While bombs are falling, players may take cover without penalty for ceasing play
Wartime golf rules
Welcome to the tenth issue of the Lists of Note newsletter. Each Sunday, a new (old) list.
In 1940, as the Battle of Britain raged, a bomb fell on an outbuilding belonging to Richmond Golf Club in Surrey, England, and for a brief period play was interrupted. The club’s members, although grateful that no lives had been lost, were furious to have been put off their swing, and decided to prepare for future explosions: with upper lips stiffened and tongues firmly in cheeks, they issued the following list of temporary golf rules that took into account the potentially life-threatening conditions on the course.
The Germans eventually caught wind of the list, and said of it in a propaganda radio broadcast, “By means of these ridiculous reforms the English snobs try to impress the people with a kind of pretended heroism. They can do so without danger, because, as everyone knows, the German Air Force devotes itself only to the destruction of military targets and objectives of importance to the war effort.” Soon afterwards, the club was hit again.
1. Players are asked to collect Bomb and Shrapnel splinters to save these causing damage to the Mowing Machines.
2. In Competitions, during gunfire or while bombs are falling, players may take cover without penalty for ceasing play.
3. The positions of known delayed action bombs are marked by red flags placed at a reasonably, but not guaranteed, safe distance therefrom.
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.
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.
6. A ball lying in a crater may be lifted and dropped not nearer the hole, preserving the line to the hole, without penalty.
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.
This list can be found in the Lists of Note book, the last remaining special editions of which can be bought directly from me, over here.