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You threw your club. Now what?

club throwing

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#1 zakkozuchowski

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:23 AM

Posted Image

You threw your club. Now what?

By Jeff Singer

GolfWRX Contributor

Throwing clubs is a lot like paying taxes. Not everyone does it, but most of us do it at least once a year, and when we do it is generally not a pleasant experience.
Nobody starts a round saying, "I'm going to destroy the precious 5 wood that I thought highly enough to put in my bag."

But sometimes things just work out that way. There's only so much we can take from this unforgiving game. How come that punch shot through the trees always hits that one branch that if you were trying to hit it, it would take six days and 6000 golf balls? And only the shots you hit well hit that branch. The chunked or thinned shots through the trees never seem to hit anything --  they just land in worse trouble. I mean c'mon man, you were only 1-over before that. But now, sigh....

The golf gods can be cruel. And like the ancient civilizations believed, sometimes they need a sacrifice. But like I said, it can be awkward and no one wants to end up playing alone because of a few indiscretions. So here is a guide on how your throwing will affect your playing partners, how to act when you do throw a club and how to apologize for your behavior afterward. To make this easier to understand, I have assigned terror levels for the different stages of tantrum-like behavior.

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Level 1: Terror alert green

Includes: Gentle club slam, light digging of your wedge into the ground after a poor chip, hitting down a divot with your iron, medium decibel curse word.
Bottom Line: Apology not required.
How to act: Just act normal, nothing to see here.

Stuff like this happens every round and it's really no big deal. The most important thing to do is to show your playing partners that things like this are not affecting you long term. There's nothing worse than when you are playing with a guy and he gets so angry you're scared to talk to him for 5 hours. But it's very difficult to go through a round without getting a break or missing a putt that doesn't require at least a moderate curse word. So let out the curse and stomp that iron down into the divot -- just try to avoid doing it more then a few times. As long as you are a somewhat interesting guy and can make a few jokes too. No one is going to stop playing with you because of this.

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Level 2: Terror alert blue

Includes: Hard club slam, club throw threat (you know when someone is going to whip a club but then quickly rethinks it), loud curse word, throwing ball into water, hacking at the ground with a wedge or iron, dropping putter after a short miss.
Bottom Line: Apology not required (conditional).
How to act: Quickly show there are no lingering effects.

OK, this is starting to get a bit more serious. But until now, with the exception of the putter-drop which is not all that threatening, the club hasn't left your hand. This is good, because once the club leaves your hand you've entered a different level of tantrum. Your playing partners will probably feel a bit uneasy. The best thing to do is quickly show them you aren't going to be affected by this: it was just a quick outburst, but you are past it. I'd sidle up to one of them as you walk toward the green and make conversation about something entirely different -- ask them where they work, etc. It shows that you've already moved on and quells their concerns that you might be a crazy person on the verge of a breakdown. Don't mention the shot you just hit, even in a joking manner, and certainly don't say "I NEVER do that." They'll know you are still thinking about it and that's not good. Move on quickly. If you do that, there no apology is required.

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Level 3: Terror alert yellow

Includes: The short club throw (think Anthony Kim or Tiger slamming the driver down), tossing your wedge or putter back at your golf bag instead of bringing it back, curse word loud enough to be heard on multiple holes, hole-long general surliness.
Bottom line: Moderate apology required.
How to act: Sheepishly saying,


"Sorry about that guys, it won't happen again."


Now you've done it, you've crossed the line between, "Hmmm, this guy has a bit of a temper" to "Uh oh, this round could be really unpleasant." But it's not the end of the world. Almost every golfer you'll ever play with has crossed into terror alert yellow at some point. You have to generally acknowledge your behavior is not appropriate, and you do that with the sheepish apology. Sheepishness is actually a great trick in this situation, because it shows you are embarrassed at your behavior. But also lends your playing partners to believe that this kind of behavior probably doesn't happen much. A quick or angry sorry might say, "I do this all the time" and make you look like a politician caught cheating on his wife. The sheepish sorry says that you feel bad, you don't do this often and it won't happen again. As with Level 2, try to talk to them afterward about general stuff and move on.

