‘Wayward golf balls’ cause mayhem for Batchwood neighbours

Drone's eye view of golfers at Batchwood - picture by Robin Hamman - http://stradigal.com

Drone's eye view of golfers at Batchwood - picture by Robin Hamman - http://stradigal.com - Credit: Archant

Fore! A hole on a St Albans golf course is being “reviewed” due to “wayward golf balls” landing in neighbouring gardens.

Golfers using the ninth hole at St Albans district council-owned Batchwood Golf Course are apparently responsible for driving wild shots into residential properties, prompting the course managers to consider alternative options, including bringing in a consultant to examine the layout of the hole.

One resident of Batchwood Drive, who did not want to be named, fears the council may remove the hole completely, and said there should be proper consultation before any decision is made.

“I know that there are a lot more important things in life, especially with the coronavirus going on.

“I just think that there should be a proper consulatation with local residents, golfers and members of the club before anything is decided.”

He added that if people buy a house near a golf course they might expect to see the occasional golf ball land in their garden, but that should not mean a major replanning of Batchwood as a result.

Tony Marmo, acting head of commercial and development for St Albans council, said: “We are reviewing the ninth hole because wayward golf balls struck from the tee have been leaving the course occasionally and landing in nearby gardens.

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“This was happening only every couple of months or so, but there have been more instances in recent weeks as the course has become busier following the lockdown.

“We are looking at a range of options to prevent this with the help of a golf course consultant.

“We’ve also been meeting with our leisure contractor 1Life, which manages the course, as well as Batchwood Golf Club members to discuss the way forward.

“No decisions will be made until our consultations have finished and we have considered all the feedback.”

Batchwood Golf Course was developed by St Albans council in 1935 when John Henry Taylor was commissioned to design and establish an 18-hole golf course in the grounds of Batchwood Hall.