‘Post lockdown runners and ramblers are ignoring requests to leave golf courses’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 5, 2022 12:52

A report in The Times newspaper reveals that golf clubs and golfers in Scotland are increasingly coming into conflict with ramblers and joggers who are refusing to leave the courses.

The article states they are also failing to clear up after their pets.

One incident in Renfrewshire even resulted in two men being charged after a dog walker was allegedly injured after an argument with several golfers.

While at Bothwell Castle Golf Club, Lanarkshire, “words were exchanged between golfers and walkers, both out of frustration with the other”, according to the club. New signs state that access is for “members and guests only”. Bothwell said that pandemic lockdowns had a “major impact” on people walking on its land. It insisted that the move to limit access was “down to safety”.

It added: “Golfers do not hit the ball straight all the time — even the best professionals — and a ball at 100mph can inflict serious damage. Also a number of walkers [and] joggers wear earphones and so the traditional shout of ‘fore’ as a warning of a ball heading their way is almost redundant.”

The club said the wording on its signs had been agreed with South Lanarkshire council. The Land Reform Act 2003 gives ramblers access to courses as long as they do not interrupt play. Ramblers Scotland advises anyone who wants to exercise their right of access to keep off greens at all times.

Brendan Paddy, director of Ramblers Scotland, said: “While many courses supported an increase in responsible access during lockdowns, we have since seen more informal access points being blocked and more signs designed to discourage walkers,” Paddy said.

He advised golf club managers to start from the position that people had a right to walk on the course and to help them to do so safely, adding: “Health and safety doesn’t ‘trump’ access rights but the two need to work together to reduce risks . . . without unduly blocking access.”

At Gleneagles, Perthshire, there are no restrictions. “We respect the rights of everyone to exercise their access rights to our estate, to enjoy it safely and responsibly,” the resort said.

The Old Course in St Andrews allows access but there will be exceptions when the Open begins on Sunday.

The Scottish government said: “Any concerns about the rights of responsible non-motorised access to land as set out in the access code should be raised with the local access officer.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 5, 2022 12:52
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  1. MyGolfMedia July 7, 13:51

    It is not only a fact in Scotland. You can see it in many others countries where runners don t see the danger of a golf ball.

    Reply to this comment
  2. hoeberigs July 5, 13:59

    Genuine sporters solve this in a FairPlay way‍‍‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️………

    Reply to this comment
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