Golf green ‘carved-up’ by vandal - with repairs to cost thousands of pounds

PUBLISHED: 10:07 11 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:27 11 January 2016

Damage to the ninth green at Sidmouth Golf Club

Damage to the ninth green at Sidmouth Golf Club

Archant

Sidmouth Golf Club members have been left reeling after a ‘mindless’ biker caused £5,000 of damage to its ninth green – just as it was recovering from a similar act of vandalism.

Damage to the ninth green at Sidmouth Golf ClubDamage to the ninth green at Sidmouth Golf Club

Manager Jonathan Lee said the club will be disrupted as it fixes or rebuilds the green and he is looking at ways to prevent it happening again.

The club may install CCTV cameras or barriers, but Mr Lee said that is not what people want in the countryside.

“Someone decided it would be fun to go onto our ninth green and carve it up,” said Mr Lee. “Presumably, they thought it was funny. The same thing happened about four years ago – they drove round and round.

“This time it was only once, but with the weather it was pretty soft and wet.

Damage to the ninth green at Sidmouth Golf ClubDamage to the ninth green at Sidmouth Golf Club

“It’s just mindless vandalism.

“Our members are very upset. They and we fail to understand why anyone would want to do such a thing.”

The course manager is assessing the cost to fix the damage, which could be £5,000.

The club had to make an insurance claim for the £6,500 cost to repair the ninth green after the last act of vandalism and members said it was only properly recovering this year.

“You can’t repair 125 years of effort in five minutes,” said Mr Lee.

The ninth green is next to a crossroads that connects Bickwell Valley with Mutters Moor.

It is popular with horse riders and trail bikers and is also used by the club’s own vehicles for maintenance.

The latest incident happened overnight last Monday (December 28).

The green could be repaired, or it could be rebuilt, although this would be more disruptive and require the creation of a temporary hole elsewhere.

“We’re going to do what we can to stop this happening again,” said Mr Lee.

“Whatever we do, we have to get our equipment up there, but we want to stop these people getting back in.

“We’re looking at installing CCTV, otherwise it will be gates and barriers. That’s not what people want in the countryside.”

Sergeant Andy Squires, of Sidmouth’s neighbourhood policing team, said the driver would have gone up Bickwell Valley. He is appealing for anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police on 101 and quote crime reference CR/089173/15.

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