'Pokemon Hunters' Damage Golf Course

Tony Jonas, golf course superintendent at North Shore Golf Club, near damage caused by a vehicle with occupants looking for Pokemon on their phone app. Picture by Doug Sherring
Tony Jonas, golf course superintendent at North Shore Golf Club, near damage caused by a vehicle with occupants looking for Pokemon on their phone app. Picture by Doug Sherring

Auckland, New Zealand: A golf club has been forced to pay for repairs after Pokemon Go-addicted vandals broke in and tore up grass while on the hunt for a rare character.
According to a report in the New Zealand Herald, The North Shore Golf Club in Albany was left with a broken gate and trenches in the 10th fairway dug by car tyres after the ‘invasion by players of the popular smartphone game’.
Golf course superintendent Tony Jonas said the Pokemon raid occurred at night and a witness told staff what had happened.
“He yelled out to them: ‘What are you doing?’ They yelled back: ‘Looking for rare Pokemon on the golf course’.”
The vandals were two men and one woman in their late teens or early 20s.
“They had to force the gate open, break the opening mechanism which had to be repaired,” Jonas said.
Their car had carved wheel tracks between 15 and 20 centimetres deep over more than 15 metres in the grass of the 10th fairway and ‘they had to virtually dig themselves out’.
Golfing hadn’t been affected and the repairs cost about NZ$300 in labour and materials.
“It was more just a pain in the arse than anything … the fact that it took staff away from doing what they normally do to repair the gate as well as repair damage from the vehicle,” he said.
They decided not to report the incident to police. “It’s the last thing we would have expected – people coming on the golf course looking for rare Pokemon.”
The ‘augmented reality’ game, released last month, has been a hit around the world with players using their smartphones’ GPS and cameras to hunt for the game’s characters, which appear to exist in locations around users.
However, players have been getting into trouble in real life when Pokemon characters have been reported – or suspected – in unusual places.
 

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