Taxpayers left to foot bill after city-owned golf course vandalized

Photo: WKRN

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Taxpayers will be left to pay the bill for repairs after vandals caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage to a city-owned golf course in Murfreesboro Tuesday night.

Workers at Old Fort Golf Course in Murfreesboro arrived Wednesday to find someone had driven an ATV or 4-wheeler on the course and damaged fairways, t-boxes, bunkers and greens.

“The damage is significant and the scars will be here for a while,” said Director of Golf Tracy Wilkins.

Most of the damage was done to the front nine, but the green on the Seven Par 4 hole suffered the most damage.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

Workers began the repairs Wednesday morning by taking sod from a practice green and replacing the damaged grass.

“It’s going to be in the thousands, tens of thousands probably before we get all the grass prepared and healed up.”

Course officials said raking bunkers is the easy part, but totally repairing damaged greens could take until May of next year.

“We’ll be back playing tomorrow, but the total fix won’t happen until months down the road,” Wilkins said.

Golfer Joe Phillips had to play the back nine holes twice because of the damage.

“If the golf course is in a little torn up shape because of vandals it won’t stop the average golfer; I’ll keep coming and patronizing them,” Phillips said.

Taxpayers will be the ones having to foot the bill for repairs.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

“This is a city-owned golf course so we all have to suffer,” Murfreesboro police Sgt. Kyle Evans said.

Murfreesboro police has opened an investigation into the vandalism.

They believe the vandals gained access to the course by using the Greenway.

This is not the first time vandals have hit the golf course.

“The maintenance facility with tearing up chemicals and fertilizer and just stripping out bags,” Wilkins said. “They’ve torn up vehicles and different things; we’ve been broken into, things have been stolen and damage to the building.”

Some say a rut on the green may not be a bad idea.

“Some have been suggesting we put the hole at the end of one of these runt here so some can putt a little better and it goes right in,” Wilkins said while laughing.

Police are serious about finding the people responsible for the vandalism.

Anyone with information should call 615-893-7867.

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