A trip to the golf course for five African American women turned ugly when they were accused of playing too slowly by the club’s white employees and co-owner, and kicked out after police were called.
Sandra Thompson and her four golf-loving friends — Myneca Ojo, Sandra Harrison, Carolyn Dow and Karen Crosby — are known as the Sisters of Fairway, according to the York Daily Record. The experienced group of golfers were just beginning to hit the links at Grandview Golf Club in Dover Township, Pennsylvania, when they were reportedly approached by Steve Chronister — the former commissioner of York County — who allegedly criticized their playing speed as they reached the second hole last Saturday.
“He said, ‘You’re going too slow. I’ll give you a refund,’ as if he didn’t want us as members,” Thompson, 50, told the York Daily Record. “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.”
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Although they felt they were already playing at a fair speed, the women decided to skip the third hole.
“Many of us were having great drive days. We were slamming that ball,” Thompson, president of the York chapter of the NAACP, told the New York Times. “So when they were trying to say ‘too slow of a pace,’ that was just false.”
Their earlier interaction with Chronister — whose son Jordan co-owns the Grandview — upset Dow, Crosby and Harrison enough that they left the course before finishing their customary 20-minute break at the ninth hole, the halfway point of the course.
After the three women left, a group of white men — including Steve and Jordan Chronister — then allegedly confronted the two remaining friends on the course, telling them to leave the club and that police were on their way. Thompson recorded the ensuing confrontation, which shows the men at times taking a mocking tone with the two women.
After Jordan Chronister tells Thompson and Ojo to leave — calling them “real winners,” in the video — Steve Chronister pulls his son to the side and says, “This is what she wants. This is what she does for a living.”
When a man off camera tells Thompson the reason they need to leave is due to their earlier “confrontation,” she is quick to correct him.
“What was the confrontation? You came to us,” Thompson tells the men in the video. “We were trying to tee off and five of you men came up to us.”
No charges were filed when police arrived, according to the Daily Record. Grandview — which has 2,400 members — did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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“I felt we were discriminated against,” Ojo told the outlet. “It was a horrific experience.”
Steve Chronister is not an owner at Grandview, but does serve as an advisor, Jordan’s wife and Grandview co-owner JJ Chronister told the Daily Record. In a video interview with the news outlet, she offered an apology for the club, and offered to meet with the women to “fully understand” what happened.
“We’re interested in getting long-term resolution, not short-term resolution,” Thompson told the newspaper. “We’re not looking at surface or quick fixes, because surface or quick fixes doesn’t fix the mindset of what led to this.”