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A popular municipal golf course has been targeted by vandals for a third time this winter.

After multiple greens were damaged at the end of last year, another seven have been torn up by scrambler and electric motorcycles.

Lickey Hills, in Birmingham, fell victim to two separate attacks over two nights last week, leaving head green keeper Dave Collins in ‘fear’ of future damage.

“It has a big impact, we only have three full-timers and one part-timer,” Collins told bunkered.co.uk. “But we come into work and we’re not sure what we’re going to find this time.

“It’s only been two days in 2024, but everyday you’re coming in thinking, ‘are we going to find any more damage’ and luckily you don’t but we still have that fear.”

Sharing the damage on social media, Collins posted: “Don’t know why we bother sometimes, I love this place with all my being but obviously people like to stab you in the heart with a dagger.”

The 18-hole course, which opened in 1921, is widely considered one of the best municipal golf courses in England.

Meanwhile, Collins has acted head green keeper at the Rednal venue for the last 27 years but admits the damage has never been worse than in recent times.

Unfortunately, preventing it, is even harder than the repairs.

“It’s a societal thing and it’s happening at a lot of golf courses,” explained Collins.

“We are part of a country park which means there are so many entrances on and off the course that it’s nearly impossible to stop.

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“I know other courses that have CCTV but it’s not good enough to find out who’s done it – they are usually hooded up, with a balaclava and helmet, so you can’t tell who it is.

“I’d have them working on the course if we caught them, getting them to repair the damage.”

The third, fifth, seventh, 11th, 12th, 15th and 16th greens were left with chunks ripped out, covered in tire marks and littered with debris.

Despite it mostly being ‘superficial damage’, it has impacted pay-and-play customers as well as members.

However, Collins believes it has caused a ‘siege mentality’ from golfers, while other green keepers have offered their support.

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“It does look unsightly to the paying golfer, it’s not something they want to see when they come to the golf course,” he said.

“But we haven’t really seen a drop and you get a bit of a siege mentality with some, where they almost support you more.

“I’m also happy for people to know about it because there is a lot of guys out there who feel like they are on their own when things like this happen, but they’re not.”

A huge number of golfers and green keepers, in particular, have reached out to Collins in the wake of the incidents.

It all comes after news that Scottish trio Dalmuir, Hollandbush and Caird Park are set to remain open.


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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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