No, I’m not talking about golf balls – though losing those can lead to losing “it”. I’m talking about a downright tantrum like a toddler an hour past nap time. I’ve heard about these breakdowns; I’ve witnessed them (I’ve even filmed someone else having one) and I’ve had them myself.
Club throwing or breaking; cart punching; green gouging – they all constitute tantrums on the course. On a recent round, Stinky Golfer Tom and I were hacking our way through 18 holes. Now I’m not embellishing the term “hacking” – it was a hack-job plain and simple – both seed/sand mixtures on the cart were depleted by the 15th.
Anyway, I was standing over a two-footer for double on the 17th and I pushed it right. I had enough. I swung my putter at the ball and sent it careening off the green. Along with the ball also flew a hefty sized divot from right next to the hole. I had “lost it” on the green. Now I wasn’t trying to dig up a chunk of green, but there it was.
I hate guys like me. Now there was a gouge a few inches from the hole. Even though I tried to replace my divot as neatly as possible, it was still capable of knocking someone else’s putt offline. Yes, on that particular day, I was that jerk who messed up the putting surface for everyone else.
Meanwhile, Tom just stood there, watching. Tom is the epitome of cool on the golf course. Now don’t get me wrong, Tom is a typical stinky golfer who gets mad at himself after a wretched shot. But he doesn’t get physical. I’ve never seen him throw (let alone break) a club in anger. He’s never defaced the course on purpose. And he’s certainly never kicked or punched the golf cart. So I wonder what he was thinking that day? Probably what an a-hole I was. But he didn’t say a word.
We tantrum throwers (and you know who you are) have to remember to keep things in perspective. I (of all people, who writes for a blog that teaches golf should be fun) should be more cognizant of keeping emotions in check. Sure I can (and should) get upset at a poor shot – that’s a natural reaction. But I also need to practice what I preach – that golf is more about camaraderie and enjoyment than it is about your score.
So today I pen this post as a shamed man. And I hope my confession serves as a reminder to you the next time you feel like “losing it” on the course. Miss a two-footer? Duck-hook one off the tee? Took a snowman on the last hole? WHO CARES???? You’re playing golf, man – seriously…where else would you rather be?