I like to tell people that I don’t always have an explosive temper on the golf course. But when my patience is down, things can get ugly.
Once, while in the midst of a minor slump, I joined my father Ken, a doctor, for a scramble hosted by a pharmaceutical company. Also on the team were two of Dad’s medical partners.
Unable to adapt to the idea that this was a friendly event, my temperament had already turned surly as I stood over a six iron on the second fairway. My three teammates, Dad included, stood several feet behind me, watching and rooting.
I hit the ball thin, but straight, and as it flighted toward the green my teammates began complimenting the shot. They had little time to continue their praise, however.
Reacting instantly to the unpleasant vibration that a thin shot sends up the club shaft and into the hands, I executed my favorite golf tantrum move – a flawless “Follow-Through-Club-Release-the-Instant-You-Know-That-You-Detest-Everything-About-the-Shot-And-Yourself-As-a-Human-Being.”
This move, though, is often executed with little regard to where the club will go. Such was the case on this fateful day.
The six iron flew directly at my father’s partners behind me, forcing them to scatter, and leaving Dad with a strong sense of shame and paternal failure.