Golf Horror Stories

When you’d swear you can almost SEE the ghosts of another year’s worth of missed birdie putts, hovering over the green like a fog, you know it’s almost Halloween! Hopefully you didn’t have too many bad rounds in ’09, but even if you did, chances are your WORST round couldn’t hold a candle to some of these GOLFIN’ HORROR STORIES from years passed:

From the golfer who lost his arm to an alligator in South Carolina while attempting to fish his ball out of a water hazard, this Malaysian golfer who got 38 stitches in his leg from a crocodile he thought was a log and this teenager in Australia who wandered into the long grass and found an angry kangaroo, and many more, it’s apparent that leavin’ behind a sleeve or three of golf balls might not so bad after all.

Besides, it turns out you don’t even need to be playin’ golf to get in trouble with the wildlife on a golf course! Just ask George Petta, who suffered some serious scratches to the face from a large bear as he worked on a course in New Jersey. Luckily George got away from Yogi and was even able to return to work that same day. [New Jersey Herald, 07-04-2006]

Sometimes it’s the human animals you’ve got to look out for. We’ve all heard about tragedies like these:

  • A 79 year old golfer was beat to death on a golf course over a lost golf ball. Robert Carnathan, 54, was charged with the death of the 79-year-old man. Apparently it was Carnathan’s regular turf for lost golf ball collection, but the victim had picked up a single ball that he had stumbled upon for his grandson. [Daily Press (Victorville), 12-5-02] [Boston Herald, 11-13-02]
  • William Michael Grant, 61, slipped and fell to his death while reaching to retrieve his ball, which he’d hit over an island green during a tournament at Sherrill Park Resort in Texas.

I’ve often heard that golf is a game you play against yourself. Well, a Florida man took that saying too far during a day at the driving range when he struck a golf ball which immediately hit the tee marker, ricocheted back and hit him in the eye.

And as bad as that is, the ultimate golf course tragedy belongs to Scott Parlin, of Dallas, Texas, who was out enjoying a round of golf at the course where his father worked as a marshal. Unaware that his father was watching him, he teed off as normal. ScottÂ’s shot bounced off of a tree and struck his father in the neck, killing him.

Hopefully these horror stories will help put your missed putts and short shanks into perspective: Any day every member of your foursome makes it back to the parking lot counts as a great round compared to these stories. That said, I’d like hear from my Rock Heads – what are some strange or awful golf stories you’ve come across? Feel free to share your stories or respond to any of the ones I have listed above.


PS: Need a pick-me-up? To lighten the mood a little, check out this video of amusing golf mishaps.

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