Manager left to ‘clear up mess’ after golf club calls member a ‘cheating ****’ in email
One of the UK’s most prestigious golf clubs is at the centre of a national storm after an email it sent out featuring competition results labelled one of its golfers a ‘cheating ****’.
The story was picked up by the Mail on Sunday and has been commented extensively on via social media.
To make matters even worse, the golfer at the centre of the scandal sued another member at the same club just last year – over emailed accusations of cheating in club competitions.
Wimbledon Park Golf Club in south west London charges £4,000 joining fees and, according to the Mail on Sunday, has ‘strict rules on dress and etiquette, and prides itself on its highly respectable image’. It also has members including Ant and Dec, Ainsley Harriott and Ben Shephard, and just last week Piers Morgan praised the venue on social media.
It emailed to its members the results of a recent pro-am competition in which the winner of the ‘nearest the pin’ was the 51-year-old part-owner of a multi-million-pound wholesale grocery business, Kenny Marshall. Next to his name were the words ‘(CHEATING ****)’.
It is not known how the words appeared there. The club has said an internal investigation has been launched and Mr Marshall is said to be consulting his lawyers.
Incredibly, Mr Marshall sued fellow member Jeff Clargo, a retired kitchen firm director, for libel in 2013, when he compared Mr Marshall to 007 villain, and golfing cheat, Goldfinger, and called him an ‘odious and foul-mouthed cheat’ in an email.
The action was settled out of court. Mr Clargo was suspended from the club and issued a full apology to Mr Marshall.
Mr Clargo has said the new email has nothing to do with him.
The public reaction to the story has been largely negative about members of high end golf clubs. Comments on the Mail on Sunday website included: ‘Children, children. You may be wealthy but you have a long way to go to grow up.’
However, many in the golf industry have expressed sympathy for Wimbledon Park’s manager, Patrick Shanahan, who is having to deal with both the media storm and the internal issues at the club.
One UK golf club manager wrote on Twitter: ‘Why cant members just behave? The poor secretary / manager will have to clear up again.’
The only statement Mr Shanahan told the Mail on Sunday was: “There’s absolutely nothing I can say about this”.