Piedmont Driving Club is synonymous with one word: prestige. Well, as of a few minutes ago it was, anyway. Recently, one aggrieved member wrote a letter to the club's president, John R. Holder, detailing the predominantly naked and drunken tomfoolery at a members golf tournament. You can find that letter below.
One member decided to play the 14th hole completely naked, I have not researched it, but I suspect this is also a crime in Georgia.
several members urinated on one of the greens, in presence of the caddie, a female, and one or more of the members deliberately exposed themselves to her while urinating. I suspect this is also a crime in Georgia.
one member decided to show off to other members, and a caddie, his ability to pick up a golf ball with his naked butt cheeks. I suspect that this behavior — if it occurred at Bobby Jones Golf Course — would have resulted in a call to the police and the arrest of the offender.
on Friday night, one of the drunken golfers passed out in the men's grill, and another member opened his pants, pulled out his penis, and slapped the passed out member's head with his penis.
According to a tipster—whose friend is a member—the letter leaked out yesterday. While member tournaments are usually drunken disasters, the tipster added, this one was particularly drunken and disastrous.
I called the club and asked to speak with Holder but was told he did not have an office at that location. I explained my situation and was quickly transferred—after a snorting laugh—to the club's general manager, Gary Lanneau. I've left a message with him. I also left a message with the author of the letter, John C. Weitnauer.
While we wait by the phone, here's something to peruse, from the Piedmont Club's website.
Since 1887, the Piedmont Driving Club has enjoyed a reputation as one of the most prestigious private clubs in the South. In keeping with its original purpose — the promotion of recreation and enjoyment for its members and their families — the Club provides outstanding athletic facilities to meet the desires of the membership for golf, tennis, swimming, squash, and fitness activities. Now in our second century, the Piedmont Driving Club continues to grow and is a dynamic part of Atlanta's rich heritage and promising future.
John R. Holder
c/o Gary Lanneau, General Manager
Piedmont Driving Club
1215 Piedmont Avenue, NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
I have heard that, during and after the latest member/member golf tournament, a great deal of — to put it mildly — inappropriate behavior occurred.
I have heard the following:
• several members decided to play several holes with no shirts. I am sure that this is contrary to the rules of the golf course. Had this been the only infraction of good manners that apparently occurred at the tournament, I would not be writing this letter.
• one member decided to play the 14th hole completely naked. I have not researched it, but I suspect this is a crime in Georgia
• several members urinated on one of the greens, in the presence of the caddie, a female, and one or more of the members deliberately exposed themselves to her while urinating. I suspect that this is also a crime in Georgia.
• one member decided to show off to other members, and a caddie, his ability to pick up a golf ball with his naked butt cheeks. I suspect that this behavior — if it occurred at Bobby Jones Golf Course — would have resulted in a call to the police and the arrest of the offender.
• several members decided to deliberately hit onto the green while the group ahead of them was putting on that green, with the announced intention of hitting the members who were putting. I don't know if you've ever been hit by a golf ball, but I believe that if a golf ball hits someone in the head, it can be fatal, or if it hits someone in the eye, the victim can be blinded in that eye. I don't know if deliberately trying to hit someone with a well struck golf ball is a crime in Georgia, but I suspect that it probably falls within one or more criminal statutes.
• on Friday night, one of the drunken golfers passed out in the men's grill, and another member opened his pants, pulled out his penis, and slapped the passed out member's head with his penis.
• on Friday night, after the golf day was finished, several members were extremely drunk and disorderly. (I suppose this is no surprise —- I am told that, on Friday alone, more vodka and beer was consumed than had ever been consumed in the two days of any prior member/member tournament).
• on Friday night, the noise made by several of the drunken and disorderly members was so obnoxious that a rehearsal dinner in the main dining area of the golf club was, of course, disturbed. When someone from the rehearsal dinner came into the men's grill to as that the drunken members quiet down, the response from one of the drunken golfers was "Go fuck yourself."
• relations between the drunken golfers and rehearsal dinner did not improve — apparently several of the drunken golfers decided to "moon" the persons attending the rehearsal dinner.
In my mind, this behavior — if true — is horrific. I hope the Board has investigated, with both the golf club staff and the caddies on duty during the tournament, any and all allegations of such behavior.
If it is true that the drunken members disturbed the rehearsal dinner in any of the ways that I was told, I hope the Club has completely refunded the charges to the host of that dinner, and fined the drunk and disorderly members in at least and equal amount.
If it is true that any member has (i) cavorted naked on the golf course; (ii) urinated on a green in the presence of a caddie; (iii) deliberately hit onto a green with a group was putting; (iv) or "mooned" anyone at the Club, I hope the Board has (a) expelled those members and (b) will publicly post a report of such behavior and the sanctions imposed.
This behavior is far more offensive, and far more corrosive to the health and well being of the Club, than the late payment of a bill, which is routinely posted to bulletin boards throughout the Club, presumably to shame those guilty of such an infraction. This behavior, if confirmed, and the sanctions imposed by the Board, should be well publicized throughout the Club. Among other things, let the wives and children of these drunkards be confronted with, and ashamed by, the grotesque conduct of their husbands and fathers.
By the way, I don't think our staff can be expected to stop such behavior — all they can expected to do is to ask a member to behave appropriately, and if such a request is disregarded, report the misbehavior to the Board. The Board should be quick to impose harsh sanctions on such behavior — only then can we expect it will not be repeated.
I also hope the Board will discuss these events in detail, and the Board's actions in response to this behavior, at the upcoming Annual Meeting.
I would also appreciate it if you would forward copies of this letter to other officers of the Club, the members of the Board, and the members of the golf committee.
Very truly yours,
John C. Weitnauer
Photo by Greg Randles/Shutterstock