In addition to being a sports fan, I'm still a weekend warrior. Eons ago, when I was in high school, I played football, basketball, and golf, all with differing degrees of disastrous results. Let's just say the teams I played on never reached the pinnacle of athletic success - or any modicum of success for that matter. Lucky for me, the continued beatings on the fields of play as a teen have not discouraged me from continuing to pursue athletic failure well into my 30s. In the winter I play in a weekly pick up basketball game and in the summer I play on a softball team and in a golf league. In other words, although I'm past my athletic prime (and what a piss-poor prime it was), I enjoy competition, but years of losing have taught me not too take things so seriously.....or so I thought.
Last week before I left for a little vacation I was playing in my golf league, which is filled with mostly great guys and mostly terrible golfers. No one takes it too seriously and everyone generally gets along. The highlights of the night usually come at the bar afterwards where we proceed to bust balls and see how much pizza and beer we can make disappear.
This year I have one of the lowest handicaps in the league (it's not saying anything, trust me) and even though I haven't been playing all that well, the damn thing doesn't seem to be going up very much. I've also missed a bunch of weeks because work keeps getting in the way. That's a really long way of saying I'm near the bottom of the league standings. But hey, it's golf and a night out, you can't ask for much more than that, especially in upstate NY, where the weather is f*cking miserable 6 months of the year.
So last week's round begins and I'm playing one of the most consistent guys in the league, who also happens to be one of the nicest - and let's just say things don't get off to a great start when my second shot of the round takes a freak bounce and goes out of bounds. Mr. Triple Bogey quickly followed (Mr. Triple is an asshole). From there I manage to rip a huge drive on the second tee, hit the green in two and then proceed to 4 putt. That is not a typo, I 4 putted. The first putt was so bad it rolled right off the green. As you can imagine, this turn of events was quite distressing to me, and things quickly went downhill from there.
But the golf gods are strange, evil people, and after the 4 putt they graced me with a beautiful sight - the beer cart. Thinking that all I needed to turn my game around was some swing lube, I bought a couple of beers and was on my way. Unfortunately, the beer didn't help my swing and on the 7th tee, I'm 3 down with 3 to play. The fact that the match was still going on at that point was a minor miracle in itself.
On the tee I crush another drive that somehow found the fairway and I'm looking at about 110 yards to the green. My opponent is quite a distance back and struggling on the hole. All it's going to take to put a ball on the middle of the green is a smooth pitching wedge. This is where the story gets fun. I set up over the shot, get comfortable, make a good backswing and then, even though I've been playing golf for 20 years, I did the first thing anyone tells a beginner not to do - I picked my head up and ended up hitting a screaming skull shot that went 10 feet high and 140 yards long, settling deep in the woods behind the green. It was at that point, exasperated, that I did this with my club:
That's right, I proceed to break my pitching wedge over my knee. Don't believe me? Here's what it ended up looking like:
What makes this little temper tantrum better is that I honestly didn't mean to do it. I grabbed the club and ripped it down to my knee, meaning to pull up and mimic breaking a bat, but like everything that day, my aim was completely f*cking off. What I was left with was a sick feeling as the club folded in half over my thigh.
While this will be hard to believe this little outburst was rare. One time when I was 16 I got mad and thew a 5 iron that got stuck waaaaaay up in a tree - my old man made me climb up there to get it and I cut the crap out of myself in the process, so that pretty much cured my desire to become a full blown club abuser. Sure I'm prone to profane outbursts, but come on, show me someone that doesn't swear on the golf course and I'll show you Richard Simmons girlfriend.
To make the incident even more fun, that wedge I destroyed came from A NEW SET OF IRONS. This spring, for the first time in 12 years I bought a new set of irons, Callaway Big Berthas, which I love. They cost me about $600 and I thought I'd have them for the next 10 years or so......well, I still have the wedge, there's just more of it now.
So let this be a lesson to you kids, if you feel yourself getting mad on the golf course, don't be an idiot - just say no to breaking clubs over your knee - because if you don't, it will cost about $40 to get it reshafted, or $75 for a new club.