08 December 2007

Haunted Links

I'm spending the weekend in a hotel, with my windows overlooking the Leadbetter Golf Academy. The view from my window is all green driving range, and blue pools - and the sounds in my ears are "can we go to the pool yet? How about now? Now? When?"

I'm pretty sure the Omni is much to shiney and new to have anything so atmospheric as a resident ghost. But driving over to the course in the pre-dawn fog this morning, it looked much more like the links of Ireland than our American greens. I wouldn't have been surprised to see a ghostly form rise from the misty vapor and cross my path.

There are a few tales of haunted golf courses in America. Aetna Springs - - is said to be haunted by Dominican monks, murdered by rival Franciscan monks in the 1500's. Then there's Victoria Golf Club in Canada, where there have numerous sightings of Doris Davlin, who was murdered there in 1936.

America isn't alone in it's tales of haunted courses. In Europe we'll find more of the most well known haunted links. Golfers at Church Stretton Golf Club on the edge of the South Shropshire hills often find their balls have vanished when they land near the 13th greens. Some may say there's a more mundane explanation - local birds, perhaps - but I link to think the ancients are entertaining themselves on their long watch.

Perhaps the most famous golf course in the world, St. Andrews has hosted many a top tier golf tournament. Tiger Woods won the British Open there in 2005. If I ever make it over to the course, I'll be looking forward to taking the St. Andrews Ghost Tour. Many a suspected witch lost their lives on the rocky cliffs, thrown over to the waves pounding 70 feet below. Those unlucky enough to sink were declared innocent of the charges - although quite dead none the less. Those who floated of course must have been guilty - and these poor souls were condemed to burning at the stake.

The fog here has long since burned off, and the sun is calling us out to play. I'm sure someday my golfing husband will take me near one of these haunted courses (St. Andrews is way up on my list). When we make it there, I'll be keeping my eyes open for more than flying golf balls. I'll be hoping to get a glimpse of some of the areas most ancient residents to round out my travel experiences.
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