Golf club ‘may have to close down’ due to vandals

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 7, 2020 07:28

A golf club in Bolton has said it may have to close down because it has been repeatedly targeted by vandals who have caused thousands of pounds-worth of damage and intimidated members.

At least 30 members have refused to play at the venue – even during the post-lockdown boom in golf – due to threats and menacing behaviour.

Great Lever and Farnworth Golf Club said £10,000 of damage has been caused, meaning the repair bill is now almost unaffordable.

The club says it has been targeted by youths who have gathered in large groups intimidating players, wrecking large areas of the course and leaving tracks from off-road bikes.

Speaking to The Bolton News, the club said in recent days a wheelie bin was set alight and put on the course before it melted into the surface.

Another time thugs ripped out the club’s irrigation system, and it is estimated that around 40 hole flags have been destroyed since March.

Drug snap bags, laughing gas canisters and beer cans have been dumped on the ground along with other waste too.

The presence of youths, particularly in the club’s bottom field area of the course, who have been picking up golfers’ balls during their rounds, has led to members playing elsewhere and visitors asking for refunds due to the abuse they have faced.

Club captain Tom Walls said: “It is horrendous and everyone is so fed up of it.

“It has got worse and worse since the lockdown.

“All the damage caused has cost the club over £10,000 to repair.

“It is coming to a position if it carries on much longer that we are going to have to close the club.

“We have got 10 members of staff and they could lose their livelihoods.

“Most of the damage is being done on the bottom field where there are four holes, and 30 members are refusing to play there because they are getting intimidated that much.

“The lady members are terrified of playing there. It has got to the point where we are losing members because of it.

“As a golfer and a captain of the club it is soul-destroying. I do not want to be remembered as the person who was captain of the club when it closed.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 7, 2020 07:28
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