Club Car study: Vandalism on the rise

Vandalism conducted at golf courses and to their car fleets is costing course operators between $8 million to $10 million, according to a recent report by golf car manufacturer Club Car.

The white paper, “Golf Car Vandalism: No Joyride,” was published following a survey that identified concerns among course owners and operators.

Among the findings:

• 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 white paper, 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. The division of The Commonwealth Insurance Group provides property and casualty coverage to golf courses.

Earlier this year, Club Car introduced its GPS-based Guardian SVC system, which enables courses to define restricted areas and limit vehicle access. The GPS-based system, in part, was created to deter vandals.

“If you can stop the source of their fun, odds are you’ll come close to eliminating the damage,” said Mike Read, director of marketing for Club Car’s golf category.

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