Ben Rhydding golfers hit by sledgers

First published in Other Sport

Ben Rhydding Golf Club is having trouble with sledging.

The snowy weather that has forced their members off the course has attracted some unwelcome visitors.

“As far as we’re concerned, they’re trespassing,” said secretary John Watts after hundreds of sledgers had taken to the course over the past few days.

It’s an annual problem for the small club, whose course is a popular venue for young thrill seekers whenever it snows.

Damage to the course, in particular to the seventh green, can take several months to recover, with costs covered by the club itself, and with only one permanent green keeper, it is a handful of the 160 members who have to provide voluntary labour.

“We just don’t have the facilities or the personnel to police it,” Watts said. “Often there are a couple of members who walk the course asking people to move on, but they just get abuse.

“The problem is that people now see it as a tradition, and those are difficult to stop.

“‘Snow days’ tend to cause the most damage, when the schools are closed.”

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