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Kingsbarns Golf Links (Cambo) - Control
General observations from the walkers point of view
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Early in the planning process the developer had this to say :-

'The golf course will continue to honour the privilege of access to those walkers choosing to enjoy a route immediately along the sea at the edge of the golf course....'

In response to concerns raised at a local hearing, KGL promised, in a statement from Mark Parsinen dated 14/10/97, to :-

'improve considerably the existing Fife Coastal Route...'

The layout of the golf course has in fact 'evolved' since conditional approval was granted, and there has been a general reduction in the specification for the coastal path.

Fife Council could of course force the developer to provide a decent coastal path, but they show no sign of doing so.

The following reports highlight some of the problems members of the public now face when trying to enjoy a walk near this new development.

8 August 2000

Letter sent to Nick Brian in planning services outlining typical problems encountered by walkers near the golf course. See full letter here

5 August 2000

Weather fine, with a stiff breeze blowing out to sea.

The American tour groups are out in force - large parties taking up to five hours to complete rounds.

One walker collected 6 golf balls during a walk around the golf course - four on the foreshore and two on the coastal path.

One group of people exploring the foreshore, near the 12th fairway, reported a case where a golf ball flew over their heads. There was no sign of the player who had fired the shot. When questioned, the golfer concerned confirmed that he had not been able to see the group on the foreshore when he hit his tee shot from the 12th tee. The group on the foreshore did not blame the golfer concerned for firing a shot over their heads, but they did suggest to the golfing party that there could have been a nasty accident. The group of golfers, who were as shaken by the incident as the walkers, readily accepted that there could have been an accident, and they fully supported the suggestion that the developer should seriously address the obvious safety issues at this point on the golf course.

There seem to be two problems for people choosing to explore the foreshore. One where they simply cannot be seen by golfers, as in the above reported case, and another where golfers simply ignore them and play on regardless.

Last week we reported that 'safe' shots fired from the 15th (Cambo Ness) tee were landing on the coastal path instead of the 15th green. (See coverage of issue here)

These wayward balls were coming to rest in an area of rough grass between the coastal path and the green. The developer seems to have responded to feedback from golfers - he has recognised that a great many golfers are choosing to play into this area, and he has chosen to make their life easier by cutting the rough grass.

All very well for the golfer, who now has a greater landing zone to aim at - but not so good news for the walker whose coastal path has effectively become part of this same landing zone.

The problem is compounded by the fact that a strip of woodland running along the 15th hole prevents golfers (standing on the tee) and walkers (approaching the 'safe' landing zone) from seeing one another.

There have been further instances of walkers feeling unsafe on a section of the coastal path not far from the 17th tee.

The 'code of conduct for walkers' posters have not yet been replaced.

The main and alternative coastal paths are still very poorly defined.

28 July 2000

The official opening took place today, and over 100 invited guests took part in a special tournament.

The weather was fine, and there was no wind. Even so, coastal walkers reported cases of errant shots fired from the 15th tee landing on the coastal path. Walkers also expressed concern about their safety near the 17th tee.

There were also reports of golfers firing tee shots over the heads of people on the foreshore, notably in the area around Cambo Ness. Golfers seem reluctant to grant safe passage to users of the foreshore.

The issue of safe access at Cambo Ness has been addressed here

19 July 2000

The golf course is now 'open' to selected groups. It is yet to open to the public on a PAYP basis, and it is not yet possible to book a round using the golfagent booking system.

There are several planning issues that remain to be addressed. The coastal and alternative paths remain in a poor state, and the required signage is not in place. The clubhouse road has been afforded priority where it crosses estate roads, but those using the estate roads are not informed of this fact.

There are reports of a blind spot on the coastal path between the 8th and 15th greens. It would appear that players preparing to fire shots to these greens cannot see walkers, and walkers cannot see golfers.

Impatient golfers have been heard shouting at holiday-makers on the foreshore near Cambo Ness.

Several informative signs were erected, and immediately torn down, by parties unknown. The tone of the signs was considered, by some locals, to be offensive and condescending. The Fife Ranger Service intends to replace these signs with similar offerings soon.

One 'code of conduct for walkers' sign was rescued. It can be seen here

12 June 2000

This development is nearing completion and a certain amount of unofficial play is taking place.

Coastal and alternative paths are in a poor state, but they require to be completed, to a safe specification, before the course opens.

Beach users should be aware that golf operatives, in full protective gear, have recently been spraying very close to the foreshore.

Have you encountered problems whilst walking on the coastal path or whilst exploring the foreshore? Let us know by sending a brief account of your experience here.

Those concerned about ''developments' at the beach (access, safety, spraying, drainage etc), may wish to take a look here for information regarding the control of this development.

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