What’s the last place you’d want to be during an air raid? How about out on a golf course? Sure, you love the game but would you risk life and limb in the vain hope of winning a round?
They did over in the UK during WW2, nothing stopped them from pitching and putting, the only handicap they faced was their personal performance.
Local golf clubs did change the rules of the game slightly to accommodate the war years though. Take Richmond G.C for example, the committee members of this popular club made the following temporary amendments to help their players out.
1. Players are asked to collect Bomb and Shrapnel splinters to save these causing damage to the Mowing Machines.
Really? Can you imagine picking up bits of bomb shell just when you are about to sink a birdie?
2. In competitions, during gunfire or while bombs are falling, players may take cover without penalty for ceasing play.
That’s nice of them. We’re pretty certain the last place a player would want to be is out on the fairway when bombs are blitzing the turf.
3. The positions of known delayed action bombs are marked by red flags at a reasonably, but not guaranteed, safe distance therefrom.
What? Are you seriously saying it’s okay to play close to an ‘unexploded bomb’ red flag or not? Obviously they were made of sterner stuff in Richmond.
4. Shrapnel and/or bomb splinters on the Fairways, or in Bunkers within a club’s length of a ball, may be moved without penalty, and no penalty shall be incurred if a ball is thereby caused to move accidentally.
Thank goodness for that. Wouldn’t want a bit of bomb ruining a game!
5. A ball moved by enemy action may be replaced, or if lost or destroyed, a ball may be dropped not nearer the hole without penalty.
So that means if the enemy blows up the 9th hole and your ball is moved, you can replace it without losing a stroke. Genius!
6. A ball laying in a crater may be lifted and dropped not nearer the hole, preserving the line to the hole, without penalty.
More bomb-related mayhem. If you were unlucky enough to sink your ball into a bomb crater on the golf course at least you could remove it afterwards without dropping a shot.
7. A player whose stroke is affected by the simultaneous explosion of a bomb may play another ball from the same place. Penalty one stroke.
Sorry but if a bomb shook the golf course mid-stroke we’d be straight off to the club bar, the only thing we’d want to sink at Golf Safari SA would be a stiff drink!
Golf is a brilliant sport, even the WW2 didn’t prevent players putting and chipping during air strikes.