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Limit golf course alcohol sales, board is urged


Wilde Lake village residents urged the county Liquor Board last night to restrict alcohol sales and consumption to the clubhouse of the Columbia Association's new Fairway Hills Golf Course or reject CA's liquor license application.

But association officials -- supported by about 20 residents -- argued that golfers should be allowed to carry beer or light wine they purchase at the clubhouse onto the 204-acre course. They said that course employees have taken alcohol-awareness training.

The liquor license dispute is the latest in a long-running conflict between the association and Wilde Lake residents over the $5.5 million, 18-hole course.

The course is sandwiched between housing developments in Wilde Lake and Dorsey's Search villages, just west of U.S. 29.

The Columbia Council, board of directors for the association that runs the community's recreational facilities, adopted a policy last month that prohibits alcohol sales from mobile beverage carts on the course. But that policy does not prohibit golfers from purchasing alcohol at the clubhouse and carrying it onto the course.

Residents of Wilde Lake's Running Brook neighborhood contended that allowing golfers to consume alcohol along the course would disturb their peace, set a poor example for junior players and neighborhood children, and increase safety risks from errant shots onto their adjacent properties.

They also questioned the need for alcohol sales at the course, saying sports and alcohol do not mix.

"Consider whether alcohol is really needed to improve the performance of golfers, or is it just a business decision by CA to attract more golfers?" Linh Cheong, a course neighbor, asked the Liquor Board, which was hearing the case for the third time since July.

Association officials said that they've had no alcohol-related problems in 27 years of operating the organization's other golf course, Hobbit's Glen, which employs beverage carts and allows golfers to carry alcohol onto the course.

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