Congratulations to 2024 Golfing Dog Hall of Fame – Chloe. Chloe is an accomplished golfing dog who has traipsed a number of courses in her time including several guest post to Dog Golf (Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Portpatrick). Her persons, Fiona and David, have shared the following retrospective on her hallowed golfing career.
Chloe is no longer with us, so this is her back story. She would have been chuffed to hear she had been a good girl and been nominated for this honour – but more chuffed if she’d been awarded a Bonio.
She came to us aged 4; we offered a large garden, a small motorhome and several sets of golf clubs – she loved the first two, was neutral about the bags: golf was indeed “a good walk spoiled” for her, as she always had to be on a lead.
Chloe was a cocker spaniel. Based on her behaviour, she had worked with the guns but “failed” as she preferred hunting alone; she was then used for breeding until she was too old; after she was rejected by a family with a 6-year-old boy, she came home with us. We quickly learned she had high energy levels and became naughty without enough exercise for mind and body. Golf was ideal, although she didn’t tick off many golfing experiences in her eight years with us.
David’s golf club does not allow dogs on the course, so she never played there. However, during Covid, everyone walked their dogs there; Chloe loved the heather and the rough under the Scots Pines, dutifully kept off tees and greens, but stayed on the lead as we walked by the river (swimming after swans was a hazard) or alongside the SSSI (the Short Eared Owls, partridges and roe deer were just too tempting). But we were chased off by a Past President for breaking the Club’s rules (the public didn’t know). So we walked further afield: Chloe heard her first noisy nesting Herons in woods that we had never explored before, and was transfixed by the rafts of Eiders on the river at high tide.
As we found at the shorter Portpatrick course, and at Brunston Castle (near Girvan, now closed) she was not an ideal golfing companion: too keen on chasing fascinating pheasants and investigating interesting smells in the rough but no good at finding lost balls; a tugger on the lead – and strong enough to pull the trolley over if she was tied to it; bored with standing on the tee while David had yet another practice swing or put down a second ball (Fiona had sympathy with Chloe there). She was attracted to any water: puddle, pond, ditch, burn, river, sea – wet paws essential, full immersion the ideal – a course with no water was a very dull course indeed. The only time she would lie down was if we were sitting on a bank by a fairway to view passing players. And so Chloe would usually watch us leave for a round of golf, and she would then curl up to sleep comfortably on the Motorhome seats until we returned, with her head resting on the cuddly toy of choice (like “Chloe-saurus”, a dinosaur with her red and white markings) and a fresh bowl of water.
Her true skill and legacy was her easy ability to make people feel happy. Spectators by the green with a thermos of tea gave her biscuits; she loved a cuddle from anyone in the gallery (the question in Scotland is “can I clap [pat] your dog?”); golfers passing us in the car park as we donned shoes would smile at her waggy tail and say hello; golf tourists far from home missed their own dogs a bit less for a minute.
We do have another rescue dog now, but Chloe left us when we weren’t ready. DogGolf has reminded us of the joy that she brought us for eight years. Thank you.
Fiona & David