Damage caused by vandals to golf courses and their golf car fleets is an $8 million to $10 million problem that course owners, operators, club professionals and superintendents are struggling to solve, according to a whitepaper published by Club Car in USA.
“Golf Car Vandalism: No Joyride” was developed following research to identify owners’ and operators’ chief operational concerns.
Among the survey findings were statistics that underlined the critical nature of the vandalism problem:
• 72 percent of courses reported vandalism or golfers playing extra holes without paying a green fee
• 27 percent said they had retrieved a vandalized golf car from a lake or creek
• 48 percent reported unauthorized use of golf cars
• 42 percent reported golf cars being driven in restricted areas
• 21 percent reported theft of golf cars
Joel Willis, an insurance executive interviewed for the whitepaper, said golf course vandalism is a growing problem across the country.
“Vehicle and equipment replacement costs, plus lost revenues, if the course has to shut down for repairs or prepare temporary greens, make these kinds of incidents an owner’s worst nightmare,” said Willis, program director of Clubsurance, a division of The Commonwealth Insurance Group, which provides property and casualty coverage to golf courses.
Partially in response to the vandalism problem, Club Car earlier this year introduced its GPS-based Guardian SVC system, which allows courses to define restricted areas and limit vehicle access.
Club Car www.clubcar.com