When Golf Balls Won’t Stop Smashing into Their Home, This Family Snaps

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By: Riley Brown | Published: Jan 18, 2023

The Tenczars finally realized their aspiration in the spring of 2017. They had just purchased their first home, and things looked promising for their future. That perfect arrangement, however, quickly devolved into a nightmare after they moved in. Why? 

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The constant barrage of golf balls at their house posed a real danger to their safety. And it was going to be difficult to find a workable answer.

Totally clueless

Before they purchased the property in question, Athina, Erik, and their three children (collectively referred to as the Tenczars) had no genuine cause to suspect the danger that loomed over their future residence. Even though the location was newly constructed, they had already had conversations with the builders regarding the property.es.

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

They were never given any indication of how severe the issues would become or how quickly they would affect their liv

A loud crashing sound

As a result, they decided to purchase the house and then relocate. They could see a bright future ahead of them in their brand-new, picture-perfect home, so it was natural for them to feel excited and hopeful. And throughout the first several days and weeks of settling into the house, everything appeared to be functioning properly. 

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Source: Athina Tenczar/Facebook

They looked out over their surroundings and gushed over how beautiful the vista was from their windows. Then, a solid and potentially harmful item appeared out of nowhere and slammed into their property.

Hard as a rock

The culprit was a golf ball, as you suspected. It is common knowledge that these have the potential to do a great deal of harm. They are usually struck with a great deal of force due to their extreme hardness.

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Source: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

No person wants to think of the possibility of one flying into the air and crashing into a house full of small kids as they walk around. But that is just what took place in this location, and that was just the beginning of things.

Golf ball magnet

It became immediately apparent that this was not going to be a random occurrence of any kind at all. In point of fact, it seemed like golf balls were drawn to the Tenczar residence like magnets. Repeatedly, the horrifying sound of these things crashing into their property caused it to shake and was really disturbing. 

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

The house experienced a significant amount of damage, without taking into account the great amount of emotional turmoil and strain that the predicament put on the family.

Terrible way to live

The Tenczars were put in a terrible dilemma as a result of the scenario. They could not keep up with the number of golf balls hitting their house. They didn’t even make an effort to repair the damage caused by the crashes because it had caused so much damage over and over again.

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

Broken windows were repaired with sheets of plastic rather than new glass panes. After a certain point in time, though, this was a terrible way to go through life!

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A horrendous standoff

The entire family was in a bad pickle because of the dire situation. Because of the circumstances, selling the property was not going to be easy for them, despite the fact that they had invested a significant amount of money in it.

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And besides, who in the world would want to purchase a home that is constantly subjected to such a painfully frequent and severe bombardment of golf balls? That was the question they were asking themselves.

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Conscientious individuals

If the Tenczars had intended actually to sell the house, they probably would have needed to engage in some deception in order to do it. They would probably have to avoid notifying potential purchasers about the truth of the situation because nobody would willingly spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house like this. 

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Source: Erik Tenczar/Twitter

But they were unable to convince themselves to engage in this form of dishonesty because it violates their conscience.

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Unsupported

So, the Tenczars would have to continue living in their unfortunate home. And to make matters worse, they did not have a lot of support. They actually looked for workable answers to their issues, but in the end, nothing was ever done to improve the situation significantly. 

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Source: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

And after years of living in constant concern for their physical safety, in the year 2021, they finally worked up the courage to put an end to everything once and for all.

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Dominating the news

In the most recent few months, the tragic story of the family has actually gained a significant amount of traction. In April of 2022, the newspaper known as the Boston Globe published an article about the Tenczar family, which discussed the struggles each family member had faced.

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Source: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The mental torment they had been put through was made abundantly clear in the article, as was the fact that their physical safety had been put in jeopardy at all times.

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A brief background

The article in the Boston Globe not only introduced us to the setting but also filled us with details about how the family had found themselves in the scenario they were facing. It all started in April of 2017 when Athina and Erik decided to start looking for a new place to call home.

