Wild boars doing damage at River Ridge Golf Club in New Port Richey

These pigs have gone hog wild.

At the River Ridge Golf Club at 11022 Tee Time Circle in New Port Richey, there has been a small influx of wild pigs, some of which have torn up parts of the course.

Though there hasn't been any serious damage to any of the holes, superintendent and manager Jeff Condo says about 1 percent of the course's 65 acres it maintains has been disturbed by these brash boars.

"Mostly they have been digging around in the tree lines along the fairways and near ponds and in neighborhood yards," Condo said. "There are just a few spots they've gotten on the holes, but nothing that will affect play."

The crew at the 68-par course has had a tough time keeping up with the pigs, since the course is also on a tight budget in this economy. They'll repair any divots made by the pigs, but the course also has hired a fully licensed hunter to get rid of them. The hunter apparently does the work pro bono since he gets to keep the meat after a capture.

Condo figures the pigs are coming out of the adjacent Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park, which has wild turkey, white-tailed deer, gopher tortoises, eastern bluebirds, brown-headed nuthatches, Bachman's sparrows, fox squirrels and sandhill cranes listed as watchable wildlife in the park, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Web site.

Condo says no golfers have seen them, only homeowners on the course, and the pigs didn't even do enough damage to stop a golf scramble event the course hosted April 25.

"It's almost a daily thought that we have to go look for any extra damage done to the course," Condo said. "It's like having to worry about vandalism all the time."

Upcoming events:

May 16-17: The Brooksville Country Club will hold its 34th annual Charity Classic with an 8:30 a.m. start.

The cost is $175 per golfer for the 36-hole stroke play format. Proceeds will benefit Pasco-Hernando Hospice. Top finishers will share a $6,000 prize fund and can take part in a $1,000 shoot-out sponsored by Register Chevrolet. The event has a 128-player field.

For information, log onto www.brooksvillecc.com or call Roger Eppley at (352) 796-8879 or e-mail reppley@brooksvillecc.com.

May 31: The Rotary Club of Tarpon Springs will host its Inaugural Golf Tournament at the Crescent Oaks Golf and Country Club in Tarpon Springs with a 1 p.m. shotgun start.

The cost is $75 per player, who will play in foursomes in a best-ball format. Prizes will be awarded for the top three teams, dinner will follow the round and there will be mulligans and longest drive and closest to the pin contests.

Proceeds will benefit various youth educational and recreational programs in the Tarpon Springs Community, including four-year college scholarships through the Pinellas Education Foundation Doorways Scholarship program, partial scholarships for Tarpon Springs High graduates, financial support for the Boys & Girls Club, FFA, Tarpon Springs Little League, Cops & Kids and Syndicated Sound.

For information, call Maria Mattia at (727) 641-3852 or dutchfox1@aol.com.

Submit upcoming events, registrations, info to communitysports@tampabay.com.

Wild boars doing damage at River Ridge Golf Club in New Port Richey 05/05/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 7:02pm]

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