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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Piedmont Driving Club incident all the buzz

This 1910 photo of the Piedmont Driving Club Ball is from the Atlanta History Center archives. atlantahistorycenter.com

This circa 1910 photo of the Piedmont Driving Club Ball is from the Atlanta History Center archives. atlantahistorycenter.com

NOTE: I am  turning off comments again, having just removed several comments that used people’s names as their screen names. Not cool, people. I cut off commenting before, only to have people ask if some “conspiracy” between PDC leadership and AJC brass got the commenting cut off. No. The conspiracy is between me, myself and I. We’re all tired of babysitting the blog. I get that this is a topic of interest for whatever reason, and as a big fan of the First Amendment I do usually leave commenting open. But it’s not fair for people to see their names showing up with comments they didn’t make (especially gross or offensive ones). Sorry.

The Piedmont Driving Club has hosted numerous events raising funds and awareness for worthy causes over the years. That’s a photo from around 1910 from the Atlanta History Center archives. More recently, the Beauty Becomes You “Elegant Hats” luncheon was held there in April. The Georgia CASA Luncheon and Fashion Show was in March. Events benefiting the Atlanta Ballet, including the annual Ball and Corps de Ballet luncheon, have been held there a number of times.The Atlanta chapter of Jack and Jill of America celebrated its 60th anniversary there about a year ago.

None of those generated the sort buzz that an unfortunate incident involving allegations of lewd antics by overserved members did last week.

On Friday night we cut off commenting on the initial blog post on reports of rowdy behavior during a recent golfing event, when anonymous bloggers kept posting the names of people who supposedly were involved. Over the weekend we heard from a steady stream of people eager to keep discussing the matter.

We’ve also heard from numerous people identifying themselves as members, or the spouses of members, of the Piedmont Driving Club. Those folks seem about evenly split on whether allegations of drunken members irrigating the greens is a bunch of fatuous nonsense, or a serious matter that needs additional scrutiny.

The Club’s only public statement regarding the matter is as follows: “We have taken disciplinary action based on what we currently know to be true. We take this matter very seriously and are looking into it further. When all of the facts are gathered and verified, we will consider further action.”

We’re told that those responsible have been suspended and fined.

Meanwhile we’re told Club leadership is consulting with a PR firm to address the matter moving forward. For now we’ll end with a comment from a member who wishes to be identified only as “An Avid Golfer.” It was emailed to us this morning:

“Dear Jennifer, I wanted to comment but noticed that you had turned the comments off. I keep a long quotation on my bulletin board from Herbert Warren Wind whom you may have heard of in your profession. He was a prominent golf sports writer. It represents my feelings about golf and I am sure many who love the game. This is only part of the quote. ‘Even for the lucky few among us for whom things always seem to go right, the world is never an easy place. The quality of our lives is frequently disappointing, seldom as pleasant or as significant as we had hoped for when we were young. In the midst of this, golf provides a small world where the standards are civilized, where people are frequently at their best, and where there is humor and spontaneity and, at times, the true strain of poetry which all of us seem to need in our lives. WE MUST BE SURE WE TAKE GOOD CARE OF IT.”

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

82 comments Add your comment

Mike

June 4th, 2012
4:52 pm

I don’t believe I know any of the people involved, but when they say “suspended and fired,” does that imply that the people behaving inappropriately were club staff and not members? Or were involved members suspended and involved employees fired?

Could we talk about the bar fight at the New York Athletic Club instead?

Club Rats

June 4th, 2012
5:35 pm

Heard the names. I am “aquainted” with 3 of them. No need for names to be made public here. The club board will decide on punishment and fines. I beleive they have started that process and the investigation is ongoing. This should not be reflective of the membership as a whole. Some 35- 40 year old entitled “frat boys” acted like jerks……….move on.

Carpetbagger

June 5th, 2012
4:20 am

@Mike- suspended and FINED… pay attention to detail! Fired and fined are two different animals.

