Wartime time golf rules in 1940 had to be temporarily changed for the duration of the world war two conflict. A bomb had fallen on the laundry outbuilding belonging to Richmond Golf Club in Surrey, England. The club committee, not the R&A, issued an incredible list of temporary golf rules. These new temporary course rules took into account the potentially life-threatening conditions out on the fairways. The Richmond Golf Club was established in 1891. At first the Fox & Duck public house was used as a clubhouse and it was not until 1898 that the Club moved into Sudbrook Mansion. Construction of Sudbrook Mansion commenced in 1720 and the house is now regarded as one of the finest examples of English Palladian architecture.
Below is a passage from their history book, read and enjoy;
Rules that went round the World
One evening in the autumn of 1940 bombs fell on the course and Temporary Rules were introduced to allow for the consequences. Dr Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, used the Club’s Temporary Rules as the theme of a broadcast by William (Lord Haw-Haw) Joyce: “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.” Evidently the Club’s laundry outbuilding was a military target. The Rules inspired much humour in newspapers and magazines around the world and continue to be re-published in the 21st century.
Temporary Rules, 1940
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.