'11th Hole closed' said the notice in the Club House. 'Closed?' Must be the wet weather of two weeks ago. Huttonian had never known a hole on the Royal County Down (PBUI) to be closed for anything less than six feet of snow or a nuclear holocaust-both rare events in Norn Iron.Even during The Troubles.
THe hole concerned is actually on the Annesley Course (MPBUI) And when we arrived on the tee expecting a fierce notice saying 'No Play-walk on to the next hole' we found that the par 4 had been turned into a three with a temporary green on the fairway about 160 yards away. Which we duly played (rather well since you ask) That was three days ago. Today on the first tee we got into conversation with a garrulous gent who was anxious to tell us about the 11th' 'Its because of the caravans-'theys' ( a reference to the golfing highheidyins don't want youse* to hit a drive because of the caravans.' To cut a long garrul short, apparently a caravan got struck by a golf ball recently (perhaps injury inflicted)driven from the 11th tee- a mighty blow look you and a mighty slice to boot. The caravans infest a patch of heathery ground well to the right of the 11th fairway. They have certainly been there ever since I can remember and the golf course even longer. They are no nearer to the golf course than loads of houses running along the first three holes of the Annesley Course whose gardens, greenhouses, ponds etc get regularly peppered with balls from errant hackers-by the 11th most of this fraternity have returned home right out of balls.
So why this drastic action? Its rather like closing the Road Hole at St Andrews (RAOPBUI) just because a golf ball lands on the road, or better still, in the adjoining hotel. I suspect the lawyers and the insurance sharks are locked in battle and the highheidyins are keeping their highheids down until the smoke of battle has cleared. No point risking an injunction stopping golf on the links completely.
One solution would be to move the caravans out of range.
They have wheels, after all.
* standard norn iron plural
(The image is of the 12th fairway on the Championship course-not the 11th hole in question. Will have to do for the moment.)
Labels: Caravanners, highheidyins, Royal County Down