As for the ATL… it is a joke in so many ways… . Housewives of ATL is the biggest hit on the specific television network and the ATLans condemn it as “it not us.” Then the PDC incidents(s)… it’s not us either?.

The 1996 Olympic Games “most exceptional” comment drove the ATLans nuts.

This town praises mediocrity so much that it hurts!

The PDC incident is indicative of the ATL punk town status. It is just a white boy thug-life hidden by calling it the elder frat-boy code? Change the color of the “PDC participants” and you would be calling it thug-life running amok!

And they are mad at a guy who had balls (not golf sized either) to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH and put it in writing!

carla roqs

June 5th, 2012
8:26 am

jennifer, redemption. i was disappointed in you as a journalist for turning off comments on this subject, when you continued comments on the blog re kim k. not a fan of hers, but once the comments become just plain insults, istnt enough enough? anyway, thanks for explaining why you closed the comments re this episode and for reopening them. hopefully whatever people have to say will benefit the community and not insult the city/state.

carla roqs

June 5th, 2012
8:27 am

I was there

June 5th, 2012
10:17 am

Carpetbagger,
You are an uninformed moron although I am glad that you find Atlanta to be a mediocre place. This will hopefully propel you to move back to where you originally came from. I can assure you that boorish behavior among the white elite is far more common North of the Mason Dixon line than it is down here. That is why all are so quick to attack and kick while down

John

June 5th, 2012
2:04 pm

Where are all the previous comments by readers? Did the AJC wipe them out, bowing to pressure from PDC? Why not continue the thread?

I agree, these PDC guys are more like geese than “swans.” Especially given how they disrespected their golf course.

It is clearly a private club and they have rights to do as they please, as do we with our First Amendment right to comment on our opinion of the members we have met and what we know of this embarrasing club.

Tom

June 5th, 2012
2:23 pm

Agreed John, those previous blogs were classics.

Everytime I have been to PDC and meet someone I will ask my host “who was that.” They will always say “his grandfather was the CEO of this or that,” or “he married the so and so girl.” Never anything about that person. Most there are living off the past and they really showed their stripes in the rare glimpse of the true Peed-mont Driving Club.

Get Real

June 5th, 2012
2:48 pm

We were discussing this at my club and our understanding (which could be wrong) was that all the incidents occurred during a member-guest tournament and the bulk of the supposed antics were done by the guests..

GTPHISH

June 5th, 2012
2:52 pm

I don’t see what the big deal is, these a@@hats merely confused the Mens Grill for a Tea Party Rally…

Get Real

June 5th, 2012
2:55 pm

GTPHISH….I think you are confused as it clearly resembles a OWS crowd or do you live in a cave cut off from all forms of news and information

GTPHISH

June 5th, 2012
2:56 pm

Naahh, I am not confused at all…..tell Senator Craig I said hello

Jennifer Brett

June 5th, 2012
2:58 pm

Get Real

June 5th, 2012
3:00 pm

Very confused, get back on your meds…besides you were probably in the other stall so you already know Senator Craig…how’s your gerbel?

[...] Commenting on this blog has been turned off; at 244 comments it had become a bit unwieldy. Click here for a new PDC blog with open commenting; please try to be [...]

Trailboss

June 5th, 2012
3:01 pm

ANT THIS A SURPRISE RICH PEOPLE CAN’T HOLD IT… THIS PROVES JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE MONEY DON’T MEAN YOU HAVE GOOD SOCIAL SKILLS.

Bad Behavior Not A Rare PDC Occurrence

June 5th, 2012
3:09 pm

Wouldn’t it be nice if obnoxious behavior was, indeed, a very rare occurrence and that it was always handled with dexterity and diplomacy by the Piedmont Driving Club staff?

