Pennsylvania golf club apologized after calling police on black women members for playing too slow

A group of black women said they were discriminated against at a golf club in Pennsylvania — where they are members — because the course claimed they were playing too slowly. (Getty Images)
A group of black women said they were discriminated against at a golf club in Pennsylvania — where they are members — because the course claimed they were playing too slowly. (Getty Images)

The Grandview Golf Club in York, Pennsylvania, has apologized after it called the police on a group of black women after the co-owner and his father said the five-some was playing too slowly and refused to leave the course.

The women — who are all members at the golf club — were told they were not keeping the pace of play on just the second hole by former York County Commissioner Steve Chronister, who claimed to be the owner of the club. They claimed they were keeping pace with the group ahead of them, and talked with the golf pro at the course after Chronister confronted the group. They claimed the golf pro said they were fine.

“I felt like we were discriminated against,” Myneca Ojo, one of the women in the group, told the York Daily Record. “It was a horrific experience.”

After finishing the first half of their round, three members of the group decided to leave “because they were so shaken up by the incident.” The two who stayed to finish the round were then approached by Chronister, his son Jordan and several other white, male employees, who told them they had five minutes to leave the club and that police had been called. The reasoning, they said, was that they had taken too long of a break on the turn.

Jordan Chronister, who identified himself as the co-owner, was “aggressive, confrontational and condescending,” to the group, the women said.

The police arrived, conducted interviews with all parties, and left without charging anyone, saying that the “issue did not warrant any charges.”

JJ Chronister, Jordan’s wife and co-owner of the club, said she reached out to the group on Sunday to apologize and that she wanted to meet with the women in person.

“We sincerely apologize to the women for making them feel uncomfortable here at Grandview, that is not our intention in any way,” she told the York Daily Record. “We want all of our members to feel valued and that they can come out here and have a great time, play golf and enjoy the experience.”

The five women are part of a group in the area known as the “Sisters in the Fairway,” a group of very experienced golfers who play all over the country.

After they were confronted on the second hole, the women said they skipped the third hole to avoid any other issues.

“[Steve] said, ‘You’re going too slow, I’ll give you a refund,’ as if he didn’t want us as members,” Sandra Thompson, one of the women in the group, said of the confrontation on the front nine. “I said, ‘Do you realize we’re the only black women on this course, and you’re only coming up to us? We paid, we want to play.’ He walked off in a huff.”

JJ Chronister issued a second statement to the paper on Monday to explain why the police were even called in the first place, saying the group had violated their rules listed on the club’s scorecard.

“In the past players who have not followed the rules, specifically pace of play, have voluntarily left at our request as our scorecard states,” JJ Chronister told the York Daily Record. “In this instance, the members refused to leave so we called police to ensure an amicable result. The members did skip holes and took an extended break after the 9th hole. We spoke with them once about pace of play and then spoke with them a second time. During the second conversation we asked members to leave as per our policy noted on the scorecard, voices escalated, and police were called to ensure an amicable resolution.”

JJ Chronister had not yet met with the women as of Monday, however Thompson said they aren’t looking for a fast, simple solution. There’s a bigger problem here than them just getting kicked off the golf course, she said.

“We’re interested in getting long-term resolution, not short-term resolution,” Thompson said. “We’re not looking at surface or quick fixes, because surface or quick fixes doesn’t fix the mindset of what led to this.

“There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner.”

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