Golf course vandalism a big problem around the Tulsa area

Wednesday, November 10th 2004, 12:25 pm
By: News On 6

Golf course vandalism is reaching an all-time high, all because teenagers, mostly boys, want to have a thrill. That thrill is costing course owners tens of thousands of dollars and doing long term damage.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says they hope shedding light on the problem will help bring it to an end.

The Lit'l Links Golf Course in Broken Arrow has the largest junior golf school in the nation, with a par three golf course that's open seven days a week, year 'round. But vandalism is wrecking havoc on business.

Jim Ingram, Lit'l Links Golf Course: "It's expensive. It takes away your family income. Takes from your income because it costs $10,000 each time and then insurance cancels each year because it only takes one incident and they don't want to keep ya."

Someone used a car to create deep trench marks on some their greens. The flags get stolen constantly and kids sneak in and go joyriding. One of the favorite activities of the vandals is to steal the carts and crash them into each other and into the range signs. Those signs are now piling up.

The vandals even drive the carts into the lakes and leave them. Jim Ingram: "The ones I've caught, I ask them why and they have no answer. They just do it, something to do." That something to do is costing golf courses all over.

Trenching was recently done at the Indian Springs Golf Course. They've had so many flags stolen; they must pick them up every night.

Clarey Fields had greens trenched and trailers stolen.

Broken Arrow Golf and Athletic had five carts, a ball washer and four battery chargers stolen.

The Sand Springs Golf Course has been broken into three times recently, losing more than $145,000 worth of merchandize.

Meadow Brook had four greens vandalized, Page Belcher had two golf carts stolen and Mohawk had golf carts vandalized and a beverage cart stolen.

It can take the grass on the greens up to nine months to grow back and in the meantime, that can cost courses between $5,000 and $50,000 a month in revenue.

Many of the courses, including Lit'l Links, are beefing up security, adding surveillance cameras and requesting additional police patrols.

If you have any idea who’s behind this vandalism, you can call Crimestoppers at 596-COPS and receive a reward of up to $2,000 without having to give your name.