Apparent Vandals Damage Millcreek Golf Course
A big setback for the Millcreek Township Golf Course today, after the township says vandals destroyed all of the greens.
With the damage estimated at potentially more than $100,000, police have a felony vandalism case on their hands.
There was a lot of excitement for the Millcreek Township Golf and Learning Center to reopen after more than seven years of being closed, but that excitement was ruined by an apparent vandal or vandals.
Jodie O'Connor, the new Golf Operations Director the Millcreek Township Golf and Learning Center, noticed last week, the greens on the course were deteriorating.
Turns out, all six greens on the course are destroyed, and they believe it was malicious, “I felt feverish, sick to my stomach, how do I explain to our children or juniors coming to golf that some person or people have ruined it?” O’Connor asked.
This apparent vandalism happening as the learning course was set to open after being closed for several years, because of the airport runway extension project.
As ordered by the DEP, Millcreek Township spent about a quarter of a million in tax dollars to get it operational, “It's very maddening that someone would intentionally go and do this,” said Millcreek Township Supervisor John Groh. “Some sort of chemical or something was applied to it, not applied that would be more professional, something was done intentionally to dump on it that would kill the grass,” Groh continued.
The township has sent a soil sample to Penn State University, where they are evaluating it, to see what type of chemical was used to destroy the greens, “We don't know what chemical is in that, if the grass will grow back, or if there's something we can apply to make it grow back, or in the worst case, does it have to be dug up and redone?” said Groh.
If they end up having to replant the greens and put new sod down, Groh says that could cost about $20,000 per hole, it’s a 6-hole course.
Millcreek Township Police are investigating, they're checking out the surveillance video they do have, and the township also plans to install more cameras to deter any future damage, “We do say this not as a threat but as a promise, if we find out who this is and they’ve been charged, we'll take it to the fullest level we can, this is totally uncalled for,” said Groh.
In the meantime, O’Connor says golf is a sport of perseverance, so that is exactly what they will do, “It's not going to stop us from being here and operating the golf course, we have approximately 120 juniors coming out and their leagues start June 1st, and we're going to practice we're going to play and we're going to just keep moving forward.”
Millcreek Township says they are confident it was not a mistake by a greens keeper, as the greens had not been treated since October. Only within the past couple of weeks did the nice, bright green grass turn brown.