…Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily yell and be obscene. Everybody! Throw, throw, throw your club…
I can’t tell you how many clubs I’ve seen go flying across the golf course in my lifetime. I’ve been guilty myself of tossing a club after a wretched shot – though I’ll typically throw it towards the base of my golf bag (it releases the anger, yet there’s no need for me to walk 30 yards out of my way to retrieve it).
I have one golfing buddy who will throw a golf club at least once a round – and he doesn’t do it for amusement either – he’s genuinely so angry at himself that he’ll let it fly like Peyton tossing one from mid-field into the end zone.
When my fellow stinky golfers and I first started playing with him, we’d all laugh out loud (much to his chagrin) while watching his 7-iron float down the fairway. One time we had to make a human chain so we could retrieve his club from a pond! But then the amusement began to wear off. The problem was he’d remain angry and it would keep him from enjoying the rest of his round.
For a time, we would just chuckle under our breath when he’d let the war sticks soar, in hopes he wouldn’t get more angry from our laughter. But now? Now it’s just kind of annoying. I want to say: “Come on man, it’s only a game.” Ah, but those words are like fingernails on a chalkboard to someone like him. He’s a good guy, but takes golf (in my opinion) way too seriously. And there are plenty of others just like him.
What is it about this game that brings out so much anger? I guess one possibility is the competitive nature of sports in general. As I mentioned above, I’ve thrown a few clubs in my day, but I don’t think I was unapproachable afterwards. I would quickly snap out of it by the time I bent down to pick up my club. But the competitiveness in some people won’t let them forget so easily.
Hey, getting angry at yourself after a terrible shot (or after a series of terrible shots) is understandable. But you need to quickly put it behind you. Golf is a calm and patient game – if you don’t embody those qualities out on the course, you may be forever frustrated with this sport.
So if you’re a frequent club tosser, keep in mind what you’re projecting about your personality to your playing partners. Are they laughing on the outside, but shaking their heads at you on the inside?
PS: In no way do I condone club throwing. And my apologies if “Row, Row, Row your Boat” is stuck in your head the rest of the day like it was for me yesterday after I wrote this.