After multiple incidents of vandalism that have diminished its golf cart fleet from 30 to 21, the Holbrook, Ariz., golf course is taking steps to enact change, including installing security cameras and enlisting city employees to act as rangers. The city manager considered doing away with golf carts entirely, but decided against making “the 90 percent pay for the actions of the 10 percent.”
Continuing vandalism at Hidden Cove Golf Course in Holbrook, Ariz., has caused some changes in the way the course is taken care of, the Holbrook-based Arizona Journal reported.
“We lost another golf cart last night,” city manager Ray Alley said. “Somebody ran over a garbage can and a ball washer, and damaged the cart. I don’t know how badly yet. It absolutely had to be on purpose.”
The problem has gotten so bad he has considered making a drastic change, Alley told the Journal.
“I thought about doing away with the carts entirely, but most of the people out there are good people,” Alley said. “I don’t want to make the 90 percent pay for the actions of the 10 percent,” noting that the course is down to 21 carts from 30.
One cart was “mud bogged,” one had the engine ruined by shifting it from drive to reverse repeatedly, and others have been damaged through reckless driving. Golfers at Hidden Cove pay for golf on the honor system, Alley said. Members of the course pay a $30 membership fee per month that covers greens fees and the use of the carts. Non-members are expected to pay a $5 per day fee for the use of the carts and to cover greens fees, the Journal reported.
Alley is aware that many golfers abuse the system and don’t pay for their golf rounds. “What bothers me the most isn’t the money, it’s the vandalism. If we catch them, we’re suspending them,” he said.
In order to curb the ongoing vandalism, Alley is installing more security cameras at the golf course. He is also reassigning some city employees to act as “ranger” at the golf course over the weekends. City employees from various departments are watching things at the course every Friday through Sunday. A city employee will also be at the course every evening throughout the week all summer, the Journal reported.
“I might have to hire somebody,” Alley said. “I’ve been looking at hiring some kind of recreation director.”
Despite the problems at the golf course, Alley said the city is investing time and other resources to improve Hidden Cove. “We’re working on the driving range. We’re still filling and leveling it,” Alley said.
City Finance Director Randy Sullivan added that city crews will attempt to seed the driving range with grass next spring, but that it would stay as dirt for this summer, the Journal reported.
“It’s hard to grow anything on all that alkali soil,” Sullivan noted.
According to Alley, city crews were also busy last week cleaning out and refilling sand traps, reseeding dead areas of grass and painting the maintenance buildings. “We’re going to spend a lot of time and effort out there to make it nice for the golfers this summer,” Alley said.