YOBS have been going for joy-rides – on golf buggies.
The vandals have caused more than £10,000-worth of damage after targeting buggies at Seaham Golf Club.
Vandals smashed their way into an area of the club by breaking locks before riding off with the vehicles.
Those responsible first broke in on October 3, with raiders breaking in on each of the following two nights and riding buggies across the course and to park areas close by.
Two were left on the fairways and one was left on Deneside Park before a council worker managed to help return it.
The buggies were taken to be repaired and the club given replacements, but then, on October 21, two buggies were taken from the club grounds and found burnt out nearby.
Terry Johnson, Secretary of the club, which celebrated its centenary year in 2011, today hit out at the those responsible and said bosses are pledging to improve security at the club.
“We are having to improve security around the club because of this, but there are also implications for the members,” said Mr Johnson, 62.
“We have two members in particular who are in their 80s, and they rely on the buggies to get around the course.
“They can’t play a round without them.
“Everything here is paid for by members’ subscriptions – we don’t get any grants – so by attacking the club, it causes a direct expense to them.
“Each buggy costs about £2,500, so they aren’t cheap, and although they are insured, our premiums are bound to go up now.
“They’ve caused in excess of £10,000 worth of damage, and in the eight years I’ve been here, this is the first time anything like this has happened, so it’s very disappointing.”
Mr Johnson, of Murton, added: “It might be the joyriding type of people, but maybe they just don’t know the impact of what they are doing.
“To them, it’s funny, but to around 500 people at the club here, it is not funny at all.”