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A popular Lancashire golf club may be forced to close as it cannot afford to foot the repair bill for persistent damage vandals have inflicted upon its course.

Great Lever and Farnworth Golf Club in Bolton has become a target for local thugs who have wreaked a reported £10,000 worth in recent months.

Club officials told The Bolton News how a wheelie bin was set on fire and put on the course before melting into the surface.

The course’s irrigation system has also been ripped out and around 40 hole flags have been destroyed since March.

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On top of the vandalism, large gangs of youths have also been seen on the course intimidating golfers, leading to members playing elsewhere and visitors asking for refunds.

The club has reported the incidents to the police and is currently waiting on a government grant to help offset some of the losses it has incurred due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

However, club captain Tom Walls has warned that even that may not be enough to save the 103-year-old club.

“It is horrendous and everyone is so fed up of it,” said Walls. “It has got worse and worse since the lockdown. All the damage caused has cost the club over £10,000 to repair.

“It is coming to a position if it carries on much longer that we are going to have to close the club.

“We have got ten members of staff and they could lose their livelihoods.

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“Most of the damage is being done on the bottom field where there are four holes, and 30 members are refusing to play there because they are getting intimidated that much.

“The lady members are terrified of playing there. It has got to the point where we are losing members because of it.

“As a golfer and a captain of the club it is soul-destroying. I do not want to be remembered as the person who was captain of the club when it closed.”

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