Nov 8th, 2016
Picnic makers and soccer players ruin golf course
Long Ashton GC forced to 'take measures'...
Words: Tim Southwell
It's just an easy 8-iron to the centre of the green. You've started par-par and you're in the middle of the fairway on the third.
All you've got to do now is put a decent swing on it and draw it round the football match going on right in front of you and hope your ball doesn't land in the pickle jar in the picnic hamper being enjoyed by a load of dudes sitting on the bloody green!
This is what's been happening at Long Ashton GC in Bristol, England and the owners have had to take emergency measures to try and keep their fairways clear..
There isn't supposed to be public access at the third hole but that hasn't stopped Lionel Messi & Gordon Ramsey taking the place over for a kick about and a nice bit of foie gras.
The 220 acre golf course is privately owned but there are a number of public rights of way which run across it. The club has put in a series of measures to try and tackle the issue including installing new signs at entrance to the course, highlighting the footpaths and asking people to stick to them.
Club chairman Ken Trowbridge said: "Many villagers use the public rights of way across the course to gain access to places like Ashton Court as well as to exercise generally.
"Golfers are well aware of those rights of way and wait for path users before playing their shots. Unfortunately in recent times there has been an alarming trend for walkers to treat the golf course as common land and roam across the course, oblivious to the dangers that may face."
He's got a point. You don't want a Prov1 travelling at 100mph landing in your ham sandwich. Fortunately there have not been any reported cases so far.
Ken added: "Recently we have seen a group picnic on our third hole – a blind hole where golfers cannot see over the hill, a family playing football on the fairway and a family walking with a pushchair along our fifth hole.
"These are all places where there is no right of way for anyone other than golf club members. I would urge everyone using the rights of way to keep to paths and not to put themselves in danger."
OK, so it's been a slow news day.....