Stinky Golfer Confessions: Losing it on the Course

brokenclubNo, 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?


  1. Ha I know exactly how you feel man, once I smashed my sand wedge into the ground, broke it, which of course was far worse than being in a bunker for a shot or two on a beautiful day!

  2. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says:

    I’ve reached the point where I play so badly that I just don’t get emotionally-involved anymore. And I NEVER play for money, even though most of my league at-least participates in the concurrent Skins-game every Friday. I just enjoy the fresh-air and the sunshine after a week in the office.

    I told our course Pro that I reached the point that”…I don’t even play just-for-pride anymore”… And you-know-what? My game is actually improving.

  3. Yes we’ve all been there Greg, as long as you learn from it. Just last Saturday one of my playing partners hit his bag with his sand wedge after a series of duffed chips. He had steam coming out of his ears!

  4. When I go crazy its in my mind and demeanor. I was on golf team with a guy who threw his driver into a tree. Every since then I’ve been lucky its not me. I woulda felt horrible marring up a divet right next to the hole. Funny stuff though and your honesty real cool.

  5. mackpayson says:

    Getting kicked off a golf course would shame me to no end. I reserve my club-throwing and ground-smashing for my backyard. My practice improves noticeably after a long, high 6-iron toss!

  6. Ugh, I used to take care of greens at a small par 3 course and during the busy season, I would get a divot on the green at least twice a week. It was absolutely horrible to deal with because there was nearly no way to save it and with such small greens, you had to find a way to repair it which almost always meant doing a transplant.

    In 10 years, I only managed to catch people taking divots on the green twice but it was sure satisfying to toss them off of the golf course.

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