What Nate Lashley did Sunday on the 16th green at Pebble Beach Golf Links was a travesty.
And I'm not talking about the four putt that cost him thousands of dollars, critical FedEx Cup points and a potential career-changing win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The thunderous Thor slam of his putter, damaging the green, was among the most cringe-worthy things I've ever seen on a PGA Tour telecast.
To me, outside of cheating, damaging the green is the biggest sin you can commit in golf. Sure, hitting on the cart girl and club tossing are embarrassing, but the greens are every golf course's sacred temple, especially at a legendary place like Pebble Beach. Even if the evidence of Lashley's dirty deed has already been repaired, the repercussions of his outburst will linger.
Every golfer can understand the embarrassment of a four putt. But this is a gentleman's game where etiquette trumps all. Lashley could have done any number of alternatives to let out his frustration. A putter toss, or a good ninja kick of the golf bag. He could have verbally abused his caddie for the four bad reads (J/K, of course). Anything but take a divot in one of Pebble's most notorious greens. The 16th is more tilted than San Francisco's steep Lombard Street.
It's also disappointing that Lashley didn't own up to his gaffe. He looked back at the damage and kept on walking. He should have turned around and started repairing it right then and there. He didn't even have to enter the confessional booth - the media center - after the round to ask forgiveness and make amends publicly. I'm sure the Tour gave him a good scolding, if not with a fine, then at least a firm talking-to.
I enjoy watching Lashley play. I texted my golf buddies during the round that we could all learn from his "high hands" follow through. He flushes the ball. I like rooting for underdogs like Lashley, but I'm not sure I can root for him anymore. Unless he comes clean with a public apology, his reputation, in my eyes, is as damaged as that hole in the 16th green.
What's the point of my rant? Treat every green like the hood of your car. Don't swipe, slash, smash or smush them after your flat stick goes AWOL. We get you're frustrated. Don't turn the incident into an embarrassing situation that leaves other golfers questioning your character.
What's the most embarrassing or sinful moment you've seen occur on a green? Let us know in the comments below.