A Swing and a Miss


This little recon didn’t go exactly according to plan.

But I had a lot of fun trying.

The idea was to test the theory it’s easy to start a rumour simply by saying “I’ve heard a rumour”.


The target was my local golf club. I emailed them asking if they’d confirm or deny stories of ghostly sightings on the 13th hole. Perhaps they saw through (pun intended) the whole cheesiness factor of the number 13 association. Or maybe they were just too busy checking potential member’s bona fides and making sure the irrigation systems were go to worry about otherworldy matters. Whatever the reason, I didn’t get a bite so the experience was less pleasure swollen then it might have been. At best I can put myself down as a prankster of erratic brilliance.

Here’s the email I sent (twice)

Dear Glenn and Brett,

My name is Glen Donaldson and I am a local author living in Forest Lake. Over the last six months I have been putting together a book concerning Brisbane ghost stories. The research phase of this project has led me to hear some interesting and little known tales of unexplained events that, according to some, might allow for explanations involving possible supernatural elements.

One such story which has come across my desk involves the Oxley Golf course.  I am wondering if you are able to shed any light on its veracity. According to the tale, which I have heard from a number of sources including a married couple who are both current members of the club, a woman was shot dead by her estranged husband on what is now the 13th hole sometime around the early 1960’s. Her body was found four days later when a caddie noticed it in thick bush at one end of the course. Now there are claims of people hearing a gunshot and a woman screaming on the 13th green even though there is no one there. It has been so clear it has prompted people to call the police.

Recently I spoke to two dog squad instructors at the nearby Oxley Police Academy who, though they could not confirm knowledge of complaints of gunshot sounds or women screaming having been lodged, did admit that they too had heard the rumours of a tragic back-story surrounding the 13th hole. Both mentioned to me (with little attempt made to disguise their amusement) they were at least aware of the ‘local legend’ of after-dark sightings of a woman in a white dress spotted by motorists using the access road that runs along the back of the course and the Academy.

I understand this is not the type of inquiry you might ordinarily receive. If you are able to provide any information you may be in possession of and willing to share connected to knowledge of these supposed happenings, I would be most interested to hear from you.

Sincerest regards,

Glen Donaldson

Forest Lake

Ph: 3372 3958


As you can see,  the email was jointly addressed to the General Manager and the President. This photo gallery of the Board Members (with last names blanked by me) shows what looks to be a bunch of well-red, good humoured (ClICK HERE TO SEE MICHAEL DOUGLAS & SOME VERY HUMORLESS GOLFING TYPES) mostly middle-aged males (it also proves, despite widespread belief to the contrary, that Anglo-Saxon first generation Aussie names are still alive and well in this country)  so I’m thinking that though my email didn’t warrant a response, it may still have raised a mild giggle or at the very least a plucked or unplucked eyebrow somewhere inside the office. And that, if it did happen, makes it all worth doing.

And on the subject of ghosts, I reserve the last word for that most renown French patron of the arts The Marquise du Deffand (1697 – 1780) who once famously said –

 “Do I believe in ghosts? No, but I am afraid of them.”

Brisbane Ghost Stories

Ps. I actually sent a version of the prank email to three different Brisbane golf clubs (including one that’s positioned right next to a lunatic’s asylum  psychiatric care facility which, given the opportunity for ‘strange and unusual’ happenings in that general vicinity, I thought was my best chance of getting a response) but didn’t get a bite from any of them. Who said golfers are serious types?

PPS. Your bonus read this week is a fascinating article about the 1937 futuristic novel SWASTIKA NIGHT by British writer Katharine Burdekin (1896 – 1963).

Click  HERE  to read it.


PPPS. The creative folk at the Australian Writer’s Centre ran a caption competition this week. They asked their readers to provide a caption, in 25 words of less, to the photo below.


My bit of bees wax was –

Michelle’s new apartment had next-to-no leg room, gave her spinning migraines and always had dirty laundry lying about on the floor.

Think you can do better?

‘Cause ya can!

Comments box if you wanna play…




9 thoughts on “A Swing and a Miss

  1. Having watched the Handmaiden’s Tale out of the corner of my eye, the Swastika Night, does have an unwilling appeal. Maybe a read for the upcoming explosion of free time or allusion of such.

    I did see my golf ball drift suddenly in a ninety degree turn at the Dirranbandi Golf Club. Clearly there were other forces at work.

    Caption comp:
    ‘The thought did cross her mind that that this was nowhere near as funny, as it had been in her head. The door creaked shut.’

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The town of Dirranbandi (love saying that word!) is listed as having a population of only 640 people but they have a golf course?! Apparently their other claim to fame is that Ray Meagher, the actor who plays Alf Stewart on the soap HOME AND AWAY, grew up there.The story goes that Meagher credits one of his character’s catchphrases “Stone the flamin’ crows!” to a man who was a stock and station agent in the town.

    Your comments as usual are brim full of truth and wit and lead me to again think that it may not be long before the birth of your own blog site is announced. This is after all how Scenic Writer’s Shack began, with me commenting on other people’s forums before realising I needed my own outlet to furnish my burgeoning satire and social voice (ha ha).

    The upcoming explosion of free time, spoiled as it is by suitcases full of marking and content preparation for the next assault wave, mostly definitely has illusionary qualities, so with you on that. The sudden ninety degree turn of the golf ball while on the Dirranbandi (love saying it!) course is, as you astutely (or should that be whimsically?) point out, clearly WAS a sign of other forces at work. And the caption comp? Soooo perfect!

    This video is dedicated to all the golfers today on the Dirranbandi (there – said it again!) course today. The guy’s prowess or lack there of, btw, makes mine look like Tiger Woods (early 2000’s Tiger) by comparison, which is to say on the golf course I’m a complete hack. In the back yard however with a cricket stump and a bunch of pesty cane toads at my mercy… that’s a whole ‘nother (bloody) story!


  3. “For years mankind pondered the real social impact of socks that would never reach the ankles, let alone cover the knees. Those desperate enough to prove something, even if inane at best, found encouragement from Darlene.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: 150 Reasons to Smile | Scenic Writer's Shack

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