SHALIMAR, Fla. – When people think of winter golfing in Florida, they often think of a calm, restful experience enjoying the lush, green scenery and balmy breezes of the Sunshine State.
What usually does not come to mind is a sudden blast from an air horn by mischief-minded teenagers.
But such a situation took place over the weekend, prompting a pair of elderly golfers to go ballistic with a metal golf-ball finder.
According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Ronald Richardson and Donald Nieto, both 71, were teeing off at the ninth hole at the Shalimar Pointe Country Club when four teens disturbed their Saturday by blasting a loud air horn.
Richardson told officers he and Nieto went to approach the teenagers, but the boys ran away.
The Northwest Florida Daily News says one of the teens, age 15, finally came back to retrieve a jacket he had left behind.
Upon his return, the two men reacted in a way reminiscent of the classic scene from the golfing movie “Happy Gilmore” where Bob Barker unloads a severe beating on the ornery character played by Adam Sandler.
The sheriff’s report says the golfers “responded by striking [the teenager] with the golf-ball finder to keep him from being able to pick up his jacket.”
Video of the incident was played on the air by WEAR-TV, the ABC affiliate in Pensacola, Fla.
Richardson fessed up to pummeling the boy three or four times on “his back side area … and maybe on his arm,” but also admitted the boy didn’t threaten him or make him feel endangered. The teen was reportedly not hurt seriously.
The arrest report says Nieto originally denied hitting the boy with the golf-ball retriever, but that was until he was shown video of the mayhem captured by another one of the teens at the location.
Deputies shared the video with the general manager of Shalimar Pointe to help identify Richardson and Nieto.
The golfers were arrested and face child-abuse charges for their actions.
“I would be very upset if another adult lashed out at my kid with a weapon,” nearby resident Minora Mixon told WEAR.
But she added, “I would like to see maybe charges dropped, but yet maybe have them do some community service.”