0 Ludlow racecourse cut up rough over the state of the fairway

UntitledOn Sunday Ludlow hosts its last meeting before it winds up for the summer and Ludlow Golf Club can enjoy the place to itself until October.

Legend has it that soldiers based at Ludlow Castle in the 14th century would race their horses here although the present course dates back to the mid-19th century.

The 18-hole golf course was founded in 1889 and, though a separate entity, it shares some facilities with the racecourse and despite the odd loose horse ploughing up a green, there has been total harmony between the two for 150 years.

Unlike the Army and Navy, who still quibble about which is the senior service, the racecourse and golf course enjoy the perfect sporting marriage, which no man has ever tried to put asunder.

But a woman? Well, she had a go. Georgina Jenks, sister of former jump jockey Tom, attended the racecourse's recent charity day, parked her car on the 396 yard par four first fairway along with everyone else - she just assumed it was a rather well-groomed field - and had every intention of driving home afterwards.

However having had half a glass too much, she responsibly decided to get a lift home. Such a course of action was made all the more practical because a neighbour was returning to Ludlow market in his lorry the following day and could drop her off to pick up her car.

When they returned, however, there was no sign of the car. Indeed it not only confused but surprised Georgina that, on a non-race day, the place looked like a golf course rather than a racecourse, making it all the more difficult to get a bearing on exactly where she had parked.

But on seeing some groundsmen tending a mound she wandered over and asked if they had seen a car. She had hardly uttered the question, though, when she realised the 'mound' was car shaped.

"Is there a car under there?" she added pointing to the mass of foam, bubble wrap and board that had been placed over the vehicle to protect it not so much from errant golf balls but, rather, ones hit perfectly straight from the first tee.

She could not help but notice, either, that attached to the mound was attached a rather rude in words the soldiers of 14th century Ludlow Castle would have understood clearly.

She kept quiet, smiled sweetly and drove off - without telling them that her father Willie was the racecourse chairman. The next 150 years of harmony begins tomorrow week in the annual golf club versus racecourse golf competition.

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