Golf course vandal in £40k spree

The damage to the greens will cost thousands of pounds to repair. Picture: contributed
The damage to the greens will cost thousands of pounds to repair. Picture: contributed
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A JOYRIDER has carved deep scars into a golf course by executing handbrake turns on putting greens in a vandalism spree that could cost £40,000 to repair.

The driver – who is yet to be identified – tore across the fairways of West Lothian Golf Club in a coupé-style car before cutting up two greens and fleeing at speed.

CCTV footage shows the motorist cruising around two club car parks before disappearing off camera and tearing down the course.

Locals suspect the vandal must have known the course – as he narrowly avoided taking his car over a deadly 100ft drop.

It is understood the culprit first mounted the fairways on November 18 but returned the following night for the destructive midnight joyride that caused most of the damage.

The par-71 golf course, located in Linlithgow, was designed by famed Scottish golfer Wille Park Jnr, who won The Open Championship in 1887 and 1889.

The PGA professional at the course, Alan Reid, said the third and eighth greens had been badly scarred amid rumours a “disgruntled member” might be to blame.

“We have had to re-turf the greens which has a cost involved but because of the time of year we won’t know the full extent of the damage until May,” he said.

“The person had to know the golf course layout to do what they did. No-one can fathom what has happened because it’s totally malicious and carried out over two nights.

“There can be no justification for this type of action that is sheer vandalism which has scarred the course and could potentially end up costing as much as £40,000.”

And he said the driver narrowly avoided a lethal drop.

“If he had driven five or six yards to the right on one hole it could have been life-threatening because there’s a 100ft drop.”

Alan Gibson, general manager of West Lothian Golf Club, said: “It’s members’ hard-earned cash that goes into maintaining the greens and for someone to come along and cause so much damage within a few minutes is pretty soul-destroying for the members but also the green staff.

“We have never had anything quite as bad before – we have had stolen cars driving over the course that end up a burned-out wreck.

“But this is someone that knows the course. It’s 
sickening.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Police Scotland is investigating following vandalism at West Lothian Golf Club.

“The incident happened between Monday 18 and Wednesday, November 20.

“A number of greens on the course sustained damage and inquiries are ongoing into this matter.”

david.mccann@edinburghnews.com