I’ve experienced some horribly bad judges in my time but Judge Jeanette Irby of the Circuit Court of Loudoun County, Virginia, surely takes a prize as one of the worst of all time. Time and time again I’ve witnessed intelligent, good natured and well respected attorneys change into block-headed dictatorial monsters simply by putting on a black robe and ascending the judicial bench.
This loony tune jurist took it upon herself in a child custody dispute case to enter an order, for no apparent good reason, banning a 10-year-old golfing prodigy from playing competitive golf. The child “shall not be permitted to play competitive golf for one year,” Irby ruled. Father says his daughter plays plenty of sports but golf was the only one targeted by Judge Irby.
This wasn’t about the normal mundane decisions over which parent will enjoy custody of the kid on her birthday, Thanksgiving or Christmas. No; this ruling can have the potential effect of ruining the budding career of a genius at her sport. It’s like ordering that a child musical genius may not play in a concert or even take piano lessons from a professional for a whole year during the most formative stage of her life.
That’s right. This judge’s ruling bans the little girl, not only from golf tournaments, but from even taking golf lessons from professionals as well. All this at a time when the 10-year-old child has been thriving at her sport; she’s won 11 of her last 12 tournaments; shot a six-under par 30 in one nine-hole kid’s tournament as a 9-year-old, the lowest nine-hole score for any 9- or 10-year-old in the entire U.S. for the year. In the first and only 18-hole competitive round she ever played, she won the all-ages women’s division on a 5,500-yard course.
The child told an interviewer for a regional golf magazine in 2014 that her dad got her first set of plastic golf clubs at three years old, and a real set a year later. She also said that going to pro tournaments with her dad, and getting to see such stars as Tiger Woods and Lexi Thompson up close, shaped her career goals. “All of these events have made me really want to play better and maybe play professionally,” she said.
“She’s really good,” says 24 year LPGA tour professional, Kris Tschetter, who has given lessons to the child. “Like, really, really good.” She attested to the child’s potential to Judge Irby, saying that she’s already talented enough to play college golf.
Irby doesn't care how much talent the kid has, and made it clear in her decision that she doesn’t want her playing much golf. “[She] shall not be permitted to play competitive golf for one year. Competitive golf is defined by the court as no tournament and no lessons with any golf pro with the exception of the father. The father and [child] may play no more than one round of golf per week for five hours with putting and practice whichever is greater.
Thusly, the tyrant Judge triple bogied a 10-year-old child prodigy’s golfing career