Golf clubs struggling to cope with levels of vandalism

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 14, 2021 07:07

Several golf courses, particularly in Scotland, have stated they are struggling to cope with current levels of vandalism, which at least two venues have said is now a weekly occurrence.

Reports of vandalism to golf courses have soared since the pandemic started but have, seemingly, got even worse as restrictions have eased in 2021.

In the last few days, for instance, one of the greens at Caird Park Golf Course in Dundee has been ruined again.

Tom Alexander, 76, who has golfed at the course for more than 60 years, said: “It happens nearly every weekend.

“The final straw came when the vandals targeted the course two weekends ago – only a week before we held our return Charlie Adam Charity Senior Golf Tournament this past weekend.

“Young lads on motorised mountain bikes, dirt bikes, are getting on to the course and riding all over the tees and greens making a real mess.

“Green 11 is being particularly badly hit.

“We are all completely fed up of this and would appeal to those coming on to the course and causing the damage to stop.

“They might not think they are doing anything wrong but after the damage is caused it takes ages for the grass to repair itself, making life very difficult for those who want to enjoy their game of golf at the course.”

A burnt out car which was found at Camperdown Golf Course, also in Dundee, earlier this year. Image from Michael Marra’s Twitter account (@michaeljmarra)

A spokesman for Leisure & Culture Dundee, which manages the course, said: “This is a city-wide problem.”

Meanwhile, Lochgelly Golf Club in Fife has been forced to install CCTV after a vandalism spree spanning several months.

Officials say they are faced with “extensive damage every single weekend” at the hands of vandals.

In recent months, flags have stolen, melted and snapped, sponsor boards and tee markers have been smashed and stolen, litter bins set alight, trees uprooted and areas of the course littered with broken glass.

Last weekend, stones from a cairn, which was built by one of the members, were left strewn across the ground.

A spokesperson for the club said the problems have now been reported to police and CCTV will be installed in a bid to catch the culprits.

“On a good day the greenkeepers will come in and there’ll be maybe three flags missing,” the spokesperson said.

“On a bad day it’s what you would deem criminal damage.

“We’ve got a member who’s 83 that built that stone cairn by hand and it has been destroyed.

“It’s a complete lack of respect.”

Last year a putting green was destroyed by fire after vandals set paint tins alight.

Sergeant Paul Cochrane said problems are caused by a “small minority” of young people.

“We are aware of concerns raised and officers carry out regular patrols of highlighted areas,” he said.

“It is worth stressing that the vast majority of young people do not come to the attention of police.

“A small minority do sometimes become involved in anti-social behaviour and police will take appropriate action where incidents are reported and offenders identified.

“I would also urge parents to know where their children are, who they are associating with and what they are doing.

“Anyone who has concerns about anti-social behaviour in their area is encouraged to contact police by calling 101 as promptly as possible.”

And in the last few days in England a golfer was injured in Brighton, when two men rode motorbikes onto Hollingbury Park Golf Course and allegedly assaulted players.

One man was left with a split lip after he confronted the motorcyclists, who were tearing up fairways. He was punched to the ground and kicked in the head as he tried to get up.

The riders then churned up the grass by performing doughnuts on the green before riding away.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 14, 2021 07:07
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1 Comment

  1. Peter July 12, 15:59

    The only way I know to cure this problem is through increased engagement, communication and awareness with the local community and those in it !! When people have a better understanding of who you are, what you do and why you do it, they tend to go along !!

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