They could be something straight out of Dad's Army. But the wartime rules at Richmond were very real – and a fine retort to the threat of Hitler's Luftwaffe
The wartime rules at Richmond Golf Club took the lengths players will go to play a round to a new level.
“A player whose stroke is affected by the simultaneous explosion of a bomb may play another ball from the same place. Penalty one stroke.”
But the members weren’t going to let the Luftwaffe get in the way of their golf.
As bombs rained down on London in 1940, with the capital under siege from Hitler’s air force during the Blitz, members at the Surrey club laid down temporary rules explaining exactly what they should do if the Nazis attacked while they were holing out.
It all started in the late autumn when a bomb fell on an outbuilding belonging to the club.
With the threat of an air raid ever present, the club produced seven edicts – designed to cater for every possible circumstance.
What do you think today’s tour stars would make of these?
Amazing: Temporary rules posted at Britain's Richmond Golf Club after German bombs hit the course in 1940 pic.twitter.com/F0poSSHBfc
— History In Pictures (@HistoryInPics) December 28, 2013
If the rules were put together slightly with tongue placed in cheek – after all it’s a bit harsh to be penalised for hitting a shank as a bomb goes off – it had the effect of enraging the German high command.
William Joyce, the much-ridiculed Lord Haw-Haw, who sent Nazi propaganda over the airwaves into British homes, made the Richmond rules the theme of a broadcast.
He ranted: “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.”
Who knew the club’s laundry would be such an important target?
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