Life During Wartime: Richmond GC’s Amazing WWII Rules
By Conor Nagle under History

Police inspect a bomb crater at North Shore Golf Course, Blackpool.

The marvellous Lists of Note published a relic from golf’s British past yesterday: a collection of local rules issued by Richmond Golf Club in Surrey, England during the Battle of Britain to instruct members in the safe negotiation of unexploded ordnance and possible strafing attacks.

Testament to golf’s addictive properties (so powerful that even the prospect of playing in a warzone acts as little deterrent), the list also serves as a reminder of why the comedy of manners remains so indelibly British a creation.

  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 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.

Carry on, chaps!

Conor Nagle