Driving range was a military bombing range

copyright Douglas Stockdale

How is it that a WWII/Korean War practice bombing/rocket range would end-up becoming a driving range for a demilitarized golf course? The serendipity of this occuring is pretty amazing. Instead of practice bombs and rockets while preparing for serious mortal combat with an arch enemy, we have a slew of individual hitting practice balls at random targets set up for individuals to prepare for their real ‘combat’ with their opposing arch opponents, although in retrospect a much less deadly event. Okay, for some golfers, maybe it’s the same dire conditions. Their current anxiety is about making par and avoiding boogie, not about what might be lurking 6 inches under the soil.

When looking at the US Army Corps of Engineers topo maps for this military bombing range, the actually target zone is where the golf course club house is build some 100 yards away. But hey, in bombing parlance, that’s like a game of horseshoes, it’s darn close enough. In fact some Ordnance and Explosive Waste (OEW) was recently (2018) discovered when it became exposed at the back of this driving range which required the local Marshal’s office and a bomb squad to intervene. An ongoing fact of life for a demilitarized bombing range.

Meanwhile, the visiting and unknowing golfers continue to practice for their golf rounds here and there is not anything posted in the adjacent club house about these potential conditions as a warning. Similarly for the silent and relatively unseen condition of anxiety, most are like me unaware of what is lurking just below the surface. Thus this photograph is in major contention for my book-dummy of Gardening For Ordnance. I think of this urban landscape photograph as providing some environmental context for this project; what was and what now is.

The Segway to this post is that this Sunday is Father’s Day, and I expect that many Dads, like me, might be out on the golf links with family and friends. Which in my case will be with my son and grandson and some other extended family. Then a great dinner with everyone afterwards which is all the better with everyone fully vaccinated. And I know that that the golf course we will be playing has never been a WWII and Korean War practice bombing range; cool! So Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads out there and have a wonderful day regardless how you celebrate this occasion! It’s just a great day to be a Dad! …just saying…




Featured photograph; Gardening for OrdnanceDriving Range/Bombing Range, copyright Douglas Stockdale



Developing a Creative Photo Book, a virtual (Zoom) workshop I will be leading again in conjunction with Medium Photo, September 11th, 12th, 18th, & 19th. More details at Medium Photo and where to sign up.


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