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Golf courses

Responsible behaviour by the public

The Access Code says:

You can only exercise access rights to cross over a golf course and in doing so, you must keep off golf greens at all times and not interfere with any golf games or damage the playing surface. Golf courses are intensively used and managed, and there can be hazards such as where golfers are playing 'blind' shots. In exercising access rights:

  • allow players to play their shot before crossing a fairway
  • be still when close to a player about to play
  • follow paths where they exist, and
  • keep your dog on a short lead

To avoid damaging the playing surface, cyclists and horse-riders need to keep to paths at all times and not on any other part of a golf course. When fertilisers or pesticides have been used, the duration of any hazard depends on the material used but should not normally extend more than a few days. Golf course managers can ask you to avoid using particular routes at these times. Following such advice can greatly help to minimise risks to safety.

Responsible behaviour by land managers

The Access Code says:

Wherever possible, provide paths around or across the course and/or advise people on the safest ways through the course. This will help to minimise safety risks.

In winter, many people enjoy activities like sledging and cross-country skiing on golf courses. This can be important to local communities. These activities rarely cause any problems if done responsibly - by keeping off greens, tees and bunkers - and when there is sufficient snow cover. Golf course managers are encouraged to accept such access when it is carried out responsibly.