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Level 4: Terror alert orange

Includes: Full blown club throw, breaking clubs over knee, throwing putter into water, snarky responses to playing partners, walking ahead of the group in total angry silence, repeated false laughter at yourself, asking leading/trap questions to playing partners such as:


"Have you EVER seen anyone get luck like this!"


Bottom line: Apology required.
How to act: Wait a bit, then apologize. Try and make it heartfelt.
Once you've committed an orange level infraction, you really need to let time heal your wounds. Your playing partners ARE going to tell people about this in the clubhouse, and no matter what you say they are going to think you've done this before and will do it again. Have you ever watched Criminal Minds? People don't escalate to Level 4 without committing prior bad acts.


The level 4 clubthrower probably has a sealed juvenile record and started fires as a kid, or maybe not, but you know what I mean.


You don't start with a level 4. So take some time, then apologize to your playing partners -- tell them you are working on it. If you are invited to have a beer after the round, a well-timed joke about needing to buy a new wedge can be appropriate. But mostly, if you ever the chance to play with these guys again, be sure to be on your best behavior. Only time going by without repeat infractions can make people think this was an isolated incident.

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Level 5: Terror alert red

Includes: Threatening to fight people, breaking a club in two that ricochets and almost stabs someone, throwing a club through a nearby house's window, causing serious course damage, unprovoked outbursts at course personnel, throwing the flag like a spear, etc. Generally, acting like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas.
Bottom Line: Apology? Have your lawyer send a notarized one.
How to act: Find a new course, change your name.

If you've committed a Level 5 infraction. Consult a psychologist. That's your first step. Then if you wish to keep playing golf and have successfully completed therapy, you might want to find a new course and change your name to something nice sounding and non-threatening. Go with Ned Flanders or something like that.


Nobody is going to suspect Ned Flanders of being the same guy that almost stabbed a guy with a broken shaft while repeatedly asking, "How am I funny? You mean like a clown, like I amuse you?"


So there you have it. Go out and play golf, and don't be afraid to make a little sacrifice to the golf gods here and there. Just know how to apologize, know when to draw the line and know how to get over it quickly. You'll be OK. Follow the above guidelines and you'll have no problem continually getting a game.


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#2 Dr. Shankenstein

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:32 AM

Ned Flanders... that's funny!
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#3 nbg352

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:40 AM

Now what? I'll tell you what...if I ever get that driver outta that damn tree, I'm gonna drown it! That's what!
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#4 Socrates

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:53 AM

So what happens if you've checked them all off?  Sounds like a man of experience talking.  Not judging.... Just sayin'.

I'll admit it I've been to Level 4 before, but I'm much better now that I'm reformed.  Level 1 is as far as it gets these days.

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#5 Hattori Hanzo

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:48 PM

Great read Jeff!

Where does the one-handed followthrough fall on this spectrum? I used to think it was no big deal as the club was staying in my hand and I wasn't slamming it or anything, but yesterday I blocked a drive and did this and my brother told me to "chill out".

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#6 HoldTheLag

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:06 PM

You forgot Level 6: A fight that ends up with someone getting stabbed in the nether regions.

But I can completely understand why you left that out.

#7 farlo001

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:55 PM

View PostHattori Hanzo, on 26 November 2012 - 12:48 PM, said:

Great read Jeff!

Where does the one-handed followthrough fall on this spectrum? I used to think it was no big deal as the club was staying in my hand and I wasn't slamming it or anything, but yesterday I blocked a drive and did this and my brother told me to "chill out".

Haha.  That's standard IMO.  That comment by my brother would prolly send me straight to level 5 (threatening another player)!

#8 deck

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:06 PM

Awesome and glad so far I have only gotten to blue.  when i was a child golfing with my dad i would get angry.  he would calmly pull me aside and state to me "son, why are you mad?" my response was always i should have made a better shot.  his response was "we arent that good to get mad over that."  "we dont play often enough or for money that the professionals play for so lets just keep it to fun"

that stuck out to me and to this day I dont cross the blue.  Now i am passing that info down to mine.

