Preventing Golf Course Vandalism

image of work on course after golf course vandalism

Workers work on course after vandalism

Vandalism on a golf course is not a fun thing for any owner to deal with. It means a stoppage of play, probably an investigation, and of course, can cost a lot of money to clean up and repair. Just as recently as September of 2016, these shovel-wielding vandals laid waste to a beautiful golf course. In a sour turned sweet story, a course in Wheaton, MN received a gift from the PGA and some assistance from a larger local course when their course was severely damaged by someone doing donuts on the grounds.  Vandalism is a very serious matter to golf courses and here’s what you need to know to help prevent it.

Understanding Vandalism

Vandalism is occasionally a misguided statement for a political or social cause. Other times, it is simply a kid with too much time on their hands stealing golf balls or flags. Or perhaps relations between the neighbors of the golf course and the golf course owner have soured. The kids, if they catch wind of this, may choose to join the fray by retaliating in a destructive way. Some vandalism may be a case of destructive pleasure. No matter the reason or the offender, dealing with vandalism is very frustrating. Typically, vandalism falls into two categories. Either it has a cause behind it (think the social cause or children whose parents don’t like the golf course owner) or it happens because it seems fun and there doesn’t seem to be much threat of getting caught.

Preventing Vandalism

Dealing with the two types of vandals requires you to set up multiple defenses. Your first line of defense is fairly simple: be a “good citizen”. Striving to stay on good terms with your neighbors can help reduce yourself as a potential target to their children. Psychologically, children are more likely to be respectful of someone their parents are friends with. Through community involvement and consciousness of environmental and social areas, you will again reduce any perception as a detriment to the community.

Other Tips to Preventing Golf Course Vandalism

Unfortunately, without a cost-prohibitive security infrastructure, there is no sure way to prevent the second type of vandalism. Remember, this has more to do with the opportunity to have some “fun” without getting caught. Preventing vandalism is similar to preventing burglary. Reduce the chances of success and the temptation starts to go away. Here are some ways you can achieve that without breaking out the barbed wire.

  • Make sure anything left outside at night is firmly secured (flags, plant holders, etc.)
  • Put carts in a well-lit location close the main buildings
  • Support new trees with sturdy posts
  • Involve and ensure it is known that you will involve the police in acts of vandalism

The key is to find any way possible to make it harder for vandals. They don’t tend to be the hard-working, goal-oriented types, so making the course appear to be not as easy prey is a good goal.

At H&K Insurance, we understand how destructive vandalism can be to your golf course. We believe you should have a robust property policy to protect your greens if the vandals strike. If you’d like to learn more about our Golf & Country Club Program, you can read more here. We would love to talk you through the process to find the correct coverages for you. Please contact us to get a free quote, or if you have any other questions about your insurance.

Brian began working at H&K Insurance Agency in 1992. He is a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), and an exceptionally qualified insurance professional helping clients protect their assets, and create future financial security in all areas of insurance. Brian specializes in helping golf clubs manage risk by creating insurance plans to protect clubs and their members. Brian oversees H&K’s regular donations to charitable organizations at both local and national levels and runs seminars for local communities on how to protect their assets with insurance contracts.


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