Hall of Fame 2024 – Chloe

Hall of Fame - 2024 Chloe

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

Chloe HOF 3

Chloe HOF 2

Chloe HOF 1

Hall of Fame 2023 – Grace

Hall of Fame - 2023 Grace

Gracie Girl. Our nickname for her. The literal face of Dog Golf. Our co-pioneer to explore the courses of the UK and share our insights with dog-loving golfers around the world. As reported, Grace left us in June. We still miss her every day. She still holds the “world record” for courses “played” by a dog. She wowed countless players with the ball-in-the-rough sniffing ability. Long may her legacy of role modelling of canine caddying live on.

Grace - Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Inductee 2022–Millie

Millie Hall of Fame

DogGolf.info is proud to announce the induction of Millie into the Dog Golf Hall of Fame. Millie has distinguished herself with an extensive golfing career of over 200 rounds on over 70 courses. Her golfing person, Terry, recently shared a post about one of her latest outings. In a very special scoop, Millie has shared her own personal perspectives of a dog’s life on the fairways:

Millie – A life as a golf dog

Well, it all started when I was about 6 months old. My owners, Terry and Jenny, were keen golfers but always left me with their daughter whenever they went to play. On this occasion Terry decided that I was old enough to come along and so began my golfing experience.

The first course I visited was Thorpeness. I had to wear my harness which was attached to the golf trolley by a lead. I soon learned not to pull as the golf trolley would topple over! I very quickly learned to sit quietly whilst shots were played and to wait patiently whilst visits to the green were made.

Thorpeness was very quickly followed by a number of visits to other local courses that allowed dogs – Dunston Hall, Diss, Bungay, Brancaster, Hunstanton, Great Yarmouth to name but a few.

My first golf holiday was to East Sussex visiting Cooden Beach, Crowborough, Mid Sussex, Royal Ashdown, Lewes, Seaford, Seaford Head and Littlehampton, Since then we have visited Shropshire, Northumberland, Scotland and Kent, each area more than once. I have clocked up over 200 rounds of golf on about 70 different courses.

Last year Winnie arrived to join me on the course. She very quickly learned the ropes and its great to have the company on a round together. We love the fresh air, the walk and just being with our owners – I wish they would let me off the lead to chase that squirell!

Millie is 6 and is currently passing on her caddying expertise to fellow working strain black Labrador, Winnie (1 year old).

Millie HOF 2

Millie HOF 3

2002 Hall of Fame

2021 Hall of Fame Inductee–Dexter

Dog Golf Hall of Fame - Dexter

Dog Golf UK announces the 2021 Dog Golf Hall of Fame inductee – Dexter. 

Dexter the black lab is a pioneer of dog golfing whose exploits were an initial inspiration for Dog Golf UK.  When we were first looking for courses to take Rusty and Grace on to.  His person Lorne Smith is editor of the Fine Golf website and newsletter which is a rich source of information on golfing in the GB&I and was the one place I found with information on the dog protocols of various courses.  It also featured a number of pieces about golfing with your dog.

Dexter holds the world record for the highest number of different Courses Walked by a Dog – 83.  Dog Golf’s Grace is up to 72, but since we have golfed most of the dog friendly courses within an hour’s drive, and given the uncertainty about 2021 with the pandemic impact (as many courses are limiting visitors with so much pent up demand by members), and given that Grace is going on 13 years old (still healthy and vibrant but get more fatigued on the rounds), Dexter’s mark could stand for quite some time.

Dexter’s obituary a few years back documented his illustrious career.  A few excerpt highlights:

  • “In early days, taking him on the golf course formed part of his training to be patient and not ‘run-in’ on squirrels etc. He learnt to wait by the green while the golfers putted out and then moving on to the tee would be seated in the right place to the front off-side.  He was seldom interested in the golf game itself but when he saw Lorne coming down the stairs in the morning wearing his golfing plus twos Dexter would not leave his side until he was in the car and on their way in case he was left behind.  Hares are the most difficult game to stop a dog from chasing and when out at Royal West Norfolk GC, Dexter put one up near the second tee and belted across the seventeenth fairway, losing it in the salt-marsh. When it is almost de rigueur to have a dog with you at Brancaster and many dogs can be less well-behaved than Dexter, Lorne was not too worried as the players disturbed on the seventeenth fairway were not angry but enjoyed the spectacle of his embarrassment and were at least impressed by Dexter’s obedience to return on the whistle.”

I contacted Lorne about Dexter’s honour, and he shared these added reflections:

  • “I am honoured for the late Dexter to enter your lovely idea of a golf dog hall of fame. A lot of people still ask after him as he was always with me if dogs were allowed and there are lots of photos on the FineGolf course reviews with him sat in front of somewhere that I wanted to photograph.  He did become a bit of a star primarily because of how well behaved he was having been trained as a gundog with whom I competed in trials as well as working him picking-up.”

2021 Hall of Fame Dexter

2021 Hall of Fame

Dog Golf Hall of Fame

Dog Golf Hall of Fame

As I have become more acquainted with the dog golfing community over the years, it is clear that some dogs stand out for their quality as a course companion and their extensive experience on the fairways. I’ve wanted to showcase some of the special dogs, and then visiting a course recently I was struck by the various wooden honour boards (“Ladies Champion”, “Club Captain”, “Holes in One”). I thought Dog Golf should have its own honour board.

Big thanks to Steve Spalding at Gold Tree Bespoke who are leaders in the leaderboard business making many of these honour boards for golf clubs and elsewhere. Steve provided the customised digital board above onto which we could inscribe the names of our honourees.

For the inaugural induction, there really could be no other than the co-inspiration for the site in the first place – Rusty.

  • Rusty pioneered dog golfing in the UK as one of the Dog Golf UK poster pups visiting over 30 courses in her lifetime. Her love of the outdoors and her attentiveness compensated for her occasional over-enthusiasm for a passing woodland critter.

  Rusty dog golf hall of fame