13:52 November 26, 2021

“Before !” Neighbors at Batchwood Golf Course might find relief after years of misery.

The ninth hole of the course has been redesigned at least twice in the past six years in an attempt to limit the number of stray balls – and St Albans District Council legal councils have warned they must continue to take action to mitigate the risk to neighboring properties. .

SADC owners said there had been an increase in the number of balls moving away from the course after the lockout was lifted, and the latest attempts to change the course last winter only resulted in shots hit another row of houses.

A neighbor to the course first reported problems in May 2015, and since then no solution has been able to completely stop the stray blows hitting neighboring houses – despite the natural cover of trees, the displacement of trees. tees and the introduction of fences.

The course has been in place along Batchwood Drive since 1935, but complaints about golf balls leaving the course were first raised after new homes were built at Alverton Close in 2014.

Councilors were due to discuss the course’s issues at a public domain committee meeting on Wednesday, but this was postponed after issues with the chamber’s heating system.

According to a report prepared for councilors ahead of the meeting, council officers first visited the affected homes in July 2015. At that time, a resident said there were “an average of six bullets. golf courses hit on the property or landing in the garden per week.

Between 2015 and 2017, the board asked 1Life course operators to introduce a series of mitigation measures. These included relocating the tee area for the hole, and a metal fence was also installed in 2018 after the original net was vandalized.

Nets and fencing had prevented bullets from heading towards the properties. However, council officers said that since the lockdown restrictions were lifted in May 2020, there has been an increase in the number of balls leaving the course along the boundary of the ninth hole.

Subsequent attempts to control the problems included moving the tee box to a temporary position to the left of the hole – which had limited success.

The report says this kept Alverton Close homes from being affected, with no complaints from the road since.

However, as the report continued, “Unfortunately, this change has resulted in a new set of golf ball hit properties in Becketts Avenue.”

Last winter, 1Life and the council introduced new measures, including an improved safety net, planting more trees, and banning playing with any other tee except the one behind the protective fence. made of metal.

These still have not completely stopped the balls flying off the course, with incidents still being reported in April, May and June 2021.

Since the summer, operators, council and the golf course have been waiting for the public domain committee to consider the options available.

According to the report, this likely means a major overhaul of the course.

Until November 2022, a temporary tee will be used on the current hole, placed closer to the green.

The board will then decide what action to take, which could include the development of the practice hole for the game, before making a final change to the layout of the ninth hole.

If advisers agree, in the medium term the existing ninth hole is closed, with the 10 becoming the new ninth and the practice hole replacing the 10. The report notes that this would also require the cost of replacing the scorecards of the course when completed.

Once the ninth hole is closed, the board can then decide whether to go ahead with a longer term solution, which would include undertaking significant preparatory work to change the position of the green of the hole, as well as the starting area. This would direct the game towards the center of the course.

The council received advice and recommendations on the second option from a golf architect, and said it would eliminate any problems with balls hitting neighboring properties.

The report added that funding for the remodeling of the ninth hole would be sought in a new recreation management contract.

The board said the meeting will be reorganized as soon as possible.