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Major RJM Warren-Dawlish M.C. has been Secretary of Royal St Luke’s Golf Club in Suffolk since 1985. A leading authority on the Rules of Golf, guerrilla tactics and continental drift, he has graciously agreed to publish items of his correspondence is these columns. The opinions, prejudices and obsessions expressed are his alone and do not (necessarily) reflect those of Golf International or Golf Today.

Royal St. Luke’s Golf Club (Est. 1603)
pulsa inveni repulsa

From: The Secretary
April 17, 2009
Royal St Luke’s Clubhouse
Carrington Magna
Suffolk SU3 1GC

The arrival of Spring has brought with it the usual avalanche of unwanted correspondence – some of it actually relating to golf. Each morning the deluge pours in – some mildly interesting, some frankly bizarre, especially after the Club’s recent mistake in installing so-called “e-mail”.

The decision to inaugurate a Royal St Luke’s “website” – an object traditionally limited to spiders – was forced on me after an unusually rowdy EGM which ended with a motion of No Confidence in the Chair and the resignation of the Captain. I must say I agreed with his position that we are a private Club and have no business declaring our presence to the outer world. As with Moorfield, Pyne Valley, Sinningdale and other right-thinking Clubs, we do not seek visitors, bus parties and such like and we are normally closed to enquiries, except, of course, from the Palace.

However after a vote – and a recount – it was decided that a “website” would be constructed and that I would be forced to install an “e-address” to which the entire world could now send communications. The snappy address initially chosen for the Hon. Sec’s Office, sexoffice@st.lukesgc.org, turned out to be a major mistake. I was instantly deluged with the most extraordinary stream of enquiries, offers and suggestions proposing an array of activities in positions which would have been potentially fatal to senior Members. The website has now thankfully been closed but I remain saddled with a terrifying “e-mail” facility. This continues to disgorge messages from persons unknown to me who declare an overpowering interest in an intimate part of my anatomy which apparently requires urgent extension. I made the mistake of replying to the very first of these messages, assuming it came from a Member, only to find myself entering a redundant intimacy with a female somewhere in the United States whose spelling was simply atrocious. Having told her, bluntly, that she needed orthographic discipline and frequent correction, which I was happy to supply, she responded with an Americanism which can only be loosely paraphrased as “go away….”We should never have let the Colonies go.

Hickory Sticks Competition 2009

– The King George II Trophy

Members are reminded that after the disturbances of the 2008 event, strict Rules will now apply to the 256th holding – on May 1 – of the Club’s second oldest strokeplay Competition.

(a) Rules: These are the original St Luke’s Rules of 1603, later adopted by the Company of Edinburgh Golfers on Leith Links in 1744 and even later by the Society of St. Andrews Golfers – a century before theymorphed into the R&A. In accordance with these Rules:-

1. You must tee your balle on sandewithin a clubbe’s length of ye hole. You may keepe sande in your cod piece.

2. You cannot declayre your ball unplayabil – only your opponent can doe this…

3. Dispyutes must not be settled by duelling untille thematch be over.

4. In the case of ane featherie dividing in twain in flight – playwill continuewith ye larger half.

5. Neither Trenche, Ditch or Dyke,made for ye Preservation of ye Links, nor ye Scholar’s Holes nor ye Soldiers’ Lines, shall be accounted a Hazard; Cannon fire,musketry volleyings, charges of cavalry and the like are accounted Outside Agencies – and you may reprise the stroakewithout a penalty andwith any Irone Clubbe.

(b) Caddies: Thesemust carry all clubs underarmand are strictly limited to 35 per player. No bags, caddycars, buggies or wheeled transport of any sort is permitted. Horsesmay be used with side-panniers for clubs – but cantering, trotting, galloping, fence and water-jumping has been banned after the drowning of Col. Rosberry last year. Caddies under age 18must be barefoot.

(c) Balls: Featheries are available fromthe Professional at £119.99 each. Thismay seemexpensive but is the equivalent, in today’s terms, of their cost in 1753. The geese whose feathers fill the balls are Club Property and anyone else found shooting themwill be reported to the Captain. Gutties (gutta-percha) clad balls had not been invented and their use carries a 5-stroke addition to net score.

(d) Club Naming:The numbering of clubs is illegal. Membersmay only refer to theirDrivers, brassies, spoons, baffies, cleeks,mashies,mashieniblicks, rutting irons,whackers, jiggers and putters.

From the Suggestion Book

(Founder’s Lounge)


Can nothing be done about the annual 2 minutes’ silence for deceased members before the club’s Opening Ceremony each year at the Vernal Equinox?

I know that Members have all lined up to do this on the 1st fairway since 1688, but could we not make it 2 minutes to cover all the departed – rather than 2 minutes for each one? With five deaths over the Winter this year, we were stood bareheaded for half an hour in that freezing March weather – and its no surprise that old Willie Grenville is still in Norfolk Royal with hypothermia.

Come to think of it – given our ageing membership would it not be helpful to keep the Club Flag at half-mast and only haul it to the top of the pole when a Member has not passed on in the previous week?

F.R.T. Heathwood (and 37 others)

Response: I will raise this matter with Council. Secretary.

Dear Mr Secretary,

I write to enquire if I may open negotiations to bring the Institute of Bankers summer golf outing to Royal St Luke’s on 23-24th June?

Yrs in expectation,

James T. Harrison

Dear Mr Harrison ,


Yrs in poverty,
RJM Warren-Dawlish

Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine


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