Vandals took a spade to greens at Willingdon Golf Club in an ‘extreme’ and ‘premeditated’ attack this week.
Course manager Luke Turner described it as the “worst vandalism” he’d experienced in his decade at the club, and says it could take until spring to fully repair the damage.
“Frustration and heartbreak” was his reaction to seeing the wrecked greens at the course in Southdown Road on Thursday morning (October 10).
He said, “We put in a lot of work and time and effort into creating excellent surfaces and some person decides to come along and vandalise and create damage.
“This is about the most severe I’ve seen in 10-11 years. It’s very extreme and premeditated.”
Luke said someone had cut a hole in a fence and taken a spade or shovel and dug up large areas of three greens, at about 4-5 square metres wide.
“They have come equipped to do it,” he said, “They have walked a considerable distance, almost a kilometre.
“It took about 25 hours to get the surfaces repaired enough to play on again. To get it back to the required high standard it will take most of the winter and into the spring.”
So far it has cost around £1,500 to repair the damage, and has put teams behind schedule.
Luke said, “It affects our visitors and members that come to play here. We work so the greens are in fantastic condition all year round. The amount of work that goes into repairing mindless vandalism...”
A post on social media has received a lot of support from the public, he said,
It said, “It really is difficult to understand some people. This morning we have been greeted by the worst vandalism I’ve experienced.
“Sorry for the disruption to the regular course... it is going to take time to fix this.”
The incident happened overnight on Wednesday, between the hours of 10pm and 5.30am.
If you have any information, contact police online or on 101.