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Vandals Damage More English Golf Courses

By: | Mon 15 Apr 2024

Golf clubs the length and breadth of the land have faced huge challenges during the past six months as greenkeepers have struggled to keep courses open and playable in the face of incessant rain.

Our recent survey revealed just what a huge sense of frustration this has caused among club members who have lost endless days because of flooding. 

So it was especially depressing to learn that two golf clubs in Bournemouth face challenges of their own after parts of their courses were targeted by mindless vandals.

The Club at Meyrick Park says it was hit by "the worst vandalism yet" after parts of the course were destroyed. This is damage that is caused in minutes but will take months to put right.

And Knighton Heath Golf Club has also fallen victim.

The Bournemouth Echo reported that a group of teenagers were spotted entering The Club at Meyrick Park at night, and rode motorbikes and electric bikes across the greens, causing damage. It was the third time the course had been damaged in the space of ten days.

Understandably, Mo Bah, the golf course manager and resident greenkeeper, was both furious and upset at what had been done to his course. 

He said: "It’s taking a lot of our time doing that rather than actually concentrating on what we need to do on the golf course.

"This course is my baby, I’ve been here almost nine years now and this is the worst I have seen it. This is the start of the golfing season, we had the course ready to welcome visitors on April 1, but now because of this, we’ve had to delay that."

Kate Beauchamp, general manager at the club said: "It’s demoralising and it’s blatant vandalism. We can’t be the eyes out there all the time.

"We would appreciate the public if they see anything, either calling us or the police or going to say, taking photographs, just so we’ve got evidence because we only see the aftermath.

"We’ve got visitors coming over and then when they see the course in bad condition because of the vandalism, it has a knock-on effect on everything. it’s just really sad to see."

Golf Course Vandals

When the newspaper published the story on Twitter, Andy Windsor, the head PGA professional Knighton Heath Golf Club, replied: "So, it’s not just Knighton Heath Golf Club then." His club had suffered a similar attack and, shockingly, there was a swastika carved into one of the bunkers.

One really has to stop and wonder about what kind of mindset is involved in such moronic and deeply troubling behaviour. 

And these are not isolated incidents. A trawl around the internet reveals that many golf clubs in the UK regularly find themselves having to clear up after youngsters decide that it is a good idea to ride motorcycles across greens and along wet fairways. They know exactly what they are doing.

In October last year, Enville Golf Course, on Highgate Common between Dudley and Stourbridge, was forced to close after vandals ruined one of its greens. In December motorbike riders destroyed six greens at Belfairs Golf Club, causing £100,000 of damage. And in March, Lickey Hills, in Birmingham, was vandalised for the third time in a matter of weeks.

Sadly, there is no easy solution. Clearly, it would be financially restrictive for golf clubs to install security cameras on 18 golf holes. The reality is that most of these culprits will go unpunished unless caught red-handed. 

Worse than that, they will no doubt go on to repeat their behaviour.

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UK Golf Courses Are Being Repeatedly Vandalised

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