Ghosts and goblins!
Just like the major retailers who display Halloween merchandise in early September, I am going to give you some golfing/ ghost stories a month in advance to start your fall season, since this is the last issue of the Beach Paper for 2019. My favorite golf/ghost story is actually the movie The Legend of Bagger Vance, but listed below are a few unbelievable ghostly happenings that might give you a laugh or a fright on a cold, dark, spooky night.
To recap the movie, Will Smith plays Bagger Vance, a ghost-like figure who appears out of the night as Rannulph Junnah (Matt Damon) tries to find his swing hitting golf balls by the light of a lantern. Bagger is a cross between the old TV show “Touched by an Angel” and Doctor Phil, as he guides Captain Junnah to the unbelievable finish in a three-way golf match with him, Bobby Jones and Walter Hagan.
Ghost Story No. 1
Strange sightings have been reported on the Galloping Hill Golf Course located in Kenilworth, New Jersey, especially at night. Several people claim they have seen a headless horseman ride across the course in full battle gear, brandishing his sword. It is believed that this “ghost” might be a Hessian soldier who fought and died during a battle of the Revolutionary War. Ghost Hunter Dennis Hauk believes he may be the inspiration for the headless horseman, in Washington Irving’s tale, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
Ghost Story No. 2
If you ever play a round at The Victoria Golf Course in British Columbia, make sure you are done and out of the parking lot before dark. It is believed that the ghost of Doris Gravlin, who was killed on the golf course by her husband (and then buried in the sand trap near the 7th green … and you think you have trouble getting out of a trap!) haunts the course and parking lot.
Her spirit is often seen as a floating figure dressed all in white, gracefully moving around the course late at night. For those golfers who don’t vacate the parking lot until dark, she often passes right through their windshields. (There’s no mention of total alcohol consumption during the numerous sightings.)
Ghost Story No. 3
Meet the White Witch of Rose Hall, a ghost located on the course at The Ritz-Carlton White Witch Golf Course, Montego Bay, Jamaica. Annie Palmer practiced voodoo on the 6,000 acre estate in the early 1800s and was killed by her slaves during a rebellion in 1830. She was found murdered in her bed and to this day haunts the bedroom, stairway and grounds of the Great House known as Rose Hall (if you stay in that room on a golf getaway, don’t forget to ask for the AAA discount).
Ghost Story No. 4
Going back to Canada and the Fort MacLeod Golf Club located in Alberta, we meet two ghosts that keep “hanging” around the course. No one cared that the course was built on the site of a Royal Mounted Police fort, until late one night when the ghosts appeared for the first time.
In the early 1900s, two smugglers were tried, convicted and hanged on the site of the current second tee box on the course. And to make matters worse, they were buried somewhere under the first fairway (talk about a bad lie). On overcast days and dark moonless nights, they can be seen “hanging around the trees and floating over the fairway.”
Calling all Sussex County golfers
I am co-coordinator for the Seaford Swimming Association’s First Annual Golf Tournament on Oct. 26th (rain date Nov. 2) at my home course, Hooper’s landing in Seaford, DE. This is a capital improvement fundraiser for this nonprofit organization for those sponsors and golfers who wish to participate.
The tournament will include prizes: longest drive, closest to the hole, team low gross in a scramble format, for men and women golfers. There will also be lunch and a putting contest. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and the nonprofit tax ID, business sponsor or team registration form.