In the genteel world of golf, it’s practically mandatory to malign the tantrum and those who throw them.
“Oh my!” bemoan announcers on television after an outburst.
“Son, do that again and I’ll take your clubs away,” threatens the reproaching parent.
I’ve never understood this. After all, golf is among the most challenging of pursuits. Were it not it wouldn’t be so rewarding on those occasions when you make a swing that feels like you’ve figured it all out.
But with the challenge of golf comes frustration, and with frustration comes temper tantrums – sometimes lots of temper tanturms.
Fortunately, these episodes are often exceptionally entertaining. In fact, temper tantrums have a way of making even the dullest, least interesting of people funny. As for those of us who like to believe we can draw a laugh with our wits alone, well, tantrums make us funnier.
What’s not funny about watching an ostenibly mature man, who pays bills, has a job – is maybe even raising a family – transformed into an immature child while participating in an activity that he supposedly plays for relaxation, fresh air and fun.
Take, for example, a story my Dad likes to tell from several decades ago. He was sitting in the grillroom of a municipal course outside Detroit as a man came storming off the nearby 15th green. As my Dad and many others looked on, the man deposited his entire golf bag into the creek that divided #15 from the clubhouse.
Fuming, he lumbered off to the nearby parking lot, muttering to himself, only to return moments later. There, he sat on the grass, took off his shoes and socks, and then waded into the water to retrieve his discarded bag.
“Oh”, thought my father, “I guess he’s come to his senses.”
But he hadn’t.
The man found his bag, retrieved his wallet and keys, and then threw that bag right back in the water where he felt it belonged, before striding off to the parking lot for a final time.
This blog will celebrate the golf tantrum in all of its glory. I hope it will inform and entertain my readers as well, and that they will be motivated to submit their own stories for inclusion here. Ultimately, I plan on compiling a book featuring stories about golf temper tantrums from tee to green and from hole #1 (or perhaps the driving range) to well beyond the final putt on #18