Coombe Hill and Walton Heath, two of Surrey’s most historic clubs, have been targeted by thieves over the last few months, with tens of thousands of pounds worth of trophies stolen in separate raids.
Coombe Hill club captain Andrew Hooke said the club had ‘lost many of its prized cups and trophies in a brazen smash and grab raid’ in September, with the haul worth an estimated £90,000, while Walton Heath suffered a similar fate in August just days before it hosted the AIG Women’s Open.
Hooke said the robbery was upsetting for the club and its members, adding that some of the stolen silverware was over 100 years old and of high sentimental value to the club and its players. “It’s such a shame – the silver represented a huge part of our club’s history. We now face the question of how to replace it,” he said.
A spate of golf club trophy thefts occurred throughout the UK about a decade ago, but tightened security and the installation of CCTV seemed to have stemmed the tide in recent years. However, the relative isolation of many clubs means that thieves are often able to escape capture long before police or other security teams are able to react to alarms.
More than 20 golf clubs had their trophies stolen in raids between 2012 and 2014, with the majority located in the southeast of England. Silver trophies were particularly targeted as the price of silver rose from less than 10p per gram in 2000 to more than 90p in 2011. The thefts stopped as the price slumped to less than 30p in 2015, but it currently stands at 60p, making it a much more valuable commodity.