HE is used to dealing with coffins on a daily basis in his job as an undertaker.
But now a funeral director has adopted a coffin of a different kind – by sponsoring the eighth hole of a Lothians golf course.
it is at the top of a very steep hill and people always say that’s why it’s got its name – that they will be in a coffin by the time they get to the top.Ross Fraser
Dubbed “The Coffin” due to the shape of the original green created when West Lothian Golf Club was designed more than 40 years ago, the eighth hole is now to sport a sign declaring its connections with Ross Fraser Funeral Directors, which is based in nearby Bo’ness.
Undertaker Ross Fraser said he was looking for ways to give back to the local community when he heard that the sponsorship of the eighth hole was up for grabs.
Now Mr Fraser has paid to erect a sign above the hole at the club where his father has been a member for more than 60 years and acted as club secretary.
He has also sponsored a bottle of whisky to be kept behind the bar at the club and donated to any player who gets a hole-in-one.
“As a funeral director, it is very hard to find ways to give back to the community,” said Mr Fraser. “If you have a shoe shop, you can offer people 50 per cent off, but as an undertaker, you can’t really help people financially until after they have departed.
“I grew up at the course on the greenkeeper’s knees, my father has been a member at the club for as long as I can remember and I used to play a lot myself.
“When I heard there was a chance to sponsor the eighth hole, it just made sense.”
The eighth hole retained its coffin nickname even after the course was redesigned in 1992 and it lost its original-shaped green.
Alan Gibson, general manager of West Lothian Golf Club, said: “It has been known as The Coffin for as long as I can remember and I’ve been here for 28 years.
“It used to have a coffin-shaped green, but that was changed a few years ago now. However, it is at the top of a very steep hill and people always say that’s why it’s got its name – that they will be in a coffin by the time they get to the top.”
He added: “It will set a few tongues wagging when people get there and see the Ross Fraser Funeral Directors sign. I can see them all now at the bottom of the hill, looking up at the funeral directors’s sign.”
On West Lothian Golf Club’s website it states: “Named on the scorecard as ‘The Coffin’ this hole doesn’t mean the end but it does require a carefully selected tee shot and an equally precise second shot.
“The old green was in fact shaped like a coffin but was redesigned in 1992.”
Renowned Open Championship venues Royal Troon and the Old Course at St Andrews also both boast holes named after coffins.