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

They didn’t have to look for very long before they discovered it–a brand-new construction with four bedrooms and 3,000 square feet of living space. They fell head over heels at first glance.

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The house of their dreams

The couple invested $750,000 of their own money towards the purchase of this mansion, but they were of the opinion that it was money well spent. This really did feel like the ideal spot for them to establish their growing family, especially with all of that space and the gorgeous views that could be seen from the windows.

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Source: Athina Tenczar/Facebook

As we’ve seen, though, it didn’t take long until things started going horribly wrong. The house of their dreams turned out to be a nightmare.

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The golf ball onset 

Before the first event, the family had been living happily in their dream house for almost a month. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a golf ball came crashing their way, barely missing them, and fell to the ground at their feet onto the driveway. 

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Source: Athina Tenczar/Facebook

The fact that nobody was injured is nothing short of a miracle. They expressed their gratitude for this, considering that Erik was in the process of taking his infant out of the vehicle at the time of the accident.

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Broken windows

After that, things got worse. Additional golf balls began to land on the estate, with some of them actually plummeting inside. Finally, when the first window was shattered, the gravity of the rapidly deteriorating situation was brought into high focus for everyone to see.

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

Soon after that came another, and then another after that. One of the windows eventually shattered right in the middle of the room where the children often used to play in the house.

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Put in the crosshairs

Unfortunately, this was by no means the last time that the couple’s children were put in harm’s way and potentially exposed to danger.

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One day, the family made the decision to provide the children with some fun by filling up a small paddling pool for them to play in. It appeared as though it would be the ideal activity; however, almost immediately, a golf ball fell into the water. The kids were quite obviously at high risk of injury.

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The destruction

According to the Tenczars’ account to the Boston Globe, over the course of those four terrible years, their house was hit by almost 700 golf balls. As was mentioned, it had occurred so frequently that the family had even stopped replacing broken windows. 

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

The fact that the windows were broken so frequently led them just to protect them with a sheet of plastic and leave it at that. But the windows weren’t the only thing that was ruined on the property; there was significant damage all over the place.

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Greater risks

It would be irresponsible to minimize the dangers posed by this circumstance. Glass would splinter whenever a ball would go into one of the window panes in the building. Broken pieces would fly in every direction, causing damage to the inside of the building. 

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Who is to say what kind of terrible injuries could be caused by these shards if they were ever to strike someone? During this time, parents insisted that their children always wear bicycle helmets whenever they went outside to play in the neighborhood.

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The bang

The golf-ball impacts that Athina and Erik mentioned were submitted to the Boston Globe. Athina shed some light on the occurrence by stating, “When it hits, it sounds like a gunshot.” Athina added, “It’s very scary.”  

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Source: Athina Tenczar/Facebook

Erik, who was speaking at the same time, described how the barrage of white projectiles had an effect on them physically and mentally. He stated, “We’re always on edge.” He also added with an expression of anxiety on his face, “It’s been emotionally taxing on us.”

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Overcomplicated

In case it wasn’t already obvious, the house that belonged to the Tenczar family was situated next to a golf course. After reading that, you probably feel less sympathy for the family than you did before reading it.

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

And besides, if they had known that they were going to reside close to the golf course, they should have anticipated the possibility of being hit by a stray ball at some point. The reality, however, is significantly more subtle and complex than that.

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The couple was misled

In an email that he sent to the internet site of Golfweek magazine, the Tenczars’ attorney, Bob Galvin, discussed the condition that his clients faced. He went on to explain that perhaps the pair had, in all actuality, been given false information when they purchased their home. 

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

He stated, “Before my clients purchased the home from the builder, according to the builder, a ball had broken a window, and the builder was told that it was an isolated issue by the course owner and would not happen again.”

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Presumption of safety

Athina and Erik knew that having a home so close to a golf course might cause some disturbances. Of course, they expected some noise but hoped it wouldn’t be too disruptive. After all, a number of other people reside in the same general vicinity as them.

