YOBS have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage after attacking a golf club, furious members say.

Vandals let loose on a Westhoughton Golf Club on New Year’s Eve, smashing 13 windows with bottles.

The two-storey building was covered in glass, taking hours to clean, and club organisers say this is the latest in a slew of incidents caused by “feral gangs”.

The club’s secretary, Neil Robinson, said: “I came down to the club first thing on New Year’s Day to open up and found all this damage. 

“There were nine double glazed panels smashed on the first floor and four single glazed panels smashed on the ground floor.

“They used our bottles from our bottle bin — the absolute cheek of it.”

Problems began in November, with as many as 40 youths gathering around the club on quiet weekend evenings. This has been the worst incident yet, said the secretary.

He said: “There has been an escalation.

“We try to provide an oasis in the middle of Westhoughton, a leisure facility open to all to enjoy sport and the countryside. 

“Unfortunately the mindless selfish behaviour of a small number who wish, for their own self-gratification, to indulge in gratuitous thuggery spoil things for everyone.”

The damage will cost thousands which the club cannot afford to pay, Mr Robinson said. 

He added: “It could cost thousands of pounds, everyone is mucking in to help.

“Golf clubs have enough issues already. We are under enough threat from housebuilders and industrial park developers on three sides.

“Times are hard and every penny counts. We don’t know what to do to make this vandalism stop.”

The club may now be forced to cancel its events out of concern for the security of its staff and patrons, making money even tighter.

The secretary said: “Our annual dinner is next week and we are having to decide whether it will go ahead. The club has been having the mayor and other dignitaries for the dinner for the last 90 years. This might be the occasion where we cannot do it for safety of staff.”

The club members, over 300 people strong, are hoping that the culprits will be found. 

The spokesman added: “Fortunately someone’s son has gone home without his spectacles - these have been handed over to the police.”