MEMBERS of Wentworth Golf Club have been dealt a blow after vandals came onto the course on Thursday night, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage by digging up parts of the course, gouging greens, pulling out and destroying pins and destroying signage.
General manager of the club Ian Starr said with events on at the club this weekend staff were frantically working to repair the damage to the fourth, seventh and tenth greens so the second round of the Barrett Bowl could go ahead today and the final of the Yates Cup tomorrow.
“This is really tough on a club like ours,” he said.
“We were just starting to get our heads above water this year with a good year, and this is the second time in school holidays since Christmas vandals have hit us.”
Mr Star and the course superintendent George Connaughton said there were no vehicle tracks on the course and believed the vandals entered on foot from either Green Lane West or Melaleuca Way.
“They’ve been here for a while judging by the amount of damage,” Mr Star said.
Mr Connaughton, who is responsible for maintaining the greens and the course, said on the worst-damaged seventh green, where gouges were almost 40cm deep in places, the vandals had left a lewd image carved into the green.
“We are pretty sure these are the same people who did this in the last school holidays as we have photos, and the images match,” he said.
Mr Connaughton said the damage was discovered yesterday morning during his usual early-morning course inspection.
Mr Star said the club could not afford a security firm to check on the course at night.
However, he is considering a plan to talk to members to see if a roster system could be set up, particularly in the school holidays, to check on the course.
Mr Connaughton said the seventh green, which was closest to the fence at Green Lane west, had been hit several times by vandals.
“We’ve got to a stage where this is the last damage it can sustain, and if it happens again we will have to shut it down,” he said.
Mr Star said he dreaded the school holidays, when vandals were more likely to attack the course.
“If we do find out this is kids I want parents to take responsibility. They should know where there kids are,” he said.
Anyone with information that can assist with the police investigation should call Orange police on 6363 6399.