Great read Jeff.  Made me think back to some people I used to play with and why I do not anymore.
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#9 mwkbmw

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:16 PM

View Postdeck, on 26 November 2012 - 04:06 PM, said:

Awesome and glad so far I have only gotten to blue.  when i was a child golfing with my dad i would get angry.  he would calmly pull me aside and state to me "son, why are you mad?" my response was always i should have made a better shot.  his response was "we arent that good to get mad over that."  "we dont play often enough or for money that the professionals play for so lets just keep it to fun"

that stuck out to me and to this day I dont cross the blue.  Now i am passing that info down to mine.

Great read Jeff.  Made me think back to some people I used to play with and why I do not anymore.

Wise father.  I know I am going to hit poor shots. I get more upset over mental mistakes. I am too afraid to slam my head on the ground.  :D
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#10 deck

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:21 PM

View Postmwkbmw, on 26 November 2012 - 04:16 PM, said:

View Postdeck, on 26 November 2012 - 04:06 PM, said:

Awesome and glad so far I have only gotten to blue.  when i was a child golfing with my dad i would get angry.  he would calmly pull me aside and state to me "son, why are you mad?" my response was always i should have made a better shot.  his response was "we arent that good to get mad over that."  "we dont play often enough or for money that the professionals play for so lets just keep it to fun"

that stuck out to me and to this day I dont cross the blue.  Now i am passing that info down to mine.

Great read Jeff.  Made me think back to some people I used to play with and why I do not anymore.

Wise father.  I know I am going to hit poor shots. I get more upset over mental mistakes. I am too afraid to slam my head on the ground.  :D

also the man who still to this day asks me why im firing at flags.  says the same thing except he says "YOU arent good enough to go pin hunting."  leaves the we out of that one lol

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#11 Sean2

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:35 PM

I've played with a Level 4. I think this is a Level 4. Is this a Level 4 Jeff?

He threw his club so far and high it got stuck up in a tree...about 40 feet up in the tree (a 7-iron). He called the club house and it was a full blown circus watching them trying to get that club out of the tree.

A few holes later he threw a club that broke the window (is that what it's called?), on his cart. Really? I didn't sign up for this when I tee'd up on number one. A few holes later he drove off the course and never said a word to anyone.

I almost made it to Level 1 this season. (I do curse under my breath).

Nice job Jeff! :-)

#12 1puttwoods

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:05 PM

Unfortunately I achieve level 4 1/2 at least once every couple of months.  The last time it happened was during a tournament where I was even par through 16 after just making a double, I hooked my next tee shot into the lake along the left side of hole.  I proceeded to pound my driver into the cart path about 15 times, let the older gentlemen who was playing the senior tees hit (who just happens to have played in like 35 major championships or something crazy like that, I don't think he was overly thrilled with my behavior ) then I walked about 100 yards by myself and dragged my driver along the cart path leaving a trail of sparks behind.  I'm very surprised that I didn't start a fire seeing how hot and dry it was out.  My cart partner then told me to get in and I then dragged the driver along the path until we cut over across the fairway.  I then took my drop used my laser to get the yardage 171.  Take out 7 iron air mail it 25 yards over the green over the path and over the hill........can't find it go back and drop at the same place laser the yardage again and its 143....in my rage I must have missed the flag and targeted something else which was farther away.  End up making 7 then bogey the last to shoot 76 I think.  The only thing I learned from that is that an R11 driver can take an enormous amount of abuse and I need to laser the distance more than once always.  Although I didn't destroy anything it was still a pretty expensive temper tantrum.....

#13 MtlJeff

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:11 PM

View PostSocrates, on 26 November 2012 - 11:53 AM, said:

So what happens if you've checked them all off?  Sounds like a man of experience talking.  Not judging.... Just sayin'.

I'll admit it I've been to Level 4 before, but I'm much better now that I'm reformed.  Level 1 is as far as it gets these days.