Get Real

June 5th, 2012
3:11 pm

Sorry if I offended anyone but GTPHISH was a bit confused and needed to be corrected….back to work

Gnonk

June 5th, 2012
3:13 pm

@carpet You are dead-on. This is the self-esteem city where everything is good, even when it is bad. People are either too nice or dumb to have their own opinions so people just accept everything as being fine. The idea here is to find a niche and fit into the disneyfied version of it that is offered here. It is really sad that so many people can be so content with being typical but it fits since everyone is doing what Cosmo, TV, and GQ tell them to do.

Go-go

June 5th, 2012
3:43 pm

To “get real”.. It was a member-member tournament, not a member-guest. So, it as members.

Go-go

June 5th, 2012
3:43 pm

To “get real”.. It was a member-member tournament, not a member-guest. So, it as members.

ESA

June 5th, 2012
3:44 pm

Mike’s word of the day.

fine 2 (fn)
n.
1. A sum of money required to be paid as a penalty for an offense.
. Law
a. A forfeiture or penalty to be paid to the offended party in a civil action.
b. An amicable settlement of a suit over land ownership.
3. Obsolete An end; a termination.
tr.v. fined, fin·ing, fines
To require the payment of a fine from; impose a fine on.

Robert E.

June 5th, 2012
3:46 pm

I say Boy……And they perked up…..Just boys being boys…Same as the streets of downtown Atlanta on any Saturday night….Nothing to see here….Just boys being boys….Move along…….

Denise

June 5th, 2012
3:54 pm

Who cares. Without Christ…hell is hot.

Weary Traveller

June 5th, 2012
3:56 pm

@Get Real

My understanding is that this was a member/member tournament. That was how it was described in the original letter to the Board. Here’s a link that includes a copy of the original letter.

http://deadspin.com/5914356/member-of-prestigious-golf-club-scolds-others-for-urinating-on-the-greens-picking-up-a-golf-ball-with-naked-butt-cheeks-and-much-more

Go-go

June 5th, 2012
3:59 pm

These were not “boys”… They were grown dues paying members most likely with kids (their role models).

WTF

June 5th, 2012
4:00 pm

Gnonk & Carpetbagger…Delta is ready when you are.

Adder

June 5th, 2012
4:04 pm

This make me smile but also very sad that these idiots will only get a slap on the wrists. Being the rich boys club i’m sure they think this will be swept under the carpet, i hear the Golf Channel sending Feherty up to do an interview. That should be fun.

George

June 5th, 2012
4:13 pm

Why do people care if the names go public? They should be embarrassed for what they did. I mean the names are eventually going to go public if the lawsuit goes forward.

GTPHISH

June 5th, 2012
4:13 pm

@Get Real
Seems as if you are the one who has been corrected, numerous times.

Thanks for playing!

truckstopking

June 5th, 2012
4:22 pm

Get over it. Some people do really dumb things and are not very good people towards others. Every old organization has issues at some point it seems whether it’s the church, school, police, neighborhood watch, gang, country club, or congress.

There are lewd disgusting morons in all walks of life.

Johnny Ringo

June 5th, 2012
4:37 pm

@ George

it’s a private club. There is no reason for names to go public. Regardless of what people think they are entitled to know, these individuals are already shamed in the circles that they run in. It’s a private club and they will handle the disciplining privately.

Unfortunately though, the reason this thing has gotten the legs that it has is because of members forwarding the letter, not the author.

I am not a member, but, know or know of most of the people involved.

crackbaby

June 5th, 2012
4:41 pm

Would this be news if the incident occurred elsewhere?

tom gordon

June 5th, 2012
4:46 pm

Methinks PDC has become a haven for Flem Snopes and his kin.

Dave Walker

June 5th, 2012
4:55 pm

Sounds like an ordinary Lovett white trash reunion.

One Under through 9

June 5th, 2012
4:56 pm

It was very odd that most of the antics involved using men’s genitals to show or hit some other male sleeping in the face. Not to mention the ball in buttocks episode. I would be afraid to take a shower there – weird things going on.

