Vandalism at the Somerset Country Club may lead to the property being declared off limits for sled riders.
Rich Wagner, course superintendent, said some people have been riding snowmobiles over the greens. The crown area of the grass is currently dormant.
“If it gets a shock, it dies,” he said.
The leaves, stems and roots all originate from the crown area of the plant. The crown is a tightly compressed stem that pushes the new leaves upward. It is near the base of the plant.
Wagner won’t know the extent of the damage until spring. Each green is insured for $100,000 and there are 18 greens at the club. Snowmobilers have ridden over at least four of the greens. He tracked one of the snowmobiles to a nearby home, but when he confronted the man who came to the door, the man denied that he rode on the property.
Since some of the greens are in Somerset Borough and others are in Somerset Township, Wagner has called both the Somerset Borough police and state police.
“They know they are riding on the greens, the flag sticks are still out,” he said. “They’re hoodlums. I’m tired of it.”
Children are allowed to sled ride on the country club’s hill. A storm shelter was erected near the hill so they can get out of the wind while playing.
“We like to do things for kids,” Wagner said. “The hill is a safe place for them to sled and to be away from traffic. But if this vandalism continues, we’ll have to say nobody can be on the property.”
Pennsylvania State Police Sgt. James Shaw, Somerset station commander, said vandalism is a major problem, even if it is unintentional.
“If you trespass on somebody’s property and cause damage, you can be held liable, both criminally and civilly,” he said.