A MISCHIEVIOUS birdie has been blamed for the disappearance of balls from Parley Golf Club’s course.
It is believed a crow has been flying off with balls hit onto fairways having mistaken them for eggs.
The problem began when the course recently expanding its course to 18 holes, taking it closer to a wooded area.
Manager Daryl Dampney said: “We had a number of reports of balls going missing from various locations around the course.
“Then someone spotted a crow flying off with one, so we knew who was responsible. There is a great deal of wildlife on and around the course, but this is the first time something like this has happened.”
Daryl continued: “We are letting our members and those who just turn up and play know about the crow. There are a number of the birds that live in the woods so I expect that is where all the balls are.”
Tony Whitehead, a spokesman for the RSPB, said: “This does happen occasionally. It is likely that a single bird is responsible and is mistaking the balls for eggs that it wants to eat.
“Crows will fly off with food and store it in a larder for later,” he continued. “It is most likely a carrion crow – the way to stop it happening is to use fluorescent balls for a time.”
Parley Golf Centre is set within an 800-acre farming estate close to Bournemouth Airport that is also home to the 17th century Parley Manor and Parley Equestrian Centre.
Following its recent expansion, it now boasts an 18-hole course, floodlit driving range, bunker practice area and state-of-the-art indoor coaching centre.