The Grandview Golf Club in York, Pennsylvania called police Saturday on five African American women who were allegedly golfing too slowly. The women, including York County NAACP Chapter President Sandra Thompson, were all members of the club.
Despite apparently keeping up with the pace of play, the women were confronted by Steve Chronister, identified as Grandview’s owner and a former York County Commissioner, after the second hole. Chronister seemed to blame the women for a late tee-off caused by a frost delay and asked them to leave.
Thompson’s group refused to leave. Nevertheless, they skipped the third hole to accommodate the pace of play and delay caused by these interruptions.
Members of Thompson’s group left the game prematurely because of the treatment from other players, and the remaining women were approached again by Chronister, his son and several other white men employed by the club.
The women were told that their customary break after the ninth hole took too long, and they were being removed from the club. When Thompson argued, she was notified the police had been called.
Police did not charge the golfers, but did inform them that Grandview was cancelling their memberships. The women refused compensation for the terminated memberships.
Grandview apologized for the incident. Chronister’s daughter-in-law, JJ Chronister, called it an “unfortunate situation” in a conversation with the York Daily Record.
“While our intention was to ensure all teams on the course were moving through in a timely manner, the interaction between our members and our ownership progressed in a manner that was not reflective of our company’s values or expectations for our own professionalism,” Chronister said.
“It’s a tricky situation because I don’t like giving my money to people who don’t want me,” said Thompson. “But I don’t want to give them the benefit of success … to have reduced the number of African-Americans … to have reduced the number of women on their golf course.”
The club offered to meet with Thompson to use her ejections as a “learning experience,” but Thompson was hesitant.
“There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner.”
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.