Sean Connery, the acclaimed actor, has played many roles over his career, including an aging Robin Hood who returns to Sherwood Forest to fight old battles and challenge injustices.
Connery, the accomplished amateur golfer, is currently fighting what he believes is an injustice by Sherwood Country Club.
In a lawsuit scheduled to go to trial in two weeks, Sir Sean Connery, as he is referred to in the complaint, is seeking $1 million in damages from the Thousand Oaks club which he alleges reneged on an agreement allowing him to resell his discounted membership to the country club at close to market value, which Connery claims is about $500,000.
Why the country club is reluctant to buy back the membership is unclear; representatives of the country club would not talk.
"I am somewhat surprised to be gearing up for trial," said Connery's attorney Skip Miller, who originally filed the lawsuit but has not been involved in the case until recently. "I thought this would have settled by now but I got a call a few weeks ago from Sean Connery's business lawyer asking me to take the case."
Sherwood Country Club along with a surrounding community of multimillion-dollar homes was the brainchild of billionaire David Murdock, who was also the club's first member. Since the Jack Nicklaus-designed course first opened in 1989, Sherwood has emerged as one of Southern California's premier country clubs with several celebrity members including professional hockey player Wayne Gretzky and musician Kenny G.
Additionally, Sherwood's profile has been boosted in recent years because it is home to the annual Target World Challenge featuring Tiger Woods and other professional golfers.
But back in 1990, when Woods was playing in amateur tournaments and Sherwood was attempting to establish itself, Connery purchased a membership at the discounted price of $35,000. According to the complaint, the going rate for a membership in 1990 was $50,000.
"Sherwood is pretty far out there, but it was built to be a very sophisticated and classy club so it needed to attract wealthy people," said Larry Iser, an avid golfer and Los Angeles-based attorney familiar with publicity rights but not involved in the case. "It was a terrific deal for Sherwood to get someone like Connery."
According to the complaint, Sherwood took full advantage of the marketing benefits related to having Connery as a member.
"They took people by his locker and bragged about the fact that Sean Connery was a member," Miller said.
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