If you’ve been reading the site in recent months, you might have noticed a trend: golf courses are starting to resemble war zones. Just last week a student assistant football coach at Texas had a deal with a nut job pointing a gun at him because his foursome was playing to slow; there are countless other examples of golf games turning violent recently - my personal favorite is still the guy who attacked a 12-year-old kid who picked up his golf ball with his club.
We’re not the only one who has spotted this trend: The NEW YORK TIMES decided to turn their attention to what they call “golf rage” and find out just what is making America’s duffers become mountains of rage and anger. Their conclusion: golf is such a frustrating game, that it really is a four-letter word. Hardy har har.
Of course, there’s more to it than that. Most incidents occur at public courses, which are usually overcrowded messes with everyone hitting into someone else’s group or seething because they have to wait 20 minutes to tee off because some jerk is trying to decide what club to use from the rough as he’s hitting his eighth shot. And then there’s booze, which tends to act as a lubricant for golf rage moments.
Also, blame Tiger Woods: the author of a book called “Mental Rules for Golf” says that people try to imitate him on the course - at least, his propensity for blowing up at himself when he hits a bad shot.
“Everyone sees Tiger Woods get mad on the golf course, but do they notice that he quickly comes back to a calmness that allows him to concentrate on the next shot?” Steinberg said. “Most golfers have a preshot routine but need a postshot routine, too. If you hit a bad shot, give yourself a few seconds to figure out what happened. You need that release. But don’t overanalyze it. Say to yourself, ‘Next shot,’ and move on with a clear mind.”
Me, I try to mimic Angel Cabrera on the golf course. It has nothing to do with his temperment, though: it’s just my excuse to wolf down a carton of cigarettes during a round. Suprisingly, I’m usually pretty calm with a metric ton of nicotene flowing through my system.