Spike in golf courses being attacked by vandals in January

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 30, 2019 07:09

A large number of golf clubs have reported that they have been hit by vandals – typically burglars – in the first few weeks of 2019.

In the space of about 48 hours, Dunkeld and Birnam Golf Club, Brechin Golf Club and Caledonian Golf Club, all in close proximity to each other, were all attacked during the night.

Police have confirmed that a safe and its contents worth around £1,500 were stolen from Dunkeld and Birnam.

Dunkeld and Birnam club secretary Jackie MacLean told The Courier: “There was some damage to the tills and from breaking in, but whoever it was went straight for the safe and took it. They didn’t take anything else.

“There was around £1,500 in the safe, which is enough to matter to us. We’re only a small club and we can’t afford to lose that sort of money.

“The golf club was broken into about eight months ago too. It’s a bit annoying for the members who are knocking their pans in to raise funds for some toerag to come and break in and take.”

Police are also looking for thieves who targeted Renfrew Golf Club in Scotland a week later.

Officers say a window was smashed and a television was taken from inside.

The club has been targeted on several occasions in recent months, with break-ins having happened in October and December last year.

Meanwhile in England, at least one offender gained access to Berkhamsted Golf Range by smashing a rear window.

Once inside they took a collection of Callaway golf clubs, along with watches and binoculars. The golf club’s till was also taken and the card machine damaged.

PC Dani Howlett-Bolton, who is investigating, said: “A significant amount of equipment worth thousands of pounds has been stolen from the golf club.

“I’m appealing for anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area or believes they may have been offered the stolen items for sale to please get in touch as soon as possible.”

Around the same day burglars broke into Wheathampstead Golf Club, stole a leaf blower and caused damage to the building.

They are also believed to have also stolen charity collection boxes containing cash.

Also this month Holywell Golf Club suffered ‘soul destroying’ vandalism to its putting green.

This is after a four-by-four vehicle, causing extensive damage to the course, left deep tyre tracks.

The course’s fairways, a closely mown area that runs between the tee box and putting green, has suffered near identical damage on three occasions since October.

While the damage is not irreparable, it is a source of anger for the club’s staff who have had to work very hard to maintain the course, particularly the putting green, during recent inclement weather.

Carol Saunders, club manager, said: “While we’re fortunate that this and the other instances have occurred out of the main golfing season, it is both very time consuming and costly to keep having to repair the course.

“And we simply don’t know when the next time it’s going to happen, we could come in tomorrow to find similar damage and we’re back to square one again.

“It’s soul destroying really to see such mindless acts of vandalism because people work so hard to maintain this club, it’s a kick in the teeth.”

And members of Letham Grange Golf Club in Scotland have also been left counting the costs after vandals tore over the fairways in a late night demolition spree.

Greenkeepers arrived to be met by tyre marks cutting across the 17th fairway and the winter tees in the second incident of its kind over the last few months.

The golf club was also targeted by thieves who made off with a buggy in December. A generator and a drill were stolen and damage was caused to a wall, which has had to be repaired.

Club captain Malcolm Turner spoke of the frustration and disappointment felt by green keepers and members as they are left to once again repair the mess.

Anyone with information about any of the above is urged to contact the police.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 30, 2019 07:09
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