Hamilton

'It looks like a bomb went off': car fire on Dundas golf course destroys green

A pristine golf green at the Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club has been transformed into a black, sooty mess after someone traced a reckless trail through part of the course, parked over the hole and set the car on fire.

Course superintendent says kids 'will suffer' loss of green

Staff at Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club found a burned out car on one of their greens early Monday morning. (Jamie Cutting)

A pristine golf green at the Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club has been transformed into a black, sooty mess after someone traced a reckless trail through part of the course, parked over the hole and set the car on fire.

Staff arriving at the club early, just before 5 a.m. Monday morning, noticed something glowing out on the second hole of the Mackenzie Hughes Par 3 course.

What they found was the still smouldering wreckage of a burned-out car, complete with fragments of shattered glass and melted plastic.

"It looks like a bomb went off, honestly," said Jamie Cutting, the golf course's superintendent. "There's a big, huge 20-foot circle of just ash."

The course has suffered some "silly vandalism" in the past, but Cutting says staff were shocked by their discovery, calling it an "escalation."

Though the green is "basically destroyed," the superintendent says the course was actually kind of lucky the damage wasn't worse.

"It's the closest green to our driveway in. It looks like they basically drove in, down a very steep hill between two trees — which honestly must have been kinda hard to navigate at that hour of the morning — then stopped right in the middle of that green."

The fire-damaged grass will be roped off and a new hole will be cut in front of it, according to course superintendent Jamie Cutting. (Jamie Cutting)

Staff called 911 and say police are investigating, but Cutting has his own theory on who might be responsible.

"They definitely knew the property," he explained. "They knew exactly where they wanted to go, in my opinion."

That said, he figures whoever sparked the fire was just a joy-rider, not someone with some kind of "vicious" motivation.

"I don't think we have any enemies."

A new hazard on the course

There's no saving the green and Cutting says it will take at least until next spring to regrow and retrain the grass so it can be used again.

In the meantime, staff will rope off the hole and cut another to set up a temporary green in front of it.

"It's something to shoot at," Cutting explained, joking the wreckage from the fire is a "new hazard."

The shorter course is used for practice and by those learning the game, according to Cutting. It isn't as busy as the club's main, championship course — another bit of luck for golfers.

But that doesn't mean the loss of the green won't be felt.

"It's kind of the kids who will suffer," said Cutting. "We have a lot of junior camps out here and that's where they get to play and learn and have fun, so they'll have less space to stretch out and do that."

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