A New Zealand golf club manager awoke last week to find more than 3,000 golf balls missing from the driving range, stolen in the dark by thieves who cut two holes in the net surrounding the range.
While petty thefts occur occasionally at golf courses, the scale of this crime surprised staff at Te Awamutu Golf Club, reports the Waikato Times. So many golf balls disappeared that the club had to turn players away in the next few days because there weren’t enough to go around. (The club doesn’t have the number of employees needed to pick up balls once or twice a day; maybe they should invest in one of these nifty golf ball picker-upper robots.)
The club estimates the value of the balls at just under $3500. Matt Schofield, the club manager, was particularly surprised about the theft given that he lives on the edge of the course, less than 20 meters from the range, according to the Waikato Times. He said the theft was noticed when he went to collect the balls one morning, and found that he could not fill more than half a basket with what was left.
Police haven’t caught the crooks yet and are looking for witnesses. It remains unclear what the thieves plan to do with thousands of contraband golf balls.