Quintin van Jaarsveld
Vandals hit the Wild Coast Sun golf course on Saturday night, chopping up six of the greens days out from the club hosting a Sunshine Tour event.
The South Coast club is set to welcome South Africa’s top rising stars to its marquee event of the year – the R800 000 Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge, starting on Wednesday and culminating on Friday.
The greens of the 12th through to the 17th hole were hacked up overnight, making for a shocking scene on Sunday morning.
“Unfortunately, it’s not the first time this type of vandalism has occurred here. We’ve had about four of these incidents over the past couple of years,” Benjamin Leonard, Golf Director of Wild Coast Sun Country Club, told eHowzit on Sunday morning.
“Based on the amount of damage done, it must’ve taken a fair amount of time, so I believe it was done during the course of last night.”
After assessing the damage, a composed Leonard assured that the Sunshine Tour tournament will go ahead as planned. As a precaution, the Pro-Am on Monday on Tuesday will be played on the front nine.
“It looks quite shocking, but I’m not overly concerned,” said Leonard. “We know what it takes to repair and how long the process takes, and we have an excellent team of turf managers.
“It’s a matter of putting the puzzle back together again, top dressing and cutting. We’ll have it done by the end of the day and things will be back to normal tomorrow.”
He added, “We’ve opened a case of vandalism with the police and we’ll be hiring extra security from Durban to secure our property.”
Local Sunshine Tour campaigner and resident pro of neighbouring Margate Country Club, Andrew Curlewis, was at the course to lend a hand and said he couldn’t believe what he saw.
“It’s awful…horrendous…I can’t put it into words really. I’ve never seen anything like this before. I can’t believe that people can come out and do something like this on purpose.”
Photos by Keegan Daniels