an incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks in which a manager called the police on two black men who were waiting to meet a friend in their shop. The two men were arrested on loitering charges, sparking several days of protests, an apology from the Starbucks CEO, and a planned day of anti-bias training for all U.S. Starbucks employees in late May.

Cover image: View of Grandview Golf Course in York, Pa.