Three Edinburgh courses vandalised by motorcyclists

By Alistair May 14, 2022 12:05

Three golf courses in Edinburgh have experienced balaclava-wearing motorbike riding youths tearing up the courses and threatening golfers who try to challenge them in recent days.

This has led Edinburgh Live to state that ‘Edinburgh’s golf clubs are under attack’.

In the latest case at Merchants of Edinburgh Golf Club, greenkeepers shared images of the damage on social media, in which scars can be seen in the green of one of their holes which had been caused by “an idiotic group on trail motorbikes.”

Niall Watson, club manager, said: “‘We had a few of our members who were on the golf course when they were confronted by a group in balaclavas on electric motorbikes. They were far from just vandals – they were actively threatening and intimidating members right across the course.

Merchants of Edinburgh Golf Club. Image from Facebook

“On occasions they attempted to take clubs out of bags which understandably scared those who had to experience this. Unfortunately for identification purposes they were all wearing balaclavas or face masks.

“As well as the aggressive nature of these individuals, the damage they can produce with motorbikes on greens and tees can cost golf clubs tens of thousands of pounds.

“There are hundreds of man hours and a huge amount of money put into producing quality playing surfaces for golfers. The financial implications to golf clubs can be massive.

Merchants of Edinburgh Golf Club. Image from Facebook

“Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our members, guests and staff, so to have groups like this actively going out to intimidate and damage the golf course is deeply worrying. Golf should be a relaxing outdoor sport which can provide people with an opportunity to get away from the stresses of everyday life and not be faced by scenarios like this.”

Elsewhere in Edinburgh, Silverknowes and Carrick Knowe courses have been targeted by bike-riding gangs, according to reports in The Golf Business.

Golfer Dougie Arbuckle, said: “I saw a couple of greens destroyed just the weekend before there on Carrick Knowe, especially the 11th hole.

“It was scarred by multiple motorbike tracks that had ripped up the turf.

Merchants of Edinburgh Golf Club. Image from Facebook

“As I approached the 4th green a man drove up the small incline on an electric bike and into the middle of it.

“He was wearing a blue tracksuit with his face covered, and a baseball cap, probably early 20s.

“He looked at me for a second or two and then did two circles, skidding on the green. I was pretty gobsmacked to be fair and shouted at him, asking what he thought he was doing.

“He just replied ‘F*****g come on, then!’, which was odd as he immediately turned and drove down to the 2nd tee.

Merchants of Edinburgh Golf Club. Image from Facebook

“There were four older blokes at it about to play, and he just shouted something unintelligible and pulled a wheelie the whole way down the fairway.”

Meanwhile, a green at Prestwick Golf Club in Ayrshire has also been damaged by vandals.

A spokesperson for South Ayrshire police said: “Following a number of reports of damage on the green at Prestwick golf course, officers engaged with the greenkeepers and provided additional patrols on quad bikes and in plain clothes.

“Campus officers are continuing enquiries into the schools to identify the offenders responsible.”


By Alistair May 14, 2022 12:05

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