Golf Handicap Defamation Case to Cost €500k in Fees

A golfer’s good name

We all know that golf is a ridiculous sport, filled with self-important, rule-obsessed gobshites, but still.  Who could have imagined anyone taking a case the whole way to the Supreme Court because  he felt defamed by his handicap?

Well, that’s exactly what 65-year-old Thomas Talbot did when he got a letter from Hermitage Golf Club in Lucan, County Dublin, telling him that his handicap was 13.  It wasn’t so much the number that annoyed him as the accompanying words: General Play (Handicap Building).

Thomas took this as an extreme slur, a suggestion that he was cheating in some way, and he wasn’t having that sort of suggestion hanging over him, so he went to law, claiming defamation and conspiracy against the golf club, against one of its officials and also against the Golfing Union of Ireland.

Ah come on.  Please.  What is this?

No, it’s true.   This golfer got so annoyed at his club that he sued them for setting his handicap, but it’s not even that simple.  Not only did he sue them, but when his case was thrown out on its ear, he appealed to the Supreme Court.

The case went on for 83 court-days in total, over 11 years, with Thomas representing himself the whole time, until eventually the Supreme Court also told him to forget it, he was pissing up a rope, and that’s when the matter of costs arose.

Now here’s the thing.  When Thomas started all these shenanigans, he was 65, but now he’s 76, fair play to him, and I hope he has a long and happy life ahead of him. However, the statistics are there and they tell us all about life expectancy, so what I’m thinking is this.  Maybe Thomas took on this whole thing as a form of entertainment. Maybe he’s just laughing at the lawyers who want €500,000 for whatever they did on this case, and perhaps he’s thinking, Good luck with that.

25 lawyers sitting on a wire, waiting to get paid.

I hope so anyway.    It would be be a lot better than him thinking, Jesus, maybe I’ll have another go at clearing my name.

10 thoughts on “Golf Handicap Defamation Case to Cost €500k in Fees

  1. Gotta admire his drive, but will he be able to swing a deal. Maybe he was a bit green heading into this? Anyway, as you say, the 20th hole might round it all up!

    Hot on Amadan’s heels…!

  2. A little birdie told me he’s not out of the Woods yet. There’s a lot of lawyers who want a slice of the action.

  3. His legal eagles seem to have a weak grip of the law on this round.
    Let’s hope he’ll get a break.

  4. “We all know that golf is a ridiculous sport, filled with self-important, rule-obsessed gobshites…”

    Yes there are many “rule obsessed gobshites” but any intelligent person would refuse to play with them.

    Golf provides a very important source of healthy recreation for millions of people.

    I don’t think its fair to “dismiss” it with such a sweeping statement.

  5. Have you ever seen the amount golfing equipment some golfers ship around the world in pursuit of their sport?
    Some golf bags can weigh as much as 30 kg’s, these golf bags are sometimes known as “caddie haters” for obvious reasons, but to be honest, the average bag weighs around 12 kg’s in my experience. You could argue that it’s not the most environmentally friendly sport as the average traveller wouldn’t carry as much weight.
    Having said that, it is a game I have enjoyed from time to time and for the most part, people you meet on the golf course tend to be ordinary and just out to enjoy themselves.
    There’s no doubt about it though, It does attract a fair amount of snobby shit-heads and you can’t give them grief like you can when you bump into them in public, because of “club rules and golf ethics”. (Lucky Bastards)
    Oh! before I forget, the average golfer is fairly useless at the game, just like myself.

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