Spate of damage and dog fouling sparks criticism

Skid marks on one of the greens at Alnwick Castle Golf Club.
Skid marks on one of the greens at Alnwick Castle Golf Club.
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A frustrated groundsman says he is nearly at the end of his patience after yobs have been wreaking havoc at a town golf course.

Angry Stuart Tait has hit out at louts who have caused damage at Alnwick Castle Golf Club, including riding and skidding their bikes over the well-maintained greens.

A broken flag and skid marks on the green at Alnwick Castle Golf Club.

A broken flag and skid marks on the green at Alnwick Castle Golf Club.

On top of that, a number of electric buggies have been stolen and dumped around the course, or even at areas away from the site. Bunker rakes have also been pinched.

He says the situation is so bad that the club will be reporting incidents to the police and is in the process of installing CCTV.

And he has also criticised dog walkers who allow their pooches to foul all over the par 70 parkland course and run through the raked bunkers.

Mr Tait, who has been course manager at Alnwick for six months, said: “I am nearly at the end of my patience with the issues that go on at Alnwick Castle Golf Club. It is really frustrating.

“The staff and myself work hard all week to prepare the golf course to as good a standard as possible.

“There has been damage done to many parts of the course several times and more recently, electric buggies have been stolen, skidded around on the greens and then dumped, either at different parts of the course or nearby at Meadow Riggs.

“Youngsters also ride their bikes over the greens and cycle and run through the bunkers and bunker rakes have been stolen. The police will be informed and we are in the process of putting CCTV cameras up in designated areas.

“On top of this, I have witnessed adults with dogs that walk all over the course – away from public paths – and let their dogs mess all over the place and run though our raked bunkers.

“Obviously those people believe that it goes unnoticed and that perhaps the poor staff at the golf course are responsible to clear up. I must remind the public that the above is considered trespassing.

“I feel this is a great shame. Alnwick is a really nice and vibrant town, but the golf course seems to get absolutely no respect from these people who are intent on ruining it for everyone.”

Mr Tait has been a groundsman for 12 years, working at courses in Scotland before he came to Northumberland.

He said: “The situation is worse here and I never really had any damage done at the courses up in Scotland.”