Golf club says ‘walkers are desecrating our course’ as another club reveals its trophies have been stolen in the lockdown

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 9, 2020 11:57

A Scottish golf club has said that walkers who have been using its course during the lockdown have now damaged the venue, while an English club has revealed 50 trophies have been stolen.

The comments from the vice captain of Leven Thistle Golf Club in Fife Today are pertinent because politicians have been calling on golf clubs to open up to the general public.

Alan Lee said that the course, which costs more than £100,000 to maintain every year, has been damaged, with dog fouling a particular issue.

The greens on the course have also been damaged by walkers.

“There seems to be more people walking around than ever,” he said.

“We are reducing the amount of maintenance, but the staff are still being hampered by people walking around.

“Walking dogs over the course shows a disregard for the course.

“It’s disappointing to be sat at home while others do not share the respect and consideration by venturing out to places they never normally went, and letting their dogs desecrate the course.

“Our greenkeepers work hard and present us with an excellent course while being exposed to this on the course and in our bins – it’s not their job.

“You’re supposed to be walking around where you stay. People need to take some responsibility.”

David Gray, course manager, said the volume of walkers and dog walkers means that is not always safe to maintain the course.

The comments come as another golf club has experienced vandalism on its course during the Covid-19 lockdown.

A fire was deliberately started at Filton Golf Club, according to a spokesperson for Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

This is just hours after Melrose Golf Course’s greenkeeper has reported damage to the sixth fairway.  

And this is all in addition to the issue of golfers ignoring lockdown guidance to not play golf at the moment.

A spokesman for Glenrothes Golf Club’s management committee told The Courier: “It is with deep regret that we have been informed that people are defying these instructions and not only defying these instructions but hacking up the golf course in areas.

“These rules must be observed, we will back Fife Golf Trust 100 per cent on any action they wish to take that they deem necessary.

“The police also have the authority to issue fines, and although I am sure people will agree they have enough to contend with at the moment.”

In a statement, Kirkcaldy Golf Club, added: “Unfortunately we are finding an increased amount of visitors to the golf course at the moment.

“To be clear, the clubhouse, practice facilities and golf course are closed until further notice.

“Kirkcaldy Golf Club are liaising with Police Scotland to monitor the situation and will fully back any action taken upon those found ignoring the rules. Member or not.”

North Inch Golf Course in Perth, which closed last month, has taken the added precaution of removing flags and filling in holes to prevent people still playing.

Away from the course, criminals are even taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to steal from clubhouses.

Thieves have broken into Chester-le-Street Golf Club in Durham through a window and targeted the cabinet that had trophies dating back 100 years.

Club director Martin Fairley told Chronicle Live that around 50 trophies were taken.

He said: “It is not so much the value of the trophies, you can’t really value them, but the history.

“Some of the trophies are about 100 years old or plus. The club was founded in 1908 and one of the trophies goes back to about 1921.

“Many of the trophies were donated by families and members who still have family playing.

“We have a long standing history of families coming through the club.

“There will be family here of the people who donated the trophy here.”

CCTV shows the intruder breaking into the club through the window and heading straight for the trophy cabinet, Martin said.

He added: “They headed straight for the cabinet and smashed that. We spent three hours cleaning the glass up after. They ran along and put them in a duvet case.

“One of the biggest trophies they left the base and lid.”

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 9, 2020 11:57
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  1. Dove J April 10, 10:26

    I’m at a bit of a loss as why you can walk across a course with a dog but not with a club – and many courses allow dogs but most walkers have the curtesy and respect to not walk across the greens or foul the fairways – very sad indeed – especially the theft issue –

    Reply to this comment
  2. Chris M April 10, 10:17

    The old course allows members to take there dogs on

    Reply to this comment
  3. Peter April 9, 16:34

    Desecrating ? Sounds harsh ! Opening up to walkers requires awareness, communication and increased engagement levels. We have teach people, what goes into the landscape, maintenance and care of a course. Walkers and non-golfers see a lake, a green or a trap and think “puppy playground !” Signage too plays a bigger part when open to walkers ! Trophies stolen ? That’s a much different problem with different solutions, nothing to do with walkers !

    Reply to this comment
  4. Golf Coaching April 9, 16:02

    This is a challenging issue during these unprecedented times.
    I understand the need to get out and go for a walk or run, however, most golf courses are on private land so technically it’s trespassing.
    That said, if one chooses to walk on a golf course please use the cart paths & avoid the greens.
    In reference to the vandalism & theft that’s occurred, well…

    Reply to this comment
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