Haunted golf course stories

Victoria GC
Photo courtesy of Victoria Golf Course
This is the seventh fairway at Victoria Golf Club that is said to be haunted by the "friendly" ghost of Doris Gravlin.
By Andrew Prezioso

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | 11:10 a.m.

Who doesn't love a good ghost story? Sure, you may not believe in them but they can be pretty entertaining. 

We searched online for some popular tales and decided to do some digging to find more on the origin of these stories. See below.

Victoria Golf Club (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

Legend: The story goes that in 1936, Doris Gravlin was murdered by her estranged husband after a nighttime meeting on the course. Her body would not be found until five days later when a caddie noticed it along the shoreline of the bay at the seventh hole. Police deemed the crime a murder-suicide as the body of her husband, Victor, would be found by a fisherman a month later.

Now the ghost of woman in a white gown has been reported to hang around the course. As the Greater Victoria Public Library reports:

She will rush towards people, then disappear. She also exhibits a variety of other behaviour. One night, for example, a man saw her as he was out walking on the course. He turned around, and then turned around again, and she was facing him every time. After completely boxing him in, she disappeared. On another night a woman was out walking the course with a group. A wild wind suddenly sprang up, blowing at them from all directions, despite it being a perfectly calm day. Some of the group became very frightened. As the woman hung back from the rest of her group, she felt someone with a cold, clammy hand take her hand. She assumed one of her friends needed comforting. Then she noticed that all her group had moved on, and she was alone. The hand then disappeared.

Final Word: We'll let Scott Kolb, general manager at Victoria, let you know whether this course is haunted.

Yes, but she is a friendly ghost. ... Our security camera sometimes have a glow that floats around and odd things will happen that our staff will just say, “Must be Doris playing tricks on us again.” I'm not a big ghost guy but I must admit that something is out there that has fun with us. 

City Park Golf Courses (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Legend: In the early 1960s, two women were finishing their round on the 18th green when a man shot and killed one of them. Now, there are claims of people hearing a gun shot and a woman screaming on the 18th green even though there is no one there. It has been so clear that it has prompted people to call the police.

Final Word: This seemed a little vague to be true. When we reached out to the New Orleans Public Library to see if there were any mentions of the murder in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, nothing was found. The newspaper search was extended from 1950-80 and no results were found. Joseph Giorlando, director of instruction at Rabito Golf at City Park, also scoffed at the idea of the course being haunted.  

Pasatiempo Golf Club (Santa Cruz, Calif.)

Legend: We got this tip on our Facebook page. According to Gary Lynd, the ghost of Alister Mackenzie walks Pasatiempo. It does make sense that if Mackenzie were to haunt any course, it would be Pasatiempo. Although Mackenzie did design Augusta National and Cypress Point, Pasatiempo was where he decided to live and his house still sits right by the sixth hole. And according to Ken Woods, the PGA Professional and head professional at Pasatiempo, Mackenzie's ashes were spread around the course. 

Final Word: With not much to go on online, we turned to the general manager of Pasatiempo, D. Scott Hoyt, to see if he's heard any tales. Hoyt said he had not heard of any ghosts at the course. Woods also mentioned that he has not heard anything about Mackenzie's ghost being seen on the course.

Trails West Golf Course (Fort Leavenworth, Kan.)

Legend: Back in the 1880s, Catherine Sutter was traveling through Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with her family when her two children disappeared. She spent all winter searching for them, but could not find them and died. The legend continues that the continues that Native Americans found the children and kept them safe throughout the winter. The following spring, they were bringing the children back to Sutter when they found her dead. Now people claim to see Sutter wandering around the course with a latern continuing the search for her children.  

Final Word: With the origin story dating so far back, it is very difficult the accuracy of this tale. The PGA Professional at Trails West, Keith Stilwell, said he is familiar with the story but neither he nor any of his clients have any run-ins with the alleged ghost. 

Andrew Prezioso is a contributor for PGA.com. Have a good golf story? Send him an email at andrew.prezioso@turner.com.