Wednesday 23 August 2017

'Shock and horror' - Rampaging herd of cattle destroy well-known golf course

Golfer Aideen Walsh looks at the sixth green at Woodstock golf club. Photo: Eamon Ward
Golfer Aideen Walsh looks at the sixth green at Woodstock golf club. Photo: Eamon Ward

Gordon Deegan

A 40-strong rampaging herd of cattle has shut down one of Co Clare's best known golf courses until further notice.

The herd of Charolais and Limousin cattle broke into the grounds of Woodstock golf course outside Ennis early Saturday morning and stampeded through the course damaging 10 greens in the process.

A spokesperson for Woodstock Golf Club said yesterday that on seeing the damage for the first time on Saturday morning, it was for the golf club workers concerned "total devastation".

The spokesperson said: "For everyone connected to the club, it has been like as if someone died. There was a look of shock and horror on the members' faces after they had seen what the cattle have done.”

The spokesperson said that the course green-keeper was out on the course at the 6th green at 6.30am on Saturday "when he saw one and then saw 40 animals coming at him".

The spokesperson said the rest of the Woodstock workforce was at the course by 6.50am to help with the aftermath of the damage caused by the cattle.

“We have the best greens in Clare. There are huge greens and the course recently got great compliments from anyone who has played the course,” the spokesperson said.

Fine Gael member of Clare Co Council, Cllr Mary Howard lives close to the golf club located on the western fringes of Ennis.

After viewing footage of the damage caused, Cllr Howard said: “I was absolutely shocked that a herd of cattle could cause such damage. It will take quite a while to rectify the damage.”

The Ennis based councillor said: “I couldn’t get over the damage and the hooves made divots of two, three and four inches deep on the greens. It is very upsetting for everyone at the golf club as it comes at the height of their season.”

A message on the club’s Facebook page has advised members that the club is closed until further notice. The message posted on Saturday reads: “A herd of cattle got on to the course during the night and have caused serious and widespread damage. Devastating for our club and its owners and greenkeepers.”

The club spokesperson said that the closure of the course will result in a loss of income for the golf club through the loss of green fee income and also a loss of revenue at the adjoining  Hotel Woodstock.

The club was yesterday awaiting assessors from the club’s insurance firm to assess the cost of the damage caused by the cattle.

Irish Independent

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