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 Is golf hazardous to cows? Of course

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Number of posts : 42
Localisation : USA
Registration date : 2011-09-14

PostSubject: Is golf hazardous to cows? Of course    Thu 13 Oct 2011 - 4:10

Palmerston North's last public golf course has been ordered to close because of the disruption stray golf balls and wandering golfers cause a neighbouring farm.
Following a hearing in the Palmerston North District Court, Judge Nevin Dawson has given Brookfields Park Golf Club, on Te Matai Rd, until November 30 to shut.
The nine-hole golf club has about 140 members.
It was taken to court by the neighbouring Organic Farm Company, which supplies Biofarm Products – an organic dairy products company.
Both companies are owned by James and Catherine Tait-Jamieson and associated interests.
Brookfields owner Don Finlayson referred the Manawatu Standard to his lawyer, Phillip Drummond, for comment. Mr Drummond said his clients were considering their options, which included a High Court appeal.
Judge Dawson said that since 2002, 20,000 golf balls had been hit into the organic farm.
More than 3100 came over last year, while there were 3500 to August 31 this year.
"The [farm's] evidence is that golf balls are foundgolf clubs for sale up to 100 metres inside the farm, and that means that an unsafe work environment exists for the [farm's] employees when near to the boundaries with the golf course," the judgment said.
"The [farm] has also collected many hundreds of bottles (some broken), cans and other rubbish left on the farm, and golfers have on occasions crossed on to the farm in order to urinate and defecate."
Golf balls coming on to the farm were affecting its organic rating.
Mr Tait-Jamieson said yesterday his farm's win was "totally predictable" and followed the "laws of the land". He was confident the decision would stand up to any appeal.
Manawatu/Whanganui Golf executive officer Dave Townend got a "hell of a shock" when he heard the court's judgment.
"It has big implications for other golf courses in the country – you're not allowed to put balls over the fence," he said.
Since Golf City ceased operating, Brookfields was the last small course suitable for those taking the game up, he said.
"It's easier for people to go to smaller courses and play and if they like it, they perfect their game on the bigger courses."
New Zealand Golf chief executive Dean Murphy said he had not read the ruling, but thought it sounded unfair. "I'm just struggling to understand."
Since Mr Finlayson's interests bought the property in 2001, he had gone to "considerable trouble" to try to appease the neighbouring farm's concerns, Judge Dawson said.
These included shortening holes, planting trees and improvements to the fencing.
A counter-claim from Brookfields about the farm keeping silage close to the boundary and creating a "noxious smell" was upheld and the judge ordered the stacks be moved and treated by November 30.
Before then, an inquiry would establish damages claimed by both Brookfields and the farm.
Brookfields opened in 1976. The Tait-Jamieson's began share milking on their farm in 1977 and farming organically in 1979.

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