There are few things in sports more beautiful than a majestic drive or perfect putt. Still, the sport of golf can also raise blood pressure and create tremendous angst. Some well-known sports media pros reflect on what gets their goat on the course.
“Golf is the most miserable, rotten sport anyone could invent,” jokes best-selling author Peter Golenbock. “I recently played in a celebrity tournament
at Isla Del Sol in St. Petersburg. I was at the 17th hole needing to sink a two-foot putt. I hit it three feet to the left, wheeled around, and tossed my putter into the air.
“Golf is the only game where you can be 100 yards out in perfect position for a 2-putt, and then shank the thing into a sand trap. I try to make sure no one is watching before I throw my club onto the green!”
ESPN New Hampshire and Boston sports radio personality Pete Sheppard pinpoints his ire. “The most frustrating part for me is that I can actually make a 60-foot putt, but for the life of me, I cannot make a 5 or 6 foot putt. I would rather hit out of a bunker than have to hit a short putt. I even took lessons to try to fix it. It is completely frightening.”
Former WEEI and current 710 ESPN Seattle sports talker Mike Salk agrees stating, “I was a baseball player as a kid. I really couldn’t stand golf and never watched it. At first, I was terrible. I would go out with friends and would have to give up on a couple of holes because I just couldn’t do it.
“I get mad when I shank one or don’t hit the ball the way I should. I’m still horrible, but completely obsessed. I stay awake nights visualizing how I would play a certain course.”
98.5 The Sports Hub Bruins’ play-by-play man Dave Goucher has mellowed a bit with age. He relates, “I used to play a lot at a par-3 course called Firefly in Seekonk, MA. A car dealership bordered the left side of the 10th fairway.
“The dealer got tired of my golf balls crashing into his lot, so he put up a net. I’m very competitive by nature and used to lose my temper out there when I was younger.”
He continues, “The 11th hole was a par three uphill, and I was hitting into the wind. I was going to hit a seven iron, but decided to switch to a six iron. I saw the ball bounce off the green, but didn’t see it go in.
“I had to pick up my kid at day care, so I left after the 14th hole. They sent me a plaque and I kept the ball. I can’t complain. Giardi’s ability to find success in anger goes back a long way, He relates, “I was 14 and playing in Falmouth. The 15th hole was about 270 yards, and I hit an absolutely terrible drive.
“My next shot bounced off the green and went right into the cup. Here I was slashing my way through the course, and I end up with an eagle. I think my friend and I invented the chest bump after that.”
John Molori is an author and columnist for numerous publications. Like him on Facebook at John Molori, Twitter @MoloriMedia. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.