Dec 20th, 2016
Teenager banned from golf club after relieving himself al fresco
It's Lash Gate 2016!!
Words: Tim Southwell
There's nothing worse than being caught short on the golf course. Extreme circumstances call for emergency action and, even if you just need a wizzle, there can be literally nowhere to turn.
So when 14 year old David Halliday was caught short recently, he took evasive action and relieved himself behind some bushes. No dramas, no harm done. Play it as it lies and all that.
Except some berk reported him for his indiscretion and now David is banned from his own golf club.
David Halliday was devastated after bosses at West Linton Golf Club suspended him despite getting a letter of explanation from his doctor. The youngster has a disorder where his brain doesn’t tell his bladder it’s full until the last minute.
His grandad, 69, from Penicuik, Midlothian, said: “David came to live with me last year but was being picked on at school.
“He’d never played golf in his life when he joined the club. I entered him in all the junior tournaments during the holidays to give him something to do. At first he was coming in last. But he became so keen. It was practice, practice, practice and he got better and better, hitting the ball 270 yards and getting his handicap down to 18.
“David ended up winning the final three monthly junior medals and got into the West Linton junior team.”
His grandad told how David won a place in the Penicuik High team and collected a trophy for best scratch golfer in Midlothian schools.
David also played tournaments this summer, including the Junior Open at East Lothian’s Dunbar Golf Club where he was paired with a girl, 16.
Douglas said: “David got to the 11th hole and suddenly realised he needed the toilet badly. Because the course has little cover or trees, he couldn’t go anywhere.
“He was suffering so much discomfort he stopped playing but he walked with the girl to mark her scorecard.
“He got to the 18th tee and couldn’t wait any longer. There were bushes so he went to the toilet behind them. But someone saw him and a complaint letter was sent to West Linton.”
David was suspended and had to withdraw from 22 competitions over the holidays. The suspension lasts until March, to await a motion at the club’s general meeting to expel him.
His handicap was “frozen”, barring him from tournaments for eight months until he can be booted out. David appealed the decision but earlier this month received a letter saying it had been upheld.
Douglas said: “David had got through to the junior final at West Linton but wasn’t allowed to play it.
“He’s been down in the dumps since. I’ve tried to get him back into it by getting him a membership at Edinburgh’s Liberton club, but he’s not as keen as before. He was la ad who loved the game.”
David had received a “yellow card” from the club last year, meaning he was on a last warning at the time of the Dunbar incident.
Douglas said: “He got a suspension for not shouting ‘fore’ after hitting balls out of bounds into someone’s garden. That’s how little he knew about the sport at that time.”
David said it had been “pretty hard to take” his exclusion. He added: “The club just jumped to conclusions.”
A West Linton spokesman said they didn’t want to comment. Police have urged the public to come forwards with suggestions for providing a portable toilet at the club as they currently have nothing to go on.