NO. Do we all agree golf is an amazingly infuriating sport? Most of us have between 80 and 110 shots to get disgusted about during a round, and the nearest object to take out our frustrations being with the golf club. What did Bobby Jones mean when he said, “Some emotions cannot be endured with a golf club in your hands?”
I love the game and over four decades have worn lavender-colored sweaters, shirts with little penguins, crocodiles and polo ponies on them. Have worn Sans-A-Belt slacks in colors and patterns found nowhere in nature. I subscribe to Golfweek, Golf Digest, Golf World, Golf Magazine, Golf Illustrated, Golf Tips and Playboy (but only for the golf articles.) My web browser has 300 bookmarks to golf-related websites and neither rain, sleet nor snow will keep me from missing a reserved tee time that is guaranteed with a major credit card.
Now, this confession: Yes, it’s true – I throw my clubs! I toss them like a salad, heave them like a shot of tequila and kick them like a new set of tires. With that disclosure I am out of the golf closet and proud of it. The best part is that I have never been penalized! Although golf has more rules than any other sport, there are no penalties for club tossing. Go figure!
Far from being a shameful thing, club throwing is an art. It relieves stress, burns calories, builds muscle and it keeps all the nearby players on their toes. This debate with the maniacal, ticking-time-bomb Mr. Geary is about players who can’t control their temper, who might drop 20 F-bombs per round and who spend hundreds of dollars every year at the golf repair shop paying for new shafts and grips.
Has this happened to you? You’re in the woods so deep a GPS cannot find your ball. You toss your club like a boomerang into the green wall of foliage. Snap, crackle, pop. Broken branches everywhere— and your utility-wood is in two pieces. Only poison ivy trying to retrieve it will make matters worse.
I tend to get irate when shots do not go where they’re aimed especially errant tee shots or four consecutive three-putt greens. I’m 150 yards out in the middle of the fairway with a green-light 7-iron in hand. Suddenly, I drop my shoulder and lay sod over the ball, leaving me 40-yards short of the green. There are times when the offending club soars skyward or rattles across the cart path, throwing sparks as it skips along — snapping the shaft in two. Bummer!
According to the Golf Club Chucker Association of America, Ronald Bradstock, a hacker, from Atlanta holds the record for longest club throw at 62.52 yards. Club throwers pay no dues, have no meetings to attend but incur expenses for new clubs and higher insurance premiums. Apparently, Bradstock will throw a golf club at least once a round – and he doesn’t do it for amusement – he’s genuinely angry at himself that he’ll let it fly like Tom Brady tossing one from mid-field to the end zone.
One of professional golf’s most well-known club throwers in his day was Tommy Bolt. Some players are able to shrug off a bad shot, others might use an expletive but “Terrible” Tommy Bolt, who was inducted in the Golf hall of Fame, was notorious. He is quoted, “It thrills a crowd to see a guy suffer. That’s why I threw clubs so often. They love to see golf get the better of someone, and I was only too happy to oblige them. At first I threw clubs because I was angry. After a while it became showmanship, plain and simple. I learned that if you helicopter those dudes by throwing them sideways instead of overhand, the shaft wouldn’t break as easy. It’s an art, it really is.”
(Tom Gorman’s favorite excuse for reshafting clubs is he hit a tree root while swinging! Yeah right!)WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?