Ruffled RAF teed off over chopper golf sortie

A story out of UK tells of a Royal Air Force probe into why a search and rescue helicopter was used to drop off servicemen for a round of golf.

This instantly reminded me of the long and arduous trek I used to make every fortnight to play golf at the Kau Sai Chau Golf Course in Hong Kong, the territory’s only public course.

I lived nearly at the southern-most point in Hong Kong, near Aberdeen, and the journey involved an hour’s drive to Sai Kung on the north-east coast and then a 20-minute boat journey to the island of Kau Sai Chau.

For Hong Kong, that was a major trek, and how I could have used an RAF helicopter. It would have been especially useful on the way back home because the golf itself was hard work.

The course had more hills than a Welsh countryside and someone once commented that you needed to be a mountain goat to trudge the 18 holes, designed by South African great Gary Player.

An RAF chopper would have been quite appropriate as well because, before the island turned into a golfing facility, the British military used it for bombing practice.

It is quite possible that they might have even had a helicopter identical or similar to the yellow Sea King that landed at Willingcott Valley Golf Course near Woolacombe, Devon to ferry soldiers in and out the golfing island.

According to a PA report, about a dozen passengers were seen disembarking the chopper, which was from a nearby air base. They played nine holes. A Ministry of Defence spokesman was quoted as saying:

“There are strict rules in place regarding use of military aircraft and we are urgently investigating this incident to ensure regulations have been observed. Search and Rescue cover was not compromised in any way while this sortie took place.”

4 Responses to “Ruffled RAF teed off over chopper golf sortie”

  1. Yeah but the chopper would have proved useful for spotting lost golf balls in the bushes! 😉

  2. As a member of the RNZAF (New Zealand Air Force) I ran lots of golfers to our annual tournament in transport aircraft. An annual allocation of hours was made for training, and as these were being flown regardless, we used them for something useful like ferrying sports teams/people to tournaments, events etc. Makes practical sense!!

  3. Lyall Davidson says:

    Probably not the first time a pilot got into trouble for abusing his chopper.

  4. Richard Conway says:

    😀 I’m glad to see that the RAF still have the best interests of their servicemen at heart. 😀

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