Wisconsin golf course offers 9/11 special, apologizes

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A Wisconsin golf club near Madison attracted a lot of unwanted attention – and perhaps a nomination for the worst marketing idea of the year – when it offered a Sept. 11 special: A round of nine holes for $9.11.

The Tumbledown Trails Golf Course ad originally ran in the Wisconsin State Journal (see ad below), media blogger Jim Romenesko noted.

On the golf course's Facebook page, course officials attempted to apologize, and then offered to donate some of the day's proceeds to the 9/11 Memorial. Soon after, they noted on Facebook that they routinely give discounts to police and firefighters.

Then finally, this note from the course: "Please stay tuned to see if we will be open on Weds 9/11. We are now worried about what people will do/say to our staff & do not want anything to happen or get out of control. Sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused anyone."

The Facebook posts drew several hundred comments.

Course owner Marc Watts said he has received death threats, and others threatened to burn the family-operated public course, the Associated Press reported. "We're a little hurt by the fact that people are putting such a negative context on this," Watts told the AP. "I thought people would appreciate it."

The course has run the promotion in the previous two years without objection, and it was considered a tribute to those who lost their lives, Watts noted.

A photo of the original ad circulated on social media:

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