Mindless yobs trashed a golf course before speeding away “at 80mph” in an act of dangerous and petty vandalism.
The car, containing three young men and a strong smell of cannabis, performed a series of donuts on the grass on Monday after running into a dead end on an adjacent track.
It then left the course at high speed while stunned Operations Director James Carpenter could only watch on helplessly.
Bosses at Southport Golf Academy, based at the Leisure Lakes complex in Mere Brow, West Lancashire, were left reeling at the deep tracks left behind on the second fairway.
James had been working on maintaining the course, as he has throughout lockdown, in the hope that it will be in perfect condition ahead of a potential reopening on December 3.
He said: “I was working in the course on foot. There’s one part of the course where a track of road runs alongside it.
“A car came along with a few lads in it, stinking of stuff they shouldn’t have been smoking.
“They went past on the main road but I didn’t think too much of it at first.
“They took a left onto this track doing silly speeds.
“They went out of my sight but it was going dark so I could still see the lights so I knew where the track they were on doesn’t go anywhere.
“They went to the end of that track where there’s nowhere to go, then went on the second fairway, did a couple donuts, turned around and flew past me at about 80mph.
“I was on foot so couldn’t do anything.”
Although there is CCTV footage at the entrance to Leisure Lakes, James said the quality is not clear enough to get a view of the licence plate but he described the vehicle as a 15-reg, dark grey BMW 3 Series.
He believes that the trip to the golf course was opportunistic rather than pre-planned and suggested that if the ground had been wetter, the car could have got stuck.
The incident has been reported to the police as he thinks it is likely that the car was stolen and the people inside joy-riding.
“If it was me in a 3 Series, I wouldn’t take it down effectively a dirt track. It would be very surprising for anyone to drive their own car like that.
The nine-hole course is designed as a less formal place to play golf and is often used by juniors and beginners to gain experience and confidence before they visit bigger facilities across Lancashire and Merseyside.
It also provides coaching and beginner lessons and boasts a driving range and practice holes.
James says it is hugely frustrating to have to deal with the damage but is confident that the ground can be back in good condition by the time restrictions on the venue opening are lifted.
Anyone with information on the incident can contact Lancashire Police on 101, quoting reference 1293 of November 9.
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