DH, a late middle-aged man who looks and acts much younger, is actually a rarity in golf. He’s a semi-reformed hothead.
But in his temper tantrum prime, DH was fairly spectacular. His regular arsenal included grotesque imagery (references, for example, to stymying the flow from a much-discussed part of the female anatomy), a propensity for walking off the course and frequent threats to quit the game.
DH’s most appalling habit, though, was that he often responded to missed putts with a violent swing of the putter. The intent was to swat the offending ball as far off the green as he could. But in his blinding rage the frequent result was a deep gash in the putting surface.
In an earlier post, I laid out what I dubbed The 5 Rules of Etiquette for the Enraged Golfer. Rule 3 reads:
“Don’t damage the course, especially the greens and tees. A club slam that takes an extra divot out of the fairway or rough is unappealing, but on the bottom edge of tolerable. A golfer who does something like that to a green is like a gambler who doesn’t pay his debts. And we all know what happens to that guy.”
Unfortunately, I’m not sure DH ever got his comeuppance, even as he wreaked a swath of havoc across the putting surfaces of South Florida. Hopefully his day of reckoning was internal – the type that comes with the painful self-reflection of maturity.
Whatever the case, one day DH simply stopped the behavior. And like a reformed drug addict, he is now able to calmly discuss his days of madness. He even has some advice for other golfing miscreants.
“When you’re angry, your swing goes down like a wedge,” DH claims. “So when you miss a short little putt, and you want get the ball off the green, kick it away with your foot. Then you can go off and swing.”