Stooshie as stray golf balls prompt changes to Fife links course

Leven links: Res­i­dents liv­ing next to course com­plain of ‘er­rant’ shots

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - CRAIG SMITH csmith@the­courier.co.uk

A golfer has ac­cused au­thor­i­ties of tak­ing health and safety to ex­tremes af­ter com­plaints from neigh­bours about er­rant golf balls sparked changes to a Fife course.

Colin Ger­ard branded events at Leven Links “per­plex­ing” fol­low­ing anger from res­i­dents liv­ing near the East Links about stray shots.

Mr Ger­ard called for an end to the “mad­ness”, urg­ing Leven Links not to tam­per with the course sim­ply to ap­pease “petty” com­plaints.

He said: “What con­cerns me most is that an al­ready cash-strapped joint links com­mit­tee is hav­ing to bend over back­wards to pan­der to or pacify a few res­i­dents who have com­plained of er­rant golf balls.

“Leven Links re­alised there was a prob­lem and have now moved the out-of-bounds quite sig­nif­i­cantly from the road­side.

“Leven Links has also put signs on the 9th and 16th tees ask­ing golfers to be aware of the sur­round­ing prop­er­ties.

“To me that’s where it should end, but we are now hav­ing to move the 16th fair­way to the left in or­der to take out the dog­leg.

“I doubt whether the St An­drews Links Trust would be so oblig­ing if the same res­i­dents had bought prop­erty over­look­ing the 18th fair­way at St An­drews.”

Mr Ger­ard said a fence could be erected or trees planted to re­duce the risk with­out re­mov­ing the dog­leg, but sug­gested that could lead to fur­ther com­plaints about the ef­fect it would have on prop­erty prices.

“Buy­ing a house next to a golf course and com­plain­ing about er­rant golf balls is no dif­fer­ent to buy­ing a house next to a train line and com­plain­ing about the noise from pass­ing trains or buy­ing a flat above a pub and com­plain­ing about the noise.

“Com­mon sense is re­quired here, and I see this com­ing only from Leven Links Joint Com­mit­tee.

“Not one of the mem­bers wants this change to take place. Fur­ther­more, the ma­jor­ity of the res­i­dents are happy with the changes made to date.”

Lisa McCann, en­vi­ron­men­tal health ser­vice man­ager at Fife Coun­cil, con­firmed en­vi­ron­men­tal health of­fi­cers have been work­ing with the com­mit­tee to re­duce stray golf balls – but stressed the coun­cil has never sug­gested play should be stopped.

Com­mon sense is re­quired here, and I see this com­ing only from Leven Links Joint Com­mit­tee. COLIN GER­ARD

Pic­tures: Steven Brown.

Colin Ger­ard be­lieves peo­ple who buy houses over­look­ing golf cour­ses are wrong to com­plain about er­rant golf shots.

Houses over­look­ing the 16th fair­way at Leven Links.

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