‘It’s scary’: Pembroke Pines condo residents concerned about golf balls flying off course

Article Courtesy of  Channel 7 Miami

By Heather Walker, Daniel Cohen

Published March 26, 2024



In the golfing world, the term “hazard” means obstacles, like a bunker or lake that makes shots more difficult. But residents of one condo complex say their hazard is simply living next to a golf course. 7’s Heather Walker investigates.

This is what Robert Heath woke up to in January.

Robert Heath, resident: “‘Bam,’ my back windshield is completely shattered, and it’s shattered so badly that the little tiny microscopic bits of glass [got] all into the back seat, some into the front seat.”

And over time, his car has been dinged and dented.

This damage was not caused by road debris or vandalism, but by golf balls.

Robert Heath: “These are just a few picked up in the last few months. One of these, though, broke the windshield.”


One of these also broke his neighbor’s windshield.

Nancy Taylor, resident: “I didn’t know what had happened. And two of the residents were walking by, and they said, ‘Oh, you were just hit by a golf ball.'”

Robert and Nancy live in Park Place in Pembroke Pines. The buildings in the condo complex are surrounded by this city-owned golf course.

Nancy Taylor: “The grounds are beautiful, with the exception of the hazard golf course.”

Bad swings can send golf balls flying into their community.

It’s a persistent problem, but not a new one. Just ask longtime resident Florence Hirsch.

Florence Hirsch, resident: “I’m living here 31 years. When I moved in, within the first month, the front window of my car, the back window of my car and three windows in my apartment.”

But what concerns them most is not their property, but their safety.

Florence Hirsch: “If that golf ball hits one of the people, they’ll never get up again. I do believe that. Those golf balls are coming at a hefty speed, and these people are too old to take it.”

Nancy Taylor: “I see what it did to my windshield, so I can imagine what it would do to my skull.”

Two residents say they have already had close calls.

Marcia Storm, resident: “It just missed me. I’m taking another step, and it would have hit me right in the head. Really. That’s the one time I got scared.”

Charles Heighter, resident: “It’s scary. It’s scary.”

Charles Heighter was walking with his grandchildren.

Charles Heighter: “I told them, I said, ‘Look out for golf balls.’ And right when I said that, here comes a golf ball. So, if we would have been a little further, it would have got one of us.”

We took residents’ concerns to the city, but it turns out, when a condo is surrounded by a golf course, finding a hole-in-one solution is very difficult.

Heather Walker: “What came first, the golf course or the condos?”

Christina Sorensen, Pembroke Pines Assistant City Manager: “Golf course.”

Assistant City Manager Christina Sorensen says the course was designed with larger trees and hedges. Still, she says, they can’t stop every errant golf ball.

Christina Sorensen: “Is the City of Pembroke Pines concerned about the safety of its residents? Yes. But there is an inherent risk living next to a golf course. It’s not something that we get calls about every single day. It happens every once in a blue moon.”

But residents say golf balls routinely sail into their complex, and they feel something more needs to be done.

Nancy Taylor: “I may see, at least four days a week, I’ll see a golf ball inside the community.”

Robert says he would like to see more netting installed and maintained.

Robert Heath: “It would mitigate, especially if you put it in the worst areas.”

Christina Sorensen: “I’ll commit to contacting the [homeowners association] for Park Place and just seeing if there’s anything that maybe they haven’t thought of that they can help their residents with.”

A conversation that could at least be a swing in the right direction.