Course Risk Assessment Statement

The Council and Management Team at the Oakleaf Golf Complex sincerely hope that members, visitors and green fee players fully enjoy their golf here at the Oakleaf, in conditions that are as safe as reasonably possible.

By the very nature of the game of golf, we believe that it is not possible to completely eradicate the risk of damage or injury, but every effort has been made to minimise the risks.


Members, guests and visitors are advised that comprehensive risk assessments are regularly carried out, in accordance with the Council’s Health and Safety Policy.

It is your responsibility, as a golfer, caddy or spectator on the course, to ensure that you adhere to the health and safety advice and hole by hole hazard notification and adhere to the following:

  1. Players are expected to be aware, at all times, of danger to others and themselves.  Care must be taken at all times to avoid accidents or injuries to oneself and to other players, officials, public or staff.You are advised to take particular care when moving around the course in wet or cold weather, when underfoot conditions may require extra caution.  Steps on the course should be used with great care, especially in wet conditions.  Ensure that you have appropriate golf shoes with well-maintained spikes.
  2. You are advised to adopt caution, and be aware of your surroundings, when close to any trees on the course, particularly during windy or other adverse weather conditions.  While branches considered to be dangerous are removed whenever possible, the Council cannot be held responsible for natural conditions prevailing at any particular time.
  3. You are advised to use caution when going down or up any steep incline on the course, particularly when using golf buggies or trolleys.  Adherence to the instructions detailed on any directional signage for buggies and/or trolleys is also essential in order to minimise risk in this respect.
  4. You are advised to avoid oral contact with anything that comes into contact with the golf course (including trees, sand, soil and grass), particularly when caution signs indicate that chemicals have recently been sprayed on the course.  A notice at the entrance to the Golf Course and on the 1st Tee will advise when spraying, or other green keeping operations are in progress.
  5. In the event that you come across any dead wildlife on the course, you are expressly prohibited from any contact with it and are requested to advise a member of the green keeping staff, who will deal with it accordingly.
  6. You are advised to exercise caution at all times on the course in respect of identifying areas where you may be at potential risk of being hit by another golfer’s ball, and to follow the advice of cautionary notices to this effect that are placed in particular areas on the course.  Particular care should be taken where the landing area is not clearly visible from the tee and areas where parallel fairways are played in opposing directions.
  7. You are advised, when playing, to take every precaution to avoid hitting anybody with your golf ball.  Particular care should be taken at holes where the landing area is not clearly visible (especially the 3rd, 8th, 14th and 17th Holes, where teeing off should only commence after the bell has been sounded by the players in front), and wherever parallel fairways are played in opposing directions.
  8. Never play a shot unless the players ahead are well out of range.  If a miss-hit is heading in the direction of other golfers, you must shout ‘Fore!’ in a loud voice to alert players of possible danger.  If  ‘Fore!’ is heard when playing, please take evasive action if possible.
  9. When looking for a lost ball, leave trolley or bag on fairway to act as a visible marker of your presence.
  10. Golfers must always stand well back behind the player who is playing his shot, both on the tee and on all other areas of the course.  A swinging golf club can be dangerous and can cause damage.
  11. The green keeping staff are regularly working on the course when golf is in progress.  Please be careful and courteous to them and ensure that they are aware of, and have acknowledged your presence, prior to playing in their proximity.
  12. Animal holes and rabbit holes are an unfortunate occurrence on golf courses.  Greens staff endeavour to fill in holes, however, they can be obscured by grass on tracks and elsewhere and may pose a risk of tripping and falling.  Watch for indentations caused by rabbits or burrowing animals and be careful when using pathways and tracks.
  13. Buggies are available for hire.  Apart from these, the use of motorised, ride-on buggies is permitted only by prior application to the Council.  All buggies must be operated in accordance with safety instructions and course safety notices.  When in use, keep a safe distance from ponds/water hazards.
  14. Angling pond access is either: On foot down the right hand side of the 1st Fairway, or via the access road from School Aycliffe Lane, crossing the beck and on to the angling pond.  Please be aware of pedestrians and vehicles accessing the angling pond.
  15. Ponds and becks are a feature on the course, take care if retrieving balls from the beck and ponds.  The pond to the left of the 15th has steep sides and deep water, players must not, under any circumstances, attempt to retrieve balls from this pond.
  16. Out of bounds – players must not retrieve balls from any private property around the course, in particular the railway line to the east of the course (1st Fairway).

All members, guests and green fee players are kindly requested to advise the Golf Shop staff of any hazards they feel have not been addressed above.  All accidents or incidents should also be reported to golf shop staff.

Golf Practice

Golf practice should take place only on the Driving Range or practice green adjacent to the 18th Green, unless under tuition by the Golf Professional/Assistant.

Inclement Weather

Darkness, rain, fog and ice:  During inclement weather, the fact that the course has not been officially closed does not warrant that it is fit for play.  Therefore, members and visitors should themselves determine whether they consider it safe to play.  Players have a duty of care to behave in such a way that others may not be injured by their actions.  They also have a duty of care to ensure that they do not injure themselves.  All players play at their own risk and should do nothing to jeopardise the safety of themselves or others.

Lightning:  It is the player’s own responsibility to discontinue play when, in his/her opinion, a danger from lightning exists.  In the event that a player is out on the golf course when lighting is about, then the following safety considerations are advised:

1.         Keep as low as possible and ideally crouch down in the nearest      bunker/hollow.

2.         Leave your golf equipment where it is and stand away from it.

3.         Do not use a mobile phone – make sure it is switched off.

4.         Do not put an umbrella up in any circumstances.

Emergency Action

Golf Shop staff may need to clear the course in the case of an emergency.  This will be signalled by 3 blasts on an air horn, repeated at intervals.  On hearing the signal, please make your way to the Golf Shop for further instructions.

In case of severe illness or injury, please call 999, if appropriate, and advise the Golf Shop of your location on the course.

Oakleaf Golf Complex postcode:  DL5 6QZ     Golf Shop telephone:  01325 310820