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Golfers in Ayrshire have reacted furiously following a horrific act of vandalism at one of the region’s leading courses.

Three of the greens at the popular Western Gailes Golf Club suffered extensive damage after vandals attacked them with what appears to have been a spade.

The damage was discovered this morning ahead of an Ayrshire Winter Golf Association (AWGA) fixture at the Irvine course, requiring officials to hastily put three temporary greens in place. 

The mindless attack was met with widespread revulsion after being revealed through the AWGA’s social media accounts. 

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One user said: “Disgusting! What goes on in some people’s heads!” Another referred to the perpetrators as “animals”.

A golfer who played in the AWGA event paid tribute to the greenstaff for their swift reaction, saying: “Apart from the first green being out of play, the greenkeepers had done an amazing job getting the rest back in play.”


At the time of publishing, it is not yet clear who carried out the attack or if they have been apprehended.

Established in 1897, Western Gailes is one of the leading links courses in the west of Scotland and has been played by many of the game’s greats down the years. 

Harry Vardon, Gene Sarazen and Gary Player have all teed it up there, as have Tom Watson, Tony Jacklin, Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson.

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The former Sky Sports Golf anchor David Livingstone is one of its biggest fans, describing it as “a club quietly content in its own regal setting, evidently comfortable with its world-renowned standing in the game.”

The club also has a proud track record of hosting high-profile events. It has staged nine editions of the Scottish Amateur Championship, most recently in 2011 when David Law claimed the spoils, as well as the 2007 European Amateur Team Championship and the 1972 Curtis Cup.

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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