A bad tee shot today at the Augusta Municipal Golf Course led to the discovery of a war relic and a visit from the Richmond County sheriff’s bomb squad.
A golfer was looking for his ball near the eighth fairway when he found a half-buried Mk 2, or “pineapple,” grenade, bomb squad Investigator Charles Mulherin said. Recent heavy rains washing down a hill probably unearthed it.
Investigator Mulherin said he couldn’t be sure if the grenade was live or whether the pin had deteriorated, so the bomb squad used explosives to detonate it. He said he couldn’t tell whether the grenade itself exploded.
Where it came from is a mystery worthy of History Detectives.
Mk 2 grenades went into production for the U.S. military during the final months of World War I and were used as late as the Vietnam War.
During the first world war the golf course was part of Camp Hancock, a sprawling Army base that covered 13,811 acres, including what’s now Daniel Field Airport and Forest Hills Golf Club. Historian Joseph Lee III, who wrote a history of the camp, said the municipal golf course property was woodland that wasn’t suitable for tents because of a ravine.
But that wouldn’t keep soldiers off it. There might have been a machine gun range there, Mr. Lee said. Soldiers also might have slipped off into the woods for privacy.
“Look, there were 40,000 guys here, and they were everywhere,” Mr. Lee said. “And there were girls, too.”
Camp Hancock’s parade ground later became the city airport, and during World War II it was taken over by the military and used as an Army air base.
There’s also the possibility the grenade made its way to Augusta in a duffel bag and somehow got dropped on the golf course, Investigator Mulherin said. It was found about 30 yards from the Daniel Field fence.