A golfer playing a round in Holland found a lost ball belonging to his friend back in Britain – who had never used the Dutch course.
Stunned Basil Williams, 74, was on holiday in Utretch when he drove his ball into the rough and went in to try and find it with his son.
But instead he found another ball inscribed with the words ”Not lost. Hiding from Bob Scarfe. Happy 80th”.
Basil immediately recognised the name of his playing partner at home and assumed he’d lost it on the same course.
But when Basil got back to Britain and returned the ball to its owner he discovered Bob, 82, had never even been to Holland.
The balls were given to him as a birthday present two years before and had all been lost on his local course in Thurlestone, Devon.
The two friends believe someone found one of the balls at their club and later used it in Holland – where it was found by Basil.
Basil, of Dartmouth Devon, said: ”I was on holiday in Holland when I hit a stray shot straight into the deep rough.
‘I chopped about but couldn’t find it but then I came across another ball which had a message written on it with Bob’s name.
”Obviously I assumed he’d played the same course which I thought was coincident enough.
”But when I brought them back to Devon he said he’d he’d never been there. He said he’d lost all the balls at our club ages ago.
”Someone must have found it at some point and put it in their bag and then used it in Holland. The chances of me finding it must be a million to one.”
Grandfather-of-three Basil found the ball while playing in Holland with his his son John.
Bob, a retired hotelier, says the Nike ball was one of a dozen sent to him for his 80th birthday from his daughter-in-law Leigh in Maryland in America.
He said: ”I only ever play golf on the same course. At some stage I lost them but how it all evolved and one of them ended up in Holland I have no idea.
”I’ve never even been to Holland. The only explanation is someone picked it up here and ended up playing with it abroad.
”Maybe someone from Holland played here and found it took it home. Or it could have changed several times.
”I suppose there is a chance I hit such a big shot it crossed the Channel but knowing my game I don’t think so.”