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Home within range

By Beckie Wilson

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Living next to a golf driving range you could expect to find the odd golf ball on the front lawn, but Vic Gadsby has picked up nearly 1000 over the past two decades.

Smashed lounge windows, damage to vehicles, broken spouting and holes in roofing are destructions that the Gadsby’s have had to deal with over the years.

But last Saturday was the tipping point for Mr Gadsby.

At least four golf balls bounced off the roof during the day, with one going straight through his back verandah.

“It’s just getting a bit too much.”

It has been on-going for too long, and is now a safety issue, he said.

Mr Gadsby and his wife Carolyn have lived at their George St property in Masterton for 36 years.

The street borders the Trust House owned Copthorne Hotel and Resort Solway Park which boasts a ten-bay golf driving range built about 18 years ago.

Mr Gadsby said there had been no consultation with nearby residents before the range was put it.

CAPTION: Vic Gadsby points to house damage. PHOTO/BECKIE WILSON

“We used to be able to see the Tararua Ranges but now with the trees and the fence we can’t,” Mr Gadsby said.

“That was my complaint originally, until we got a broken window.”

Mrs Gadsby was hanging out washing one-day last year, when she heard a “ping” on the clothes line and a golf ball dropped in front of her.

“We haven’t been hit yet, but I tell you it is going to happened,” he said.

“Someone is going to get hit and that will be it.”

The numbers of golf balls flying over the fence increases in strong north westerlies, with some being found on Margaret St behind his property.

“When I pick them up I put them in the rubbish,” he said.

While all damage has been paid for by the Copthorne over the years, he wonders if the height of the fence could be increased.

“If they don’t do anything I will have to ring WorkSafe,” he said.

Some neighbours have also been having issues with golf balls landing on their properties, he said.

Shirley Smith lives opposite the Gadsby’s property in a new set of flats where her kitchen window looks onto the fence that separates her property and the driving range.

She moved in only a couple of months ago, and hadn’t realised she lived next door to the range.

Each time a golf ball bounced on the roof she would get a fright, but now she’s “used to it”.

“But I’m a bit frightened it’s going to break my kitchen window or my car,” Mrs Smith said.

“It’s not okay… I can’t afford to get things fixed.”

Trust House general manager of operations and marketing Jerry Crump said he was not aware of the recent resident’s concerns.

“We have had those issues in the past and we usually try and resolve them with residents in the best way possible,” Mr Crump said.

“We have very high fences either side of the golf driving range, and it’s not usually a problem.

“We certainly wouldn’t want to cause health or safety concerns to anybody.”

The direction of the bays where the golf balls are hit from had been changed to help solve this issue in recent years.

“There isn’t a lot that can be done in terms of the golf driving range, but we will try to  do something to settle Mr Gadsby’s concerns.”

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