Scoonie golfers all looking out for a birdie

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GOLFERS dream of hitting an eagle or an albatross but it’s a ‘birdie’ of a different kind that has players at Scoonie Golf Club in Leven ‘teed’ off.

For the last few weeks, a pesky crow has been helping itself to balls as they land on the fairway and green of the four-par first, leaving players scratching their heads when they find their ball is nowhere to be seen.

One ‘victim’ is Methil man George Black, who has had it happen three times. He has been a member at Scoonie for 42 years and says he’s never seen the like.

“One time I got to the green and saw my ball but, by by the time I turned back from getting my club out the bag, it had gone,” said George. “I reckon there must have been about 50 balls taken so far.”

Another to see his ball go skyward is committee member David Smith, who said the bird heads from the green to the adjacent cemetery.

With the crow building a sizeable pot of balls, George tracked its movements and then hot-footed it to the graveyard to where he thought the balls were being dropped - but there was nothing to be found.

It’s now got to the stage where those in the know only use their oldest, least valuable golf balls on the first hole.

The RSPB say while it is not unheard of for crows to make off with golf balls, it is definitely not common.

“The corvid family of birds, which includes crows and jackdaws, will occasionally pick up human artefacts but golf balls wouldn’t appear to present any obvious benefit to the bird,” an RSPB spokesperson said.

While crows are known to plunder eggs from other birds’ nests, there is no way of knowing if the Leven crow is getting its freshly-laid mixed up with its Taylor-Made.

However, the RSPB experts say some crows do develop habits, which won’t be good news for the players at Scoonie, where members will be wondering if it’s time their feathered foe ‘shot the craw’.