Playing with angry golfers who throw clubs, damage greens or other parts of the course or take out their frustrations on the caddie is never much fun.
There’s a legend about an irate golfer who, in a fit of pique pitched his golf clubs into a water hazard, then realized his car keys were in the bag, dived into the water to retrieve it, became entangled in the weeds, and drowned. We’re not sure about the truth of this story, however there are a number of true accounts about angry golfers who have vented their dissatisfaction with the game on an inanimate object, with fatal results.
The life of a teenage boy was indeed ended by the very club he used on a bench as a way of venting his displeasure over a bad shot. In 1994, 16-year-old Jeremy Brenno of Gloversville, New York, was killed when he struck a bench with a golf club, and the shaft broke, bounced back at him, and pierced his heart. Brenno had missed a shot on the sixth hole at the Kingsboro Golf Club and looked to vent his frustration by giving the nearby bench a good whack in retaliation. The fatal club was a No. 3 wood.
Brenno’s is not the only accidental death by golf club. In 2005, 15-year-old Rafael Naranjo of Gardner, Massachusetts, expired after playfully swinging a 5-iron he’d found in the street at a fire hydrant. His act caused part of the shaft, along with the head of the club, to break off and lodge in his neck. In 1951, Edward Harrison was playing a round at Inglewood in Kenmore, Washington, when the shaft of his driver broke and pierced his groin. He staggered 100 yards before collapsing and bleeding to death. In 2005, 12-year-old Chandler Hugh Jackson of Frisco, Texas, died in Cunningham, Kentucky, after apparently falling onto a broken golf club at Dogwood Hill club. A piece of the club’s shaft went through the boy’s chest and pierced his aorta. The message is clear. Golf Clubs have a way of taking out their vengeance if they are misused! Take it easy, take a deep breath and then gently return your club back in the bag, no matter how badly you played the shot.