From horse excrement to quad bike damage – golf courses appalled at the mess the public have created during the lockdown

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 20, 2020 06:37

Several golf clubs have said they are appalled at the mess – and in some cases expensive damage – that members of the public have created by using their venues during the coronavirus lockdown.

Police have launched an appeal to identify two bikers who were seen joyriding on the course at Fishwick Hall Golf Club in Lancashire, which closed down recently.

Lancs Live reported that one quad bike has been seized under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 and a ticket has also been issued to the owner of a scramble bike under the same powers, after neighbours of the venue complained of noise, anti-social behaviour and the ‘dangerous use of bikes’.

Image from Twitter

In a post on Facebook, Preston Police said: “After listening to your feedback in relation to previous posts, Preston’s answer to Channing Tatum has been out on his bike patrolling the golf course to engage with the local community and ensure everyone is adhering to the government guidelines.

“We want to deal with the people causing issues on the golf course as quickly and effectively as possible, but to do that, we need your help!

“If you know the owners or riders of the bikes, or know where they are being stored, get in touch and let us know.

“If you have any photographic evidence of the bikes in use, send it in so we can begin trying to identify offenders. Any reports will be dealt with anonymously.”

Meanwhile, a member of one golf club has sent this image in of what appears to be horse excrement by his golf club.

“The club has allowed walkers to use the course during the Covid-19 lockdown and the vast majority have behaved appropriately,” he said.

“But one or two have not. Dog mess has been left in bags and several empty beer cans have been found scattered across the course.

“But the evidence that a horse has been on the course is really something else!

“There are horses on a couple of fields nearby so this one probably came from there – but how and why someone rode it on here is bewildering and disheartening.”

And Furness Golf Club in Barrow has reported finding trespassers drinking on a green, writes The Mail.

The greens chairman, Jon Clarke, said: “I have found cider cans and beer bottles on the green and there has been significant damage to the bunkers.

“I’ve been in touch with Barrow police who have been a massive help.

“It’s very disappointing. The motto ‘stay home and protect lives’ is about helping the NHS.

“And people going round in large groups potentially infecting one another and their families who could be key workers is a very serious matter.”

Mr Clarke added that the club is arranging free golf for NHS workers after the lockdown is lifted.

“We wanted to show our love and support for all NHS workers who are doing a fantastic job at the moment,” he said.

“We wanted to give back however we can. We are planning on offering free golf for NHS workers after this is all over. It’s our way of saying thank you.”

One of the features of the lockdown for the golf industry has been the debate about whether golf courses should open their venues to the publicsomething that several politicians have called for.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 20, 2020 06:37
Write a comment


  1. Sara April 23, 09:57

    Our GC is closed though we have renewed our membership out of good will and are paying a couple’s monthly direct debit. The golf course has a public footpath running through it so we walk there everyday but we have been forbidden to walk anywhere else in the course as it gives mixed messages to other non member walkers. Green staff are working and policing the course which is quite unpleasant.

    We feel quite fed up that we are paying a membership fee but are not allowed to walk in the course which would lengthen and enhance our daily exercise.

    Any comments about our rights or the preferred etiquette of other clubs would be welcome.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Steve C April 20, 10:53

    Terrible, especially because lots of courses have public foot paths through them anyway.
    BTW, congratulations on having me as your 9000th follower, do I win anything?

    Reply to this comment
  3. Jeremy S April 19, 18:02

    Why on earth anyone thought it was a good idea to let non golfers onto their courses (even during the lockdown) is beyond me.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Tim L April 19, 15:20

    Yes but it’s still a good idea to suggest that private facilities that spend hundreds of thousands maintaining their facilities allow people randomly on the site! I think not. So sorry for all of you dealing with mindless damage or waste creating more work for already stretched teams. Stay safe and stay home. This will pass and we will be our to enjoy the amazing courses we all have very soon.

    Reply to this comment
    • Michael W April 19, 18:05

      Shocking behaviour these are the same people who through rubbish from there car a litter the country and think it is okay SCUM

      Reply to this comment
  5. Dave R April 19, 14:18

    We are having to adopt a course Marshall strategy whereby members patrol the course as part of their daily exercise. We have had groups of teenagers taking divots out of some of our greens. We have also beefed up the barbed wire fencing as a deterrent. No respect some people.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Will April 19, 11:57

    That’s a real shame. I guess there will always be a boorish minority who set out to blatantly disrespect and disregard etiquette in any public spaces. So far so good on our own public GC, perhaps due to it being far less of a novelty to access Council course land than an otherwise private piece of land?

    Reply to this comment
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