No Injunction to Prevent Stray Golf Balls on Development Property

A developer/builder of a residential subdivision next to a Collingwood golf course was unsuccessful in preventing any golf from being played on part of the course until his dispute with the course owner was resolved. Stray golf balls were spraying onto the developer’s property, and an attempt to settle the matter with the golf course owner – which included a “land swap” and realignment of nine of the holes on the golf course – had proven unsuccessful. The developer accordingly sued to have the agreement enforced, and brought the injunction pending trial.
The court dismissed the injunction, finding there would be no irreparable harm as a result. Although stray golf balls were a nuisance, the developer could be compensated for delay, or lost sales by way of monetary damages. There was nothing to suggest that, for example, an application for site plan approval could not proceed, or that development could not continue on lands unaffected by the golf ball spray. The developer could mitigate its damages pending trial, whereas the golf course owner would suffer serious negative consequences from closing even a single hole. Indeed, to prevent the owner from offering less than 18 holes would be a serious interference with its business and would likely cause both damage to its reputation and loss of clientele. See Tanglewood (Sierra Homes) Inc. v.Munro Golf Ltd., 2009 (ON S.C.)