Signed
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Oh i've been to level 4....but not for a while. Let's just say Jeff knows a lot about poor behavior on the course. But mostly when i was a youngster, or at least a relative youngster. I haven't thrown a club in i'd guess about 5 years and rarely get to level 3 anymore either. If i do it's usually just a curse word but no tossing of equipment. I'm in my early 30's now and most of my poor behavior in sports was when i was in my late teens, early 20's. You learn quick that you look like a fool and it doesn't solve anything

I still see a lot of bad behavior, which was the inspiration for the article while still trying to make it kind of funny
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#14 MtlJeff

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:12 PM

View Postdeck, on 26 November 2012 - 04:06 PM, said:

Awesome and glad so far I have only gotten to blue.  when i was a child golfing with my dad i would get angry.  he would calmly pull me aside and state to me "son, why are you mad?" my response was always i should have made a better shot.  his response was "we arent that good to get mad over that."  "we dont play often enough or for money that the professionals play for so lets just keep it to fun"

that stuck out to me and to this day I dont cross the blue.  Now i am passing that info down to mine.

Great read Jeff.  Made me think back to some people I used to play with and why I do not anymore.

if you've never been past blue you are a model of composure! haha. Your dad taught you well!
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#15 FLOGMR

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:38 PM

I have never thrown a club ...BUT I used to play in a tournament in Kelowna BC where they had a special event called the "Helicopter Open" after the 1st day round. A prize was awarded to the player who could throw a 5 iron the furthest down #1 fairway from the tee in front of the clubhouse.
They called a halt to the "Open" after one guy broke his wrist from over throwing his iron...... I guess liability issues came into play since the club sanctioned the event.


#16 MtlJeff

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:05 PM

View PostHattori Hanzo, on 26 November 2012 - 12:48 PM, said:

Great read Jeff!

Where does the one-handed followthrough fall on this spectrum? I used to think it was no big deal as the club was staying in my hand and I wasn't slamming it or anything, but yesterday I blocked a drive and did this and my brother told me to "chill out".

I think the one handed whip follow through is a level 2, it's essentially the same as the fake club throw. It might or might now merit a "chill out" depending on the speed of the whipping action!

LOL
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#17 nbg352

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:32 PM

I dunno what to think.....
Every one of the guys I play with goes at least to level two and often to the far end of it into level three at least once a round. None of us thinks anything of it.  We all laugh at the offender and the tension is usually gone in no time. We know when to leave someone "alone" for a hole or two. We know he'll jump back onto the cart sooner or later. And we know where not to be standing when a club toss is imminent. It will always head down the fairway, 'cause as Tommy Bolt once said, it's easier to pick the club up on the way to the green, than it is to walk back for it.
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#18 Sean2

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:44 PM

Just a ps: I picked up the game at 50, maybe that's why I never properly learned how to throw a club. :-)

#19 fr0sty

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:33 AM

I loled at work, thanks.  

(Funny read!)
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#20 Jack Pearsall

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:01 PM

Jack Pearsall was once a hot head, as a young man. Not too bad a hot head, but enough that he purposely decided to change his demeanor and countenance on the course. It was a transcendent moment for Jack, changed his life and his relationship to the world.

Jack went from being a fool in the rough to....to....one who marvels at the beauty about him -- even in the midst of seeming disaster.
Yes, it was a very Zen experience, grasshopper.

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#21 youngstructural

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:51 PM

I've never tossed a club, (because I pay too much for them), but I will angrily "take a walk" and head up to my ball or walk from the green to the next tee, rather than ride, and quietly berate my self.

Outwardly I've at worst hit level 1, inwardly ... I've gone nuclear.  Lol.
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#22 jastroud

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:35 PM

First and last time I came close to throwing a club...I was in high school and my dad let me borrow his set of new Pings to go play one day.  I remember hitting a bad shot with his 8 iron on # 17, I walked over to the hoofer bag and hit the stand leg.  Bent the leg AND the shaft of that 8 iron.  I had to pay to replace both.  Any lesson that involves the loss of hard earned funds from stupidity, I usually learn quickly.
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#23 butch33611

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:19 PM

I believe golf is a huge indicator of ones Character. Anyone can be all smiles when things are going our way. Its when their not that a mans true Character will surface. If you act like an idiot at the golf course its more likely then not your an idiot every place else as well. The man who stays calm under stressful situations and keeps his temper in check is the man whos more likely able to forget the last shot and concentrate on the next one and get better results.

Also a man of lesser Character will have fewer playing partners unless he can find others with equal or lesser Character then himself.

