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A golf course in Prestwick has been targeted by vandals on the eve of the 152nd Open Championship.

With golf’s oldest major headed to Royal Troon, ‘lots of visitors’ were expected to tee it up at nearby Prestwick St Nicholas.

But the historic club – founded in 1851 – has been dealt a ‘disgraceful’ blow after the third green was attacked.

Gareth Hardy, the head PGA professional, shared the extensive damage on Facebook this morning, with a busy period looming for the South Ayrshire venue.

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“So disappointing to arrive at work this morning to this,” he wrote.

“Really have no idea what goes through people’s heads to do this. The week before The Open where we are expecting lots of visitors here at Prestwick St Nicholas Golf Club.”

The pictures showed several divots taken from the previously immaculate putting surface, which was the only one to been targeted.

Vandals Prestwick golf course

Vandals Prestwick golf course

“Greenkeepers have fixed it best they can, but the damage is bad,” he replied to one social media user.

Around 250,000 fans are expected to visit Royal Troon throughout next week, as the Open returns to Scotland and many would’ve been likely to head five miles south to Prestwick St Nicholas.

It is the 26th oldest golf club in the world and boasts Old Tom Morris, winner of four Open Championships, as a founding/honorary member.

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Hundreds of locals and golf fans condemned the behaviour on social media, labelling it ‘shocking’ and ‘disgraceful’.

One user said: “Unbelievable mate. Who gets enjoyment from doing that!”

Another wrote: “Disgraceful, Gareth. No idea what goes through the minds of people who do these acts of pure vandalism.”

A spokesperson for Barassie Links Golf Club said: “Terrible news! We hope that our friends at Prestwick St Nicholas Golf Club can get it repaired.”

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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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