Vandals have scarred the greens of a Highland golf club with dirty tyre marks.
Police are investigating after officials at Grantown-on-Spey Golf Club – who can claim Arnold Palmer as a former honorary member – found parts of the course had been vandalised.
A vehicle had been driven between the 10th and 11 greens some time over the weekend, at a time when the ground was very wet following days of heavy rain.
Club Captain Allan Thom said this had destroyed much of the hard work put in by greenkeepers during a difficult year affected by Covid-19.
He said: “It is very disappointed to say the least.
“After all the hard work our greenkeepers do to keep our greens in pristine condition we get some mindless people deciding to drive a vehicle over the course, causing damage on the 11th green and the area between the 10th green and 11th tee?”
He added: “What can I say? I am very disappointed that in our community such a thing should happen.
“Like many businesses this year that have struggled to to keep costs down with little income. Golf clubs have been no different, which makes this sort of behaviour all the more disturbing.
“It is infuriating for our two greenkeepers who work hard all year round to keep our course in pristine condition for members and visitors alike.”
However, he said: “The response to this incident has been heartening both from social media and the wider golfing fraternity.”
A police spokesman said: “We received a report of damage at Grantown-on-Spey Golf Club.
“The incident happened between 4.30am and 11am on Saturday. Local officers have an appointment to speak with the complainer to gather more details.”
Established in 1890, Grantown-on-Spey Golf Club is one of the most popular golf venues in Cairngorm National Park area.
The club’s most famous son, Bobby Cruickshank, had a distinguished amateur career interrupted by the First World War.
He headed for the United States in 1921 with his great friend and rival, Tommy Armour, and as a professional, he won over 20 tournaments and in 1923 lost to Bobby Jones in an eighteen hole play-off for the US Open when Jones birdied the last.
As part of its centenary celebrations, famous US golfer Arnold Palmer was invited to become an Honorary Member and the club was delighted that he accepted.