“A woman rang the BBC and said she’d heard there was a hurricane on the way. Well, if you’re watching, don’t worry. There isn’t.”
Those infamous words, broadcast on October 15, 1987, have followed weather forecaster Michael Fish ever since as the Great Storm lashed Britain.
It saw winds of 120mph recorded and sent trees crashing through the roof of houses and businesses throughout the South East.
While the country was getting battered and the repair bill ran into the tens of millions, the storm proved fortuitous for golf fans in Kent.
Contractors took away some 400,000 tonnes of timber, and areas around the county were flattened but, according to the Westerham Golf Club website, it “created an ideal site for a golf course”.
Players had to wait nearly 10 years before the first shots were struck from the mature woodlands in the North Kent Downs in May 1997 but the club have thrived since.
Echoes of the course’s birth still remain as you walk round the parkland. The signature 11th hole is known as the ‘eye of the storm’.
Tall pine trees and bunkers protect a small green that needs to be found with a long iron. It’s a daunting prospect.
Strategic bunkers are a feature throughout Westerham, as are three lakes that produce a decent test despite the length of 6,270 yards.
The most fiendish of the liquid obstacles could be the hazard that awaits balls on the final hole. That contributes to a grandstand finish conducted right in front of the clubhouse.
Westerham have forged a reputation as a course that requires thinking and tactics.
So if you want to see the power of nature and what it can create, drop in to one of the South East’s favourite courses.