UPDATE: Golf course got death threats over 9/11 promotion - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Golf course owner gets death threats over 9/11 promotion

VERONA (WQOW) -- A Verona golf course is on heightened alert after receiving death threats over an ad it placed in a Madison newspaper Monday.

Tumbledown Trails Owner and General Manager Marc Watts said this is the third year in a row he has run the same 9/11 promotion and he never could have imagined getting such a horrific response to it.

A small ad promoting nine holes of golf with a cart for $9.11 on 9/11 ran in the Wisconsin State Journal.

"Its a way to honor and commemorate the people that have died and the first responders that sacrificed their life," a visibly shaken Watts said.

But after someone tweeted a photo of the ad Monday night, it took on a life of its own.

"It was last night that our Facebook page basically blew up with these negative comments," said Watts.

Hundreds of people posted angry comments after news outlets across the country ran stories about the ad, calling it "tasteless" and "out of bounds" among other things.  Then the phone calls started coming in.

"Some of them are threatening to damage the course - to blow it up, to burn it," said Watts.  "Now we're getting calls where people are, in hushed, whispered voices, threatening to kill us." 

"That's crazy, yeah.  Why would anybody do something like that?," asked Ronald Ninneman as he prepared to play the back nine of 18 holes at Tumbledown Trails early Tuesday afternoon. 

"This guy's trying to do the right thing and people are blowing it way out of proportion as far as I'm concerned," said Ninneman.

"They've already talked about boycotting us.  I can only hope that the people that know my family and know my course and have come out here will stand by me," said Watts.  "And they're out here today, showing their support for me."

Despite all the threats, Watts says the course will be open Wednesday and the Dane County Sheriff will have a deputy on duty to make sure nothing bad happens.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin golf course is apologizing following a backlash over its advertising of 9 holes of golf for $9.11 on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Tumbledown Trails Golf Course near Madison advertised the special with an ad Monday in the Wisconsin State Journal saying it was meant to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

News of the special spread on social media and the golf course's Facebook page was overrun with negative comments.

On Monday, the golf course apologized on Facebook saying no disrespect was intended. It followed that with another message saying it may close Sept. 11 out of concerns for the safety of its staff.

A message left at the golf course was not immediately returned Tuesday.

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