Last week, Northeast Ohio Golf posted a Q & A with Mike Hastings about the demise of The Medalist Tour. Since that time, a number of local players and golf course managers have been in contact by phone and email with questions or claims about the amount of money owed, about the amount of money collected during the year, about what Hastings is doing now, even where he lives.
So Northeast Ohio Golf put another series of questions to Hastings — and again he provided complete, direct replies.
Q: There have been a number of rumors about the amount of money owed to players and golf courses, and about how you spent the money collected. Can you provide some details about what is owed?
Hastings: I read your article and appreciated your comments very much. I would like to end some rumors myself because they aren’t making my job of trying to make this right very easy.
There are seven golf courses owed money and the amount owed is in excess of $20,000. [Editor’s note: the golf courses owed money are Firestone, StoneWater, Lake Forest, Rosemont, Shale Creek, Portage Lakes and Windmill Lakes.]
There are approximately 20 players owed either money or gift certificates ranging from $50 to $1,300. Players are owed a total around $5,000.
Q: There is a talk that you have moved out of town, and that you have spent money on building a new house, that you bought a new car.
Hastings: No, I have not moved out of town and I am not building a new home with this money. Nor have I bought a new car. I did give my son some money this summer to buy an 8-year-old Chevy at auction. I still drive the same 11-year-old minivan I had at the beginning of the year. I did trade some entry fees with a friend this year to paint it.
The truth is I ran 20 tournaments this year and lost money on almost every one. This combined with the expense of the office, phones, staff — and yes I did take some expense money each week for myself — as well as other expenses caused this failure.
As I stated earlier, I am totally to blame for this. I was overly optimistic and emotionally involved. I probably should have shut it down very early but was sure we would turn things around either with the signing of a large sponsor or a pick up in play. Neither happened and the situation worsened. I know there have been some guys who start these tours with the intent of ripping people off. I never did. I only wanted to start something that would be good for the golfing community; as our slogan stated, competition for every golfer. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out; but again it was because of poor decisions, not deliberate intent.
Q: Have you moved to another city?
Hastings: I was out of town last week working at a member guest in Nashville to make some money. I have applied for a number of jobs here and in other cities and will take the one that gives me the best chance to pay off this debt at the earliest time. Meanwhile I have closed the office, sold its contents, sold the golf clubs given to me by Cleveland Golf for their sponsorship, and sold any other assets in the company. I will be sending out partial payments to every course this week and will continue to do so until every penny is repaid.
Q: Guys who have tried to get in touch with you say they can’t.
Hastings: Personally, I have cut off my cell phone and moved in with family to eliminate any personal debt so I can concentrate on this task. I have received many positive emails from many of our players and I appreciate all of them and their prayers. I do realize that there are those out there that aren’t as kind.
I have responded with as much candor as possible. I will say that it is very difficult to keep a positive attitude through all of this and I don’t see a lot of good continuing to go over this, so I hope this answers all the questions your readers have.
I know who and what I owe — and the people owed know — so I ask everyone to please let me concentrate my efforts on the task before me.