Damage to the golf course in St Mellons

Security gates to be installed after car churns up golf course

Vandals ‘used the club as a racetrack,’ causing almost £600 of damage to turf

ST MELLONS Golf Club is strengthening its security after someone drove on to the course and span a car around one of the holes, causing over £500 of damage.  

The vandals mounted the raised curb installed to stop trespassers last Tuesday and used the course as a “driving track,” said financial director Richard Hughes.  

“We are disappointed because we are a hub of the community but we are having to look at upgrading our security because of a couple of individuals spoiling it for everybody,” he said.

“We understand that people are stuck indoors but you don’t take your frustration out on a golf course – buy a punch bag if you want to do that.”

Tyre tracks mark the vandalism at St Mellon’s Golf Course.

“It’s cost us close to £600,” said Mr Hughes of the “awful damage”.

“It doesn’t sound like much, but the golf course hasn’t been open much for the last six months, so it’s an added cost we didn’t want. We have an insurance excess of around £600 anyway so we can’t claim on that.”

The damage was discovered early the next morning by head green keeper Mark Anderto who said similar incidents had happened in the past.

“They mounted the curb, drove up the hole and back down and once they got to the tee, they decided to spin it up,” he explained.

“This is the worst damage I’ve seen since I started. I’ve been a member (of the club) for 30 years and a head green keeper for four or five seasons.”

Several of Mr Anderton’s colleagues have been furloughed, so there are fewer people to maintain the course.

“People think we’re a playground and they don’t understand the amount of time and energy which goes into running a golf club – there’s a lot of pride which goes into that place,” he said.

“They don’t appreciate the amount of work which goes in to present the course as good as it has been.”

Tyre tracks mark the vandalism at St Mellon’s Golf Course.

Mr Anderton said it was disappointing that the perpetrator may be from the local area.

A public footpath running through the club has been open to dog walkers throughout the lockdown.

“Many people walk the footpaths and enjoy the walk,” said Mr Anderton. “It was a great response (from the community) and it was nice to see so many pay their condolences for the damage.”

He said the club planned to install an electronic security gate at the entrance in future, but that a lockable gate would be erected temporarily this week. Mobile security cameras will also be placed in trees on the course to catch future offenders.