Two both famous and infamous golfers known for their tempers and club throwing exploits on the golf course, were battling head to head and coming into the final round of the tournament. The entire golfing world was looking on. As the two greats made one bad shot after another, they all too often followed them up by throwing their clubs. Some of these clubs ended up in the lake or against a tree. As they were preparing for the final round, one of them was asked whom he thought was going to "lose". "That's easy," he said, "the guy that runs out of clubs first."
Everyone that plays this game has been tempted to make their own entry into the club toss championship, and all too many of us have given in to that temptation. But I can't believe how many clubs I have broken by pure accident (yeah right)!
The first really expensive golf club I ever bought was a custom made driver by one of the great master club makers in Carmel, California, home of Pebble Beach. I spent a couple of days of my vacation being fitted and for three weeks waited anxiously for my new club to arrive in the mail. Man was it great! I was just pounding the ball to deepest depths of the driving range and just couldn't wait for Saturday to get here so I could unleash this beauty in real action.
Finally, the day had arrived. I was loading my gear and changing my shoes, and one of my buddies came by and asked about the new club I was bragging about. I pulled it from my bag and handed it to him to check out. I walked around my car to make the final check to see that all the doors were locked. I shouldered my bag and slammed the trunk of my car. At the time it sounded a little weird, but I was anxious to get started so I didn't bother to look.
When our names were called to the first tee, I was ready! I reached for my hot new driver; just knowing it was going to be a great day? it wasn't there. My knees quivered, I had to choke back a blood-curdling scream and nearly fell to the ground in a fit of rage as I remembered that funny sound I heard when I slammed my trunk just a few minutes ago.
Then there was the time I had a shot that had to get up fast and carry a bit farther then I usually hit my 60-degree. I was under a tree but had no overhanging limbs. I could have a Tiger-like go at it. Big mistake. I wound up like I was John Daly, figuring I needed that extra long swing that only Big John can deliver, and swung with all my might. Tree root! Damn! I jarred every bone in my body. It was three holes later when I finally got my eyes back in the right sockets and discovered I had bent my steel shafted wedge. Not to worry, just a little pressure over the knee here and we can? Snap! Okay, so now I have a really short-shafted wedge for really tight back swings.
But I just may hold the dubious honor of the all time greatest moment in club breaking history. I was playing head to head with my regular foursome, and we had come to the last hole and the big money was on the line. A great drive had put me in unfamiliar territory, about 20 yards closer to the 18th green than I had ever been. An even better 6-iron put me about five feet from the hole on this difficult 4 par, which I had only rarely parred and never birdied in my life. Man this was great! I was about to birdie a hole that for years had been giving me fits, and I was going to win all the money with one shot. It just doesn't get any better then this.
The other three had all finished up, and it was down to my very makeable, very easy, only slightly up-hill, straight in putt? nearly a kick-in. I milked it for all it was worth. I plumbed it, stalked it, walked around it again, repaired imaginary ball marks and rubbed it in as best as I could. Finally I approached the ball? dead in straight? not a problem. Perfect backswing? beautiful putting stroke? nice follow through. It was great? moving right on line! The money was mine! Fist pump in motion? No! Wait! What the h?!!!??? All of a sudden my ball is flying like a nine-iron shot and shoots twenty feet past the hole!! And there next to hole was the head of my putter, right where it had landed after falling off the shaft and hitting the back of my ball. Two putts later I'm finally in the cup, in the dumps and out of the money. To this day my playing partners are insisting that I should have also been assessed a two stroke penalty for striking the ball twice. I'll let you look that rule up.
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Floyd Snyder is an avid, high handicap golfer and the owner of Strictly Business Magazine at http://www.sbmag.org and http://www.TraderAide.com