Why it's never a good idea to throw a golf club in anger

Golf is a game of control and composure. Don't lose yours by tossing a club.
Matt Every of the United States throws his club during the second round of the AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest Golf Club on May 10, 2019, in Dallas, Texas.

I'm guilty. You're guilty. We've all been guilty (I think).

You're not a golfer if you haven't thrown a golf club in anger or disgust. Dare I say it's part of the game? The key is to make sure the first time you do it is also the last.

The latest club-throwing incident in professional golf turned into embarrassing comedic relief this weekend. Joost Luiten lost his cool after an errant tee shot on the ninth hole during Sunday's final round of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai and tossed his driver up into a tree at Jumeirah Golf Estates. It never came down. Eventually two other clubs got stuck trying to knock it loose. Thankfully, the DP World Tour's social media team has a sense of humor and shared the incident for all to see.

Name a tour pro and fans can probably recall a club-throwing fiasco. Rory famously tossed his 3 iron into a hazard at Doral's Blue Monster in 2015. Google "Justin Thomas" and "club throw" and a few incidents pop up. Charles Schwartzel helicoptered an iron last year at the Valspar Championship.

There are lots of reasons to emulate tour pros, but studying their club-throwing technique is not one of them. Etiquette is a big part of this game, and the club toss is the worst possible form of it.

The worst part of the club toss is how it affects everyone in the foursome. Nobody knows how to react. The tosser is definitely miffed, and probably a little sheepish, too. The playing partners are stuck trying to figure out: Should I pretend it didn't happen? Should I make a joke to lighten the mood? Should I go console the offender? It's awkward.

I vividly remember the last time I chucked a club. I was playing Bandon Trails during my only visit to Bandon Dunes in 2015. I have lots of excuses why I lost my cool - I was probably tired from all the walking and sick of all the bad luck with the weather we were having. It slushed, sleeted and rained on us every day. Still, there's no excuse for acting like a petulant child. I was at the No. 1 golf resort in the world, and millions of golfers would have gladly traded places with me in that moment. It really didn't matter if I was playing good golf or bad. I think that perspective taught me never to toss again.

Throwing a club might feel like the right decision in the heat of the moment. The reality is it never results in anything positive for anyone. You could hurt someone or yourself. You could break or lose the club. You could sour the mood for the rest of the round. Nobody likes playing with an angry golfer.

What's your most embarrassing club-throwing experience? Confess in the comments below - you're among friends here.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Why it's never a good idea to throw a golf club in anger