The Auburn Hills Golf Club Facebook page was lit up over the weekend after it posted several photos of vandalism at the course.
Someone drove a vehicle on the property at the course, located in Riner, Virginia, late Friday or early Saturday and tore up the course. When golf course employees arrived at work to start the weekend, they found damage on the course’s practice putting green as well as the No. 9 green.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw the damage to the greens,” Jeff Gandee, PGA, director of golf at the course, told Golfweek.
The Facebook post reached more than 100,000 users. The post said:
Damage done last night with a vehicle (not a golf cart) to the putting green and 9 green! Plus took the flagstick. If you have any information on who did this damage, please contact us so we can have a conversation with them!!
Turns out, due to heavy rain last Friday, a scheduled charity tournament had already been canceled.
“I have been at Auburn Hills for 15 years and a PGA professional for the past 22 years but never seen anything like this before,” Gandee said. “Yes, we had a trash can thrown down in the woods or a tee marker missing but no damage like this. I get upset when someone takes a divot out of the green but this hurts.”
Gandee said repair work is already underway.
“We have no idea on how much it will cost to fix this damage but guessing thousands of dollars. It will take a lot of time for the grass to heal and grow back from all the stress,” he said. “We had to take sod from the left side on No. 17, which is our largest green, and patch the damage as well as we could. We have smoothed it and rolled it so now it’s a matter of time for the damage to heal. The area on 17 green where we took the sod from will take months to heal.”
As noted in the post, someone even stole the flagstick from the No. 9 green.
The biggest question: Why would anyone do this?
“I would like to find the person responsible and just ask why they did it?,” Gandee said. “I am guessing they have no concept of the money involved, time, and effort it takes to maintain the greens. The greens are the heart of every course and important we make them the best we possibly can.”
Even non-golfers were moved by the photos of the golf course damage.
“This has upset the whole golfing community, not just here at Auburn Hills. Even people that don’t play golf have commented because they realize the greens are the most important part of any golf course.”