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However, the reality was that things were very bad, and no one had advised them about it. Based on what Athina said to the Boston Globe, “Honestly if you have all these houses on a course, I assumed it was safe.” She did not foresee the danger.

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Hindsight, 20/20

During an interview with the newspaper, Erik said they should have given the house another thought. “Should we have looked into chances our house would be hit?” he asked. Responding, “Probably. Truthfully, I have no idea.”

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

He said that basically, in a word, they adored the house–although hindsight is always 20/20. The couple can see the flaws of their first house much more clearly now. One would never guess that a person’s first home would be anything less than a work of epic proportions.

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A nightmare

Galvin, the family attorney, was sympathetic toward the opinions of those individuals who, after hearing the Tenczars’ story for the first time, have a difficult time feeling sorry for them. However, he is of the opinion that there was no way they could have rightfully known the situation they were entering.

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

According to what he said in an interview with the Boston Globe, “They bought what they thought was their dream house, and it became a nightmare for them.” He also stated, “They couldn’t do anything outside during the golf season.”

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A golf-course-in-play property

Galvin also gave an interview with NBC, where he discussed his clients and the struggles they faced. He stated, “They thought they were buying a golf-course-view property and what they ended up buying was a golf-course-in-play property… [If] it was apparent to anyone that this house was going to be struck as repeatedly as this one was, they would have never bought this property.” 

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For sure, they would have given it a second consideration if they realized they were “Buying Was A Golf-Course-In-Play Property” and not the “Golf-Course-View Property.”

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The 15th tee hole

The 15th hole on the golf course was the source of the conflict that was at the center of this story. Galvin contends that the webpage for the course really appeared to urge players to try a particular shot that would require firing the ball directly through the Tenczar mansion.

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He has argued this point. Because of this fact, clearly, their house became a very risky location to reside. The homes of their neighbors, on the other hand, have suffered less damage.

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Not much to do

The Tenczars claim that they made multiple attempts to get in touch with the golf club in an effort to find a solution to the problem; however, they were frequently ignored.

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Source: Athina Tenczar/Facebook

The lawyers for the club dispute their claim, but what is beyond dispute is that the Tenczars eventually came to the conclusion that they needed to take further action. Athina reflected on the situation and said, “We started calling the police because there was not much we could do.”

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Protective net

On the other hand, the police did not have many other options that were realistic to pursue–besides getting in touch with the golf club. So after making that decision, the Tenczars contacted a specialist to inquire about the possibility of having a protective net installed in their residence.

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Source: Mike Riley/Instagram

This specialist, on the other hand, was pessimistic and told the family that in order for the net to work, they would need to construct an extremely tall one to have any chance of protection.

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What’s the next step?

The family was in a state of utter desperation, and there was no obvious solution, even in the distant future. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Erik recalled the following, “So then a year goes by, and another year goes by, and we’re dealing with this every day during the summertime, until we’re just like, ‘What else do we do?’”

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Source: Athina Tenczar/Facebook

They had tried everything else, and when it all failed, they made the decision to start a lawsuit against the golf course.

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Filing the lawsuit

The family made the difficult decision to seek legal assistance and continue down that thorny path, despite the weight of their hearts. Athina told the Boston Globe that they had “never wanted a lawsuit; nobody wants a lawsuit.” 

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Source: Athina Tenczar/Facebook

This statement was made in reference to this decision. “We made an effort to engage them in conversation and collaborate with them. We tried to go in civilly and work with them. We got some communication, but then it stopped.”

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Protests and rebuttals

The attorney for the country club has commented on the Tenczars’ assertion that his clients have been uncommunicative. According to the article that was published in the Boston Globe, John Flemming was quoted as saying, “It’s not true that the golf course didn’t do anything. A suggestion that we were completely unresponsive, I don’t think is accurate at all.”

