Golf club is vandalised just before it was due to reopen

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 29, 2021 11:50

A golf club in Norwich has been unable to reopen because thugs vandalised five of its greens, making them unplayable, just hours before golf was due to resume there.

Sprowston Manor Hotel & Country Club has, like all golf clubs in England, been closed since early January due to coronavirus.

Sprowston Manor Hotel & Country Club. Image from Facebook

It was due to reopen in the morning of March 29, but either in the evening of March 28 or the early hours of March 29, vandals struck.

A statement on Facebook read: ‘Dear member. Due to overnight vandalism which is being investigated by Norwich Police to five of the greens we are sadly unable to re-open today.

Sprowston Manor Hotel & Country Club. Image from Facebook

‘The greens’ team are currently surveying the damage and make the necessary urgent repairs.’

Within minutes the post had received dozens of replies from furious members, saying they were appalled and disgusted with what had happened.

Sprowston Manor Hotel & Country Club. Image from Facebook

The club had posted several updates in recent days stating it was excited to be reopening, with the suggestion that it would be inundated with golfers.

Sprowston Manor Hotel & Country Club. Image from Facebook

Elsewhere on social media several golf clubs have reported an incredibly busy day. For example, Dan Webster of Lytham Golf Academy reported that all 19 driving range bays were filled within the first 15 minutes of the opening, and celebrities such as Ian Wright posted videos of themselves on the course early in the morning.

Meanwhile, St Annes Mini Links course in Blackpool’s regular, Alan Barrow, said of the reopening: “It’s been a while but it’s good to be back here again. We come as a team every Friday but I wanted to be here on the first day it opened.

“It’s good to get some practice in as well as a lot of people will probably be a bit rusty at the moment.”

Friends Annette Harrison and Linda Briggs are also regulars at the course.

Linda said: “It’s fantastic to just be out and see someone else for a change and have a good, old nice chat while playing golf.”

Annette added: “We come weekly and to have not been in such a long time is quite hard but even though it’s a bit cold and windy, I’m enjoying every minute.”

At Bridgnorth Golf Club, new men’s captain Jez Wilson was in the first group off – making the traditional captain’s drive into office at 8am.

He said: “I think we are all absolutely delighted to be able to play once more following the recent lockdown due to Covid.

“The course opening today for play kick-starts the new year for the golf club and my year as captain.

“After what has been a difficult year for most we are now able to play and hopefully it won’t be too long before we can socialise, enjoy each other’s friendship and company and enjoy the remainder of the golfing year.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 29, 2021 11:50
Write a comment


  1. Mungo March 30, 13:44

    Total lack of RESPECT for anything or anyone nowadays
    is the problem with yob culture. NATIONAL SERVICE should never have been stopped in this country. GOVERNMENT should be encouraged to reinstate it with the HELP off our governing golf bodies. Little wonder so many Head Greenkeepers are leaving the industry. Sad days ahead I fear!!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Sue March 30, 11:09

    pure thuggery. What satisfaction to these folk get? Is it just boredom?

    Reply to this comment
  3. DSales March 30, 09:49

    Shame that. Played there a few times. Decent course.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Magiera March 29, 17:55

    So sorry to hear about this hope you are able to repair and move on . It seems to be a reacurring situation maybe we need to lobby the gov to slow tougher penalties for this kind of business and leisure disruption ?

    Reply to this comment
  5. Mark Scott March 29, 16:34

    I was a member of Sprowston GC for 9 years and Captain of it in 2018, before very recently moving elsewhere. Many of my friends are still members and I’ve been in touch with quite a few this morning. There is a lot of anger, sadness and frustration at such mindless criminal damage. It will take the hard working greenstaff sometime to repair the affected greens and for golfers looking forward to getting back out to play after months of lockdown, it’s a very bitter pill to swallow.

    Reply to this comment
    • Mark Scott March 29, 16:58

      As an update though the greenstaff have worked miracles today and the course is opening at 8am tomorrow. This is the best response there could have been to the criminal behaviour.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Langford March 29, 13:48

    Did they lay off some green keepers?

    Reply to this comment
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