We’re a little more than one week into the 2022 season at the Yellowknife Golf Club and already, the club is having to deal with people who think it’s cool to break stuff.
If you’ve played a round at the golf club since June 2020, you’ll have noticed each of the holes has a little rig attached to each flagstick which allows a player to lift their ball out of the cup with their putter, negating the need of having to touch it. They were installed as part of the club’s return-to-play protocols at the height of the pandemic.
Someone, or some people, felt it prudent to remove some of those devices from the cups and, in a couple of cases, damaged them to the point where they’re unusable, according to Kylie Frederick, the club’s general manager and head pro.
She said she first noticed something amiss while playing the back nine of the course on May 18.
“I was out and saw a couple of them off to the side in the bushes,” she said. “I thought that was weird but then Shaun (Morris, club president) found some on the front nine and a couple of them he found were bent so bad that they’re unusable right now.”
There’s no doubt in Frederick’s mind that whoever did it intentionally did so.
“They’re made of metal and they aren’t easy to bend,” she said. “We’ll see what we can do to repair them. These are out there so people can play safely and we want to create a positive, fun environment for everyone who comes to play. We aren’t taking this lightly.”
Indeed, the club has already indicated that if the culprit or culprits are found out, they will face some sort of punishment including, and up to, an outright ban from being on the property.
“We’re hoping to get some information on who it was,” said Frederick. “If we do, then the board of directors would be responsible for determining the consequences. We don’t want to see that sort of stuff and we don’t want our guests to have to worry about seeing that.”
It’s the second such incident of vandalism at the club this calendar year — back in March, what looked like a large-wheeled vehicle took out several trees around the area of the ninth hole and very nearly damaged one of the brand-new greens installed at the eighth. The club filed a report with Yellowknife RCMP over the matter but to date, the case has yet to be solved.
Several people took to the club’s Facebook page to register their displeasure with some advocating for the most severe punishment possible, including Ryan Sheppard, one of the club’s more frequent visitors.
“Ban them outright, honestly. They should never step back on that course again,” he posted.
Vandalism aside, one of the club’s more popular events is set to begin this week. Ladies Night is scheduled to have its first round of 2022 on Wednesday evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. Registration happened the evening before at the club’s pro shop.
“There’s always a lot of anticipation for the start and the ladies are really eager to get out and play,” said Frederick. “The women who organize it put a lot of work into it and there are plenty of sponsors again this year for each night.”