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10 Things That Golfers Wish They Had Not Done

By: | Thu 14 Sep 2017 | Comments

Most of us have done things on a golf course that we later wish we hadn't. Maybe it was smashing a club on the ground in temper. Perhaps it was throwing a club after a poor shot. It is that sort of a game. It can drive you stark raving mad. It can turn the most mild-mannered individuals into monsters - and it has done. Often.

Or maybe the moment you regret is trying to pull off a shot from a dodgy lie and ending up on your backside after losing your balance. Don't worry - you are not alone. Here we look at 10 things that golfers wish they hadn't done.

Sergio Garcia breaking his putter

Masters champion Sergio Garcia has long had a hate-hate relationship with his putter. The Spaniard has suffered his fair share of agonies on the green, so much so that he went left hand below right. When that didn't work, he opted for the claw grip. Success! He won The Masters. However, Garcia still misses more short putts than most. He also struggles from long range sometimes. During the third round of the Dell Technologies Open he hit a dreadful putt that finished some 15 feet from the hole. He was using a new putter. It didn't last long. After he hit the putt he slammed the club into the ground, breaking it in the process. He holed the 15-footer with a three wood, but it all went south after that. He putted with his driver, he putted with an assortment of irons. At the end of the day, however, he really wished that he hadn't broken that putter.

Richard Finch falling in the water, Irish Open

Richard Finch came to the final hole at the Irish Open in 2008 leading the tournament. All that he had to do was find the middle of the fairway but the Englishman pulled his drive. It appeared to be bound for the river but, incredibly, came to rest on a steep bank, defying gravity. Unfortunately, Finch was unable to defy gravity when he decided to play the ball from where it lay. As he made contact, he lost his balance and tumbled into the river behind him. He emerged dripping wet and shivering but, to his credit, he not only finished the hole but did enough to win the tournament.

Thomas Levet overdoing the celebrations

It was no surprise that Thomas Levet was rather happy when he won the French Open in 2011 in front of an adoring home crowd. After holing the winning putt, Levet decided that he would jump in a lake to celebrate. Bad idea. Very bad idea. He didn't realise there were rocks under the surface of the water - and he landed on one and broke his leg. He missed that year's Open and was out of action for two months.

Cody Gribble getting up close to an alligator

It is a well known fact that alligators are bad-tempered, cussed creatures that don't really have a lot of time for human beings. And you wouldn't want to mess with one, would you? Especially if you happen to be somebody who makes his living as a tournament professional. Get on the wrong side of an alligator and the chances are that you will be losing a limb fairly quickly. So what on earth possessed Cody Gribble, during the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, to walk up to an alligator that was sitting beside a lake minding its own business and flick it by the tail? Fortunately for Gribble, the croc had already eaten that day...

Jean Van de Velde hitting a driver on the 72nd hole at Carnoustie

The Frenchman came to the final hole of The Open Championship in 1999 requiring a six to win. He hit a dreadful drive and was incredibly fortunate that it didn't finish up in the water. He then attempted a ridiculously ambitious second shot that he carved way right into a near unplayable lie. It all went downhill from that moment on. He also ended up clambering into the Barry Burn, shoes and socks off, trousers rolled up - something else he surely now wishes he hadn't done. By the time he was finished he had taken seven shots and went on to lose in a playoff.

Kevin Na wishing he had found the fairway

Playing in the first round of the Valero Texas Open in 2011, Kevin Na sliced his drive into trees and bushes on the ninth hole. After inspecting his lie with his caddie they agreed he had no shot, so he headed back to the tee. Now playing three, Na hit his next drive into exactly the same place. But this time he decided that he wasn't going to be beaten by a bit of undergrowth. His fourth shot hit a tree and the ball rebounded and struck his leg, meaning he incurred a one-shot penalty. By the time he finally got the ball back on the fairway he had played TWELVE shots. At one point he even had to ask his caddie how many shots he had played as he had lost count. He eventually completed the hole in 16 strokes, a PGA Tour record.

Henrik Stenson coming off second best after breaking a club over his knee

The 2016 Open champion has a bit of a temper - as he would be the first to admit. During the final round of the 2011 US Open he came to the 15th hole and struck an iron shot that missed the target. The Swede decided to take out his frustration on the club, snapping the steel shaft in anger. Unfortunately, he came off second best, badly cutting his right index finger. With blood pouring from the wound, Stenson had to bandage his finger before he could finish his round.

John Daly losing the plot (and all his golf balls)

Not for nothing is John Daly known as the Wild Thing, but he truly excelled himself during the Australian Open in 2011. He was seven over par after 10 holes after a triple-bogey at the 10th. That was bad enough, but there was worse to come. At the 11th hole he found the fairway and had to clear a lake to reach the green. His first attempt came up short, in the water. As did his second attempt. And his third. And his fourth. Oh yes, and so did his fifth try. Guess what happened to his six try? And his seventh. And it was when his seventh ball disappeared into the water that his caddie informed him he had no golf balls left. Whoops! Daly shrugged his shoulders, turned round and walked off the course. His behaviour cost him his place in the field for the following week's Australian PGA Championship - not to mention his appearance fee. In case you had lost count, had he had another golf ball he would have been hitting his 16th shot.
Skating on thin ice
There are some things you should never, ever do. You might think that stepping onto frozen water and attempting to hit a golf shot would be pretty high up that list. And you would be right. There are two very real possibilities, neither of which are especially mouthwatering. The most obvious one is that the ice may not be as thick as you think it is and could give way under your weight; the other is that there is a pretty good chance you are going to lose your balance in the act of playing the shot. And then there is the possibility of both of those things happening in unison. Last year a golfer was filmed attempting to do the above. As he hit the ball, he fell over and landed on the ice, which then cracked and broke. Check out the result here.
My mate Mark's dumbest moment
We all know that golf can be a frustrating game - an incredibly frustrating game. Each and every one of us have had one of those rounds of golf where everything has gone wrong, where we couldn't hit a barn door from six feet. And those of us who play with golf societies know that sometimes it can all go horribly wrong. This is a brief tale about somebody I know. Let's say that his name is Mark (because that is his name). A group of 16 of us were playing in fourballs at The Essex. Mark was in the group ahead of us and it was pretty obvious to all of us that he was having an absolute nightmare. We came to the ninth hole, which features rather a lot of water. As we waited to drive, Mark had finally found the middle of a fairway. His next shot found a lake in front of the green. He looked behind him. There was another lake. We watched in disbelief as he lifted his trolley and threw it into the water, complete with golf bag and clubs. He then stormed off up the fairway before stopping dead in his tracks. He had realised that the golf bag contained his wallet, his car keys and his mobile phone. We were in hysterics as he headed back to the lake, took off his shoes, socks, top and trousers and jumped into the water to retrieve his clubs. Moral of the story? If you are going to dump your clubs in the water, empty the bag first of all.

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