GOLFERS at Lochgelly are crying foul instead of fore after a rise in the amount of dog dirt left on the course.

Disgusted members say the fairways are dotted with excrement and they’ve had enough of lazy and irresponsible owners not picking up after their pets.

Greens convenor at Lochgelly Golf Club, Sandy Gilfillan, told the Times: “It’s been an issue for a long time but it’s gotten worse.

“We’ve got a serious challenge just now dealing with dog fouling and we’ve written to Fife Council to see if they can lend any support with signs and bins.

“It’s a problem that’s on the increase and needs to be brought to the public’s attention.

“The golfers are really perturbed by it.”

He continued: “I was walking the course with the ground staff when a lady pulled me up about the dog fouling and said ‘Do you realise how bad it is?’

“She was taking poo bags with her but she shouldn’t have to do that.

“The ground staff are having to pick it up and understandably they’re not happy about it either.

“Of all the people that walk their dogs here, probably 90 per cent are responsible owners and do the right thing.

“It’s the 10 per cent minority that are spoiling it for everyone.”

It’s the latest anti-social problem members have had to face after the course was plagued by vandalism last summer.

The club said they were even looking into installing CCTV cameras to try and catch the culprits, blaming large groups of drunken youths for causing “extensive damage every single weekend”.

Flags were stolen, melted or snapped, tee markers taken or broken, litter bins set on fire, sponsor boards destroyed, young trees ripped out of the ground and broken glass left everywhere.

Mr Gilfillan said the latest problems were exasperating and added: “Clearly with lockdown and the Covid restrictions more people have been buying dogs and it seems more people are taking them for a walk on the course and not picking up after their dog.

“Predominantly, the areas worst affected by dog fouling are the third fairway, close to the old dirt track that takes you to the farm, and the 10th and 12th fairways.

“It’s a private course but I’m pretty sure there’s a public right of way from about the 12th tee to the 8th fairway.

“People have walked it for years. We can’t stop them and even if we wanted to, there’s no way the club could afford to put up a wall or a fence.

“All we ask is that is that if you’re going to walk your dog on the course, do the responsible thing and pick up after it.”

Fife Council's Kirstie Freeman, safer communities team manager, said: "We will get in touch with Mr Gilfillan to see what we can do to help.

"We work in a number of ways to deal with dog fouling using a mix of prevention, education and enforcement.

“Dog fouling is one of the main anti-social issues in many of our communities and every effort is made to increase awareness of how socially irresponsible it is to let dogs foul our streets and parks.

"Despite all this there are still those who just won't pick up after their dogs. Any general waste bin can be used to dispose of dog waste.

"Penalties of up to £200 can be imposed but irresponsible dog owners have to be caught in the act of not picking up immediately, before fixed penalty notices can be issued.

"It’s important therefore that any members of the public who can identify irresponsible dog owners include that information in their complaint or alert their local councillor who can pass on the information in confidence.

"If anyone has information on who may be responsible, please call 03451 550022.”