Tucker Dude

June 5th, 2012
4:57 pm

Why do I care what happens on the premises of a private club, as long as there were no felonies involved. People acting badly when drunk… if this happened at an Atlanta Braves/Falcons/Hawks/Hockey game or even a NASCAR race event, no one would notice.

Johnny Ringo

June 5th, 2012
4:59 pm

@ dave walker
I’m sure you went to school with plenty of idiots, as well. It has nothing to do with Lovett or or any other school.

One Under through 9

June 5th, 2012
5:02 pm

Tucker Dude: last time I was at a Braves/Falcons/Hawks/Hockey/Nascar event – no one tea bagged me.

Johnny Ringo

June 5th, 2012
5:05 pm

@one under through 9

I think he actually meant an LSU football game

Hillbilly D

June 5th, 2012
5:24 pm

I wonder if the names would’ve been withheld if this had happened at the local VFW or the county line beer joint.

Rose

June 5th, 2012
5:31 pm

Wow, if I didn’t know better, I would think a lot of people are just jealous of guys who have money and belong to an elite club. There are a lot of people with money and no class. Who really cares what they do at their private club.

Carpetbagger

June 5th, 2012
5:35 pm

@Hillbilly- These punks couldn’t get into a VFW?American Legion…they would have to serve 1st! And if they did do this… some old vet would kick their a$$ and that would be the end of it. No letter needed! The best $30 (Legion?VFW dues) I ever paid was belonging to a “club” where MONEY can’t get you in! No matter how much you have, or how you got it!

Get Real

June 5th, 2012
5:41 pm

GTPHISH….the alarm is going off on the french fry machine…back to work infant

Hillbilly D

June 5th, 2012
5:41 pm

Carpetbagger

Good point but I think you knew what I meant.

Get Real

June 5th, 2012
5:43 pm

Go-Go….thanks for the clarification…pretty sad; even sadder that the letter from the member lawyer complaining about the incidents found its way into the public spotlight….

george

June 5th, 2012
5:45 pm

@ johnny ringo.

What difference does it make if it is a private club or not? I would rather the names come out and the facts come out than for all these rumors to continue including some people being named that had nothing to do with it. I too know all of the members in question. I do not feel entitled to know anything but coming out with the facts would put a stop to all of the rumors circulating.To me where the actions took place have no relevance. As far as blaming the members who forwarded the email that is ludacrious. If the member who wrote the letter did not want this to get out he would have sent it to the president and the president only. The fact is he himself sent it to several members, and in fact in the letter encourages the president and the board to send it to other people. The blame on this issue should be put on the drunk members and the drunk members only. I have heard people try to blame the person who wrote the letter, the staff, other members etc. and that is absurd. The only people who should share the blame are the drunk members. I will say though I am a bit surprised that the PDC staff seemingly did not do much, but I do not place any of the blame on them. I would just think that they (or someone else persent for that matter) would have physically forced the members to leave and if they refused call the cops. That is just my opinion and again without knowing 100 % of the facts I am not going to place blame on anyone but the drunks.

Wallace

June 5th, 2012
5:45 pm

One more thing, Obama is a loser

Carpetbagger

June 5th, 2012
5:54 pm

@Wallace… “they were being louder than the men’ s grill guys”… Then shame on the rehearsal party then?! Yeah right!

Penis slapping… “and it apparently was really funny.” Really a hardy-har-har with that one!!

And then the $1000 tip- a payoff- hush bucks for acting the fool? And you call me a loser?

I can see serious problems at PDC… I have been there a numerous times and sans incidents. But when I see idiots defending idiotic behavior and calling people losers… well it just smacks of the ATL behavior!

No more PDC for me! I don’t care who invites me… and for what! Wallace confirms what is going on there!

Wallace

June 5th, 2012
5:59 pm

Carpetbagger is a member at Chastain, or Heritage