Golf Club to consider fencing off course
The Isles of Scilly Golf Club is considering fencing off the course in an effort to prevent dog mess.
Club captain Dave Stone said that the situation has worsened in recent years and stressed that the course is private land.
He told This is Scilly: "Unfortunately there seems to be a misconception that the golf course is common open ground where anyone can walk or take their dogs for exercise.
"Sadly some people think it is perfectly acceptable to roam over private land letting their animals foul a sporting area and the situation is getting increasingly worse. Our signs, which are required for our insurance purposes, stating that the area is a golf course, please keep to the edges and to be aware of flying golf balls have been consistently ignored or taken down and thrown away.
"The golf course is private land and there are no rights of way and no public footpaths over it. We’ve checked with the Duchy of Cornwall as it is they from whom we lease the land. Only Golf Club members or players that pay green fees should be on the golf course at any time as they have the appropriate insurance.
"There are plenty of other places nearby where dog owners can exercise their animals safely with equally spectacular views like the coastal path or Bant’s Carn and enjoy the sunset. There really isn’t any justification for walking across the golf course unless you are playing golf."
He continued: "I heard quite churlish comments that the Golf Club shouldn’t erect signs and spoil the stunning view or should share the facilities. These people are missing the point completely it is about compliance with our legal responsibilities, the dog mess and irresponsible selfish dog owners.
"The actions of a few selfish individuals has meant the erecting of gates and fences is something that we will consider to protect the health and safety of the players and the volunteers who help maintain the course.
"There needs to be clearer signage to help people navigate the coastal path safely without accidentally walking on to the golf course. The golf course on Scilly is more or less on a dome so we are often hitting the ball to a blind spot and we may not see someone walking on the course. Golf balls travel up to 150mph and could cause a serious injury.
"I’m happy to talk to anyone if they have any concerns or issues by emailing me with their telephone number to email@example.com."
The news has incensed some islanders, with one who has walked their dog on the course for many years commenting: "The golf course has some of the most stunning views of all the islands, especially at sunset. It's very selfish of the golf club to try to keep this to themselves. They are only tenants of the Duchy and I believe there are are public footpaths giving walkers right of way, but of course the golf club deny this.
"Anyone being hurt by a golf ball would be within their rights to sue the golf club and the individual who caused the injury regardless of what they tell you."
The islander added: "As ever this action by the golf course has been brought about by some selfish person walking their dog and allowing it to poo everywhere, so as ever the minority are spoiling it for the majority.
"Perhaps the golf course could compromise by not playing golf after 8.30pm in the summer to allow people to continue to enjoy the view and providing poo bins at the entrances to encourage people to clean up after their dog."