Scott, a friend with whom I grew up, always had trouble with the 3rd hole at Standard Country Club in Louisville, Ky. Straightforward though it is at just 165 yards with no especially interesting design feature, he was hopelessly attracted to the out of bounds fence beyond a bunker to the left of the green.
On one particular summer evening, a homeowner behind the tee had his fence down while switching it over from chain-linked to wood. Exposed to the course, the poor fellow was working on his swimming pool perhaps 15 yards from the tee box as Scott approached and hit yet another wicked 5 iron hook. The man should have been paying attention.
As his ball settled near the OB fence, Scott, disgusted, attempted a quick faux-practice swing – the type where you rear back fast and hard and then swing violently through in anger. But that swing was even worse than his real one. The club slipped from his hands in the back swing and went soaring end-over-end toward the nearby homeowner. The man, who was crouched down cleaning the pool’s steps, looked up just in time to, no doubt, feel a surge of helplessness. He was saved when the 5 iron deflected off the handrail just inches from his face.
Scott decided to forego playing a provisional ball.