By Jeremy Balan
An act of vandalism at Golden Gate Park Golf Course last weekend has forced the CIF-San Francisco Section to scramble to move girls’ golf matches and may force the organization to make considerable changes to its schedule.
Holes six, seven and eight of the Par 3, nine-hole course were rendered unplayable after a car or truck drove through the course Friday, seriously damaging greens and fairways, according to spokesman Elton Pon of the Recreation and Park Department.
“In the past, there have been young people found drinking or having a party on the course, but this was unlike anything we’ve seen before,” Pon said.
The department’s initial estimations indicate $75,000 worth of damage. The Recreation and Park Department reported the incident to police. Police Lt. Lyn Tomioka said there was no information about suspects and that Richmond Police Station officers are investigating.
The Academic Athletic Association uses the course for most of its girls’ golf matches, and teams will now have the option of playing six-hole matches instead of the regular nine, or move their match to
Lincoln Park Golf Course if it is available.
“The damage to Golden Gate Park is devastating to our league, but also to developing golfers,” said CIF-SF Commissioner Don Collins, who pointed out that many of the AAA athletes are just starting out in the sport. “It also will hurt us in the future if it’s not something that can easily [be] repaired.”
AAA playoffs are still scheduled to happen at the course Oct. 26 and 27, but that may change depending on the rate of progress on repairs.
“Playoffs are still at that course, but if [the damage] will impact them, we will attempt to move them to another course,” Collins said.
One of the parties affected is the Lincoln High School girls’ golf team and coach Steve Robinson.
“It’s hard to understand why someone would do something like that,” Robinson said. “It’s disheartening and frustrating that we can’t play the entire course. It’s a shame some people have the lack of respect for property and other people.”
The six undamaged holes are still open for public play, but there is no timetable set on when the course will be fully operational.
“We’re still assessing the damage and trying to come up with a timeline,” Pon said. “Some of the damage can be reversed in a few months. But for some of the more damaged areas, it will take significantly longer.”