A CLOSE call involving a two-year-old child being just centimetres away from a flying golf ball last weekhas prompted Bayswater Council to take urgent action in increasing fencing at the course.
The course, built in the 1960s, has nine holes and is managed by Golf Oracle Pty Ltd.
The City undertakes the ground maintenance function and is responsible for structural maintenance and course asset replacements.
Councillor Sally Palmer submitted an item on a review of safety at and around the course as urgent business at last night’s council meeting, following an increase in safety concerns from residents.
Cr Palmer’s alternate motion for the council to urgently action internal measures to increase course safety was passed.
Measures include changing fairway positions away from at risk boundaries, increasing internal fencing and vegetation – especially between the eighth and ninth fairway and to the right of the first hole – and moving the ninth tee back to increase ball carry distance to fence.
The estimated cost was $45,000.
Cr Palmer said she had received “masses of complaints” over an 18-month period, including a phone call from a mother of a two-year-old child who almost got hit by a golf ball just after 5pm on July 19.
“The child was in the push chair with the mother and the golf ball came and literally landed centimetres away from the child’s head,” she said.
“The mother phoned me straight away – she was obviously very, very concerned and shaken and so would I be.
“Once the Thursday night incident occurred, the CEO, the director, the Mayor and myself really had to put our heads together.
“I believe Dan Bull the Mayor and CEO went down to see the parents who saw first hand where the golf balls fly over the fencing.”
Cr Palmer said she had many pictures of golf balls landing on people’s gardens and dump bins.
“The Embleton course is a great public course so more people are playing golf and people want to live near the golf course – but we have to acknowledge that we need to keep them safe,” she said.
“Also, the children that go up to the school, go up along McGregor Street…so from that point of view, I think we needed to commence proper action urgently to avoid that.”
Cr Stephanie Gray said when the golf course was built in the 1960s, houses were all single storeys.
Many have since been developed into two storey houses, which posed higher damage risks.
According to an officer’s report, a more immediate and feasible solution would be the relocation of the ninth hole.
The report stated a two-month notice to Golf Oracle was required for any work or redevelopment unless the work was deemed urgent.