There's no excuse for throwing clubs and acting out on a golf course no matter how you try and justify it. Its an imature and childish behavior. You would scold your 10 year old for that kind of behavior so how could you possibly justify it as an adult. Your playing partners may not say it out loud but Im sure the word idiot crosses their minds.

If you cant control your temper on a golf course you should find something else to do and save others from having to indure your foolishness.

#24 Socrates

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:43 PM

View Postbutch33611, on 27 November 2012 - 04:19 PM, said:

I believe golf is a huge indicator of ones Character. Anyone can be all smiles when things are going our way. Its when their not that a mans true Character will surface. If you act like an idiot at the golf course its more likely then not your an idiot every place else as well. The man who stays calm under stressful situations and keeps his temper in check is the man whos more likely able to forget the last shot and concentrate on the next one and get better results.

Also a man of lesser Character will have fewer playing partners unless he can find others with equal or lesser Character then himself.

There's no excuse for throwing clubs and acting out on a golf course no matter how you try and justify it. Its an imature and childish behavior. You would scold your 10 year old for that kind of behavior so how could you possibly justify it as an adult. Your playing partners may not say it out loud but Im sure the word idiot crosses their minds.

If you cant control your temper on a golf course you should find something else to do and save others from having to indure your foolishness.
A great thread and then you go and get all Confucius on us.
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#25 nbg352

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:55 PM

I often find that people of character can be boring to be around much. That's why I like to play with characters. They keep me amused and the odd tossed club seems a small price to pay for the company of such diverse personalities.
It's all in what you're used to, I think.
And like many a good parent, I taught my son to do as i say, not as I do. I've never seen him throw a club and he's never seen me do it, either.

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#26 butch33611

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:58 PM

View PostSocrates, on 27 November 2012 - 04:43 PM, said:

View Postbutch33611, on 27 November 2012 - 04:19 PM, said:

I believe golf is a huge indicator of ones Character. Anyone can be all smiles when things are going our way. Its when their not that a mans true Character will surface. If you act like an idiot at the golf course its more likely then not your an idiot every place else as well. The man who stays calm under stressful situations and keeps his temper in check is the man whos more likely able to forget the last shot and concentrate on the next one and get better results.

Also a man of lesser Character will have fewer playing partners unless he can find others with equal or lesser Character then himself.

There's no excuse for throwing clubs and acting out on a golf course no matter how you try and justify it. Its an imature and childish behavior. You would scold your 10 year old for that kind of behavior so how could you possibly justify it as an adult. Your playing partners may not say it out loud but Im sure the word idiot crosses their minds.

If you cant control your temper on a golf course you should find something else to do and save others from having to indure your foolishness.
A great thread and then you go and get all Confucius on us.

Not quite sure it was that profound but its true enough.

#27 butch33611

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:09 PM

View Postnbg352, on 27 November 2012 - 04:55 PM, said:

I often find that people of character can be boring to be around much. That's why I like to play with characters. They keep me amused and the odd tossed club seems a small price to pay for the company of such diverse personalities.
It's all in what you're used to, I think.
And like many a good parent, I taught my son to do as i say, not as I do. I've never seen him throw a club and he's never seen me do it, either.

Its everyones choice to pick thier playing partners. Im just not perticularly amused by idiots. As for the second thought about doing as I say, not as I do. Thats flawed thinking. Its the easy way out that does not work. Kids learn by example. They watch everything the parents do and say. This is how they learn. Setting the example yourself will go a long way twards how your kids grow up. Actions in your everyday life around your kids speaks volumes to your kids in their development and what they see as proper behavior.

#28 KILLEDBYASHANKEDWEDGE

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:11 PM

"You threw your club. Now what?"

Go pick it up.

#29 360_CS

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:14 PM

Awesome read.

#30 butch33611

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:18 PM

I was playing in a tournament years ago and our group had the idiot who banged clubs down after a bad shot and there were many. On 17 after he missed a putt he threw his putter into the woods. Him and another guy walked twards the woods to find his putter. I started back to the cart and my partner said, are you going to help him find his club? No im not. Im going to the next tee. He hopped in the cart and we finished the round without the idiot.


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