Mass. family wins $5 million verdict from country club after property hit by over 600 golf balls

A Massachusetts couple won a verdict worth nearly $5 million against a local country club after suffering from the years-long, "continuous threat" of wayward golf balls struck by hackers.

A Plymouth County Superior Court jury awarded Erik and Athina Tenczar $4.93 million in December, finding that Indian Pond Country Club was at fault for not protecting the couple's home from a constant barrage of bad golfing, court records showed.

Family Terrorized by Golf Balls Wins Nearly $5 Million From Neighboring Country Club (Jonathan Wiggs / Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Family Terrorized by Golf Balls Wins Nearly $5 Million From Neighboring Country Club (Jonathan Wiggs / Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The Tenczars originally sued both Indian Pond and Spectrum Building Inc., which built their new home in Kingston, about 40 miles south of downtown Boston. They settled with the builders, leaving Indian Pond Country Club as the sole defendant.

“The continuous threat of golf ball strikes occurring at any time prevents the Tenczars from the use and enjoyment of their property,” which was purchased for $750,000 on April 27, 2017, according to the complaint.

The Tenczars' attorney, Robert Galvin, said he understands skepticism about his clients' dismay over errant golf balls, knowing they were buying property that abuts the 15th hole.

But the inconvenience of an occasional backyard golf ball pales in comparison to the 651 dimpled spheres that have struck their property, Galvin said.

There have been "multiple broken windows," according to the lawsuit and one particularly jarring shot on July 18, 2018 that "struck a window in the home shattering the glass and terrifying the plaintiffs' young daughter and resulting in the Tenczars contacting the Kingston Police Department to file a report."

"They thought they were buying golf-course-view property and what they ended up buying was a golf-course-in-play property," Galvin told NBC News on Monday. "It was apparent to anyone that this house was going to be struck as repeatedly as this one was, they would have never bought this property."

A lawyer for Indian Pond Country Club could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday. The judgement is being appealed with the defense arguing that $4.93 million is excessive, according to Galvin.

The couple's home is at the bend of a severe leftward curve in the course. So golfers seeking to "cut the dogleg" would regularly blast off the tee in hopes of clearing a tree line — but end up hitting the home instead, the Tenczars claimed.

But now the couple and their three young daughters hope the problem could be solved as the tee box on 15 has been moved back, disincentivizing golfers from their attempted shortcut and instead encouraging more simple shots that follow the dogleg, Galvin said.