Whangaparaoa Golf Club members are on high alert after four players were repeatedly shot at while out on the course, forcing them to take cover behind a bank.
Numerous shots were fired at the foursome while they were playing the fourth hole at around 4pm last Friday, the north Auckland club's general manager David Herbert told the Herald. Nobody was hurt but the men - two members and two guests - were "a bit shocked".
Pellet holes were visible in the sign for the fifth hole.
A social media post believed to be from one of the players said they had been approaching the fourth green when bullets began flying towards them.
"We could hear the sound of bullets wizing [sic] past our heads, I immediately called 111 and hid behind the bank on the 4th green.
"At the time we thought someone was just playing around with an air rifle but as I stood up to help the police locate the gunman they fired shots directly at me. For over 30 minutes they fired at least 30 shots some in quick succession."
The poster said one of the shots hit a nearby tree.
"It was a pretty traumatic event and even tho [sic] it was most likely a high powered air rifle the damage it did is pretty scary.
"I would hate for this to happen again so please keep an eye out and report any suspicious behaviour around the Whangaparoa golf course or in the area to police straight away. Be safe and look out for each other."
In a notice to members, the club asked people to report any antisocial behaviour to police.
"Having spoken with police they believe it to be a one-off, however as a club we think that we need to be vigilant," the notice said.
The last 18 months had seen a few issues with groups of youths drinking on the course in the evening, but the club had tried to take a respectful approach to dealing with them, Herbert said.
"We don't want to inflame anything or make it worse."
Members were aware of the risk heading out on the course, he said.
"It's [players'] choice how they feel about it. I've been out there, our staff are out there doing their jobs and we want to make sure they stay safe as well," Herbert said.
"We've got 40ha of land and hundreds of neighbours around here so it's a hard area for police to secure so we are reliant on members and people who live around here."
Police confirmed they were investigating an incident that occurred at the Whangaparaoa Golf Course about 4pm on May 31.
The rounds - believed to be from an air rifle - were fired toward three victims, Waitemata North police senior sergeant Steve Pivac said.
No one was reported injured but police and the Eagle helicopter were sent to the golf course, Pivac said.
"A number of inquiries were conducted in the immediate area. Police were unable to locate anyone at the time, however our inquiries are still continuing."
Police took such reports very seriously, Pivac said. "We encourage the public to report these incidents by calling 111 immediately. We would also like to hear from anyone in the area who may have more information about the incident.
"Contact police on (09) 426 4555 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 if you have information."