STOCKTON (CBS13) — One of Stockton’s city-owned golf courses had to close half of the holes after vandals trashed the facilities and greens.

The repeated vandalism and resulting partial closure of Van Buskirk Golf Course caught some regulars by surprise.

“I buy an annual pass every year, and I try and get my money’s worth,” said Kenneth Wilbon,

He was finishing up his round on Thursday afternoon. He only played nine holes.

“We go to No. 10, the course is closed,” said Wilbon talking about a sign posted on the 10th tee.

The city closed the back half because of repeated damage and destruction to the course.

Since November, there have been 38 calls to police for things like vandalism, stolen equipment, and destroyed greens.

Maintenance sheds have been set on fire and tagged with spray paint.

“Some motorcycles and dirt bikes that were actually on the greens,” said Connie Cochran with the City of Stockton.

She says they had no choice but to close half of the course to allow it time to heal.

“It tore up the turf to the point where it’s not playable,” said Cochran.

The closure is a move that Cochran says hurts more than just the golfers.

“That is revenue that’s not coming in because we don’t have golfers paying greens fees and they’re unable to use the course,” explained Cochran.

“There is no rhyme or reason to it,” said Wilbon shaking his head.

It’s a setback for regulars like Wilbon.

“Terrible, terrible,” he continued.

But he says he won’t let the vandals stop him from coming back for another round.

The back nine holes of the course will be closed for the next few months. Cochran says they hope to open them in late April or early May.


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