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

Flemming claimed the organization had discussed the issue with the golf course’s designer and tried out several possible solutions.

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Legal actions

Because the Tenczars believed they had been led in the wrong direction from the beginning, they first intended to file a lawsuit against both the country club and the real estate business that was responsible for building their family home. However, the real estate business case was dismissed because the family and the construction company were able to reach a deal outside of court.

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Source: Athina Tenczar/Facebook

Because of this, they decided to concentrate their legal endeavors on the golf club known as the Indian Pond Country Club.

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The Tenczars testify

The Tenczars were called to attest to their experiences. Galvin told Golf Week the story of their ordeal was quite moving to the judge and jury.

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

He stated, “They are a wonderful nice couple that was literally begging the course to help them because only the course could solve the issue by either erecting a barrier at the tee, altering the location of the tee, or altering the hole — all of which they refused to do even though the impact and the safety issue was well known.”

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The judgment

A verdict was returned after the conclusion of the trial, which lasted for six days, and it was a noteworthy one. The Tenczars were awarded damages by the jury, who found in their favor and acknowledged the pain and anguish they had been through throughout the experience. 

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Source: Athina Tenczar/Facebook

The total was a staggering amount. The golf course was going to owe just under $5 million for the family as a total payout from the organization.

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Unforeseen

Even Galvin admitted the fact that this was an enormous sum of money, which may have come as a surprise. However, he believes that it was the right move to make.

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

In an interview with Golf Week, he remarked, “The amount of mental distress damages is significant in this case, and I am not privy to the jury deliberations, but my assumption is that they recognized that this young couple was basically unable to safely use their yard, deck, or even sit safely in their own home for 4.5 years.”

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Not about the money

Galvin continued by saying, “This was most importantly never about the money: we didn’t sue for $5 million.” They only discussed damage to the property with the jurors and didn’t even attempt to accurately measure or ask for a specific amount in terms of damages for mental distress. 

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

He said they immediately asked a jury in Plymouth County to consider the evidence and give them an award based on what they believed to be appropriate for the family.

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Unhappy

It should come as no surprise that the golf course did not take kindly to this decision. It presented a plea to the court of law asking to intervene and change the verdict, but the judge denied the request. 

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

Galvin does seem to believe that the reason the judge didn’t interfere with the  court’s ruling that was reached by the jury is that he probably listened to the same evidence that they did and profoundly accepted their logical conclusions.

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The golf club appeals

The next major thing that needed to be done for the country club was to file an appeal. This procedure was started in March of 2022, and yet Galvin is fairly certain that it will not accomplish anything.

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

He expressed his optimism regarding the appeal by telling Golf Week, “We are optimistic on appeal given the evidence that an appeals court will see it the same way as the jury and then the judge.”

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Defiance of the proof

Flemming, who is known as the legal eagle at the golf course, holds the opposing view. In an interview with the Boston Globe, he stated,  “I’m extremely confident that the injunction will be struck down.”

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Source: Boston Herald/YouTube

He added, “In my opinion, as a matter of law, the verdict of $3.5 million for alleged emotional distress is against the weight of the evidence.”

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A simple solution

Irrespective of how it plays out, the Tenczars can finally breathe a little easier now that they have some relief from their current plight. When news of this incident began to spread throughout the media, the number of strikes on the family home with golf balls had already effectively stopped.

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Source: Athina Tenczar/Facebook

Due to the change that the course had finally implemented, the residence was no longer in the direct path of the incoming fire. In spite of everything, the solution was easy and simple.

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Lawsuit should not have happened

Galvin said in retrospect to Golf Week, “The situation was easily remedied by some quick modifications to the tee [box]…. which is all we asked for at the beginning.” 

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Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

To paraphrase Galvin–the path persisted in its resistance until it became abundantly clear that this duty could not be sidestepped any longer. The situation should never have been allowed to deteriorate to this point. As for the outcome of the appeal, all we can do is wait and see what happens.

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