Former North Albury coach Jason Akermanis says he's been "ruthlessly targeted" after being banned from competition golf at Thurgoona for the sixth time.
The three-time AFL premiership player and Brownlow medallist was recently handed a one-month ban for playing out the 17th hole while one of his partners searched for his ball.
It followed a ban in February after the club received a complaint that Akermanis hit a ball that was out of bounds on the third hole, during monthly medal competition.
Akermanis says, on both occasions, the complaints were made by members outside of his playing group and that the golf club's committee had interpreted the rules incorrectly.
"It's blatantly unprofessional, unconstitutional and ridiculous," Akermanis said.
"I've played many years at a high level, I've been to qualifying school in Queensland played with USPGA players and caddied for 'Muzz' (Zach Murray) so I know how to play golf and count.
"In February, on the third hole, I pulled my ball a bit to the left, assessed it and made the call it was in by a bit and played on as the rules state it's up to the integrity of the player, hit a two-iron out and made double-bogey. Play on. No one in my group said a thing during the round.
"Some bloke who lives on the third hole went over after I'd finished, he decided it was two metres out of bounds and all of a sudden I'm banned. After meeting with the all-male golf committee and showing them the actual rules, which they didn't know, I was able to resume playing.
"Then the most recent one, on the 17th, happened because some bloke was just standing behind a fence watching me and decided to complain after I hammed it up after a four by taking many extra shots and drop-kicking the ball in pretend annoyance. I set him up and told all my playing partners on the 18th tee of what I did and to back me up if he did complain. I also told my wife once I arrived home.
"The club haven't contacted any of my playing partners to get their point of view and, in any case, it's in the rules that once the scorecard is signed by both parties, that's it, it's done."
Thurgoona club captain Michael Lane declined to comment on the matter, directing inquiries to resort manager Adam Fitzgerald. Attempts to contact Fitzgerald were unsuccessful.
"The problem is they ban you straight away. It's delusional to let someone from over the fence have whinge without any evidence. Some of their members are some of the greatest sooks out there that I've ever seen. It is about time they got called out on their behaviour," he said.
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"I've been targeted for who knows what reason. I am not going to let them get away with it again.
"They should be accountable for treating any member or visitor like this.
"I will be taking it up with their head office in Sydney to see what they have to say about it."
Akermanis, who plays five times a week and is a low single-figure handicapper, is a member at Commercial Albury, Howlong and Corowa golf clubs.
The 42-year-old, who has previously caddied for Wodonga sensation Murray, revealed to The Border Mail late last year that he'd like to pursue a professional golf career and also went to Qualifying School in Noosa for the Australian PGA.
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