Worst Case Wednesday: How to Disarm an Irate Golfer

Posted by Jennifer Murphy

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Sportsmanship is one of those hit-or-miss traits. Not everyone is blessed with the ability to curb their competitive streaks, and you don’t know who is simmering with bottled-up rage. Golf is a quiet sport that requires a great deal of respectful silence for long periods of time. It’s not for overly emotional people, or for those who tend to lose their tempers. It’s just not a good match. That’s why an enraged golfer is rare in this sport. If you encounter a golfer who has severely lost his cool, you’d better act quickly because you don’t know how long that pot has been boiling. To guide you through this dangerous situation, use the tips provided in The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Guide: Golf.

Note: These survival tips can also help with miniature golf, especially because no one is a professional and competitors are more likely to make fun of each other for missing the hole ten times. Just saying.

How to Disarm an Irate Golfer:

1. Determine the level of danger. If a golfer is waving a club around angrily or drunkenly, or is exhibiting undue hostility, it may be necessary to act quickly to restore order and safety.

2. Try to talk him down. Speak calmly, keeping your tone even and your voice low. Do not make sudden gestures or movements. Remind him that it’s only a game. Tell him to take a few deep breaths.

3. If he threatens to strike, quickly move into the center of the potential swing. As he draws the club back to swing at you, approach him at an angle that will bring you closer to the center of the club. Try to remain close to his body. You are much more likely to be injured by the outer end of the club.

4. Grab the club. At the top of the swing, or just as the club starts to descend, step close to him and, using one grip or both hands, clutch the club tightly near the grip. Pull down, staying close to him, until you can wrap your arm around the club. Hold the shaft with your armpit while keeping a firm grasp on the club’s grip.

5. Wrench the club away. Maintaining your hold, rotate your body around, away from the golfer’s face. This maneuver should give you the leverage you need to wrench the club out of his grip. Pull with just enough force to free the club from his grasp.

6. Step back quickly, and be prepared for him to continue to be angry and flail. If necessary, use the club to keep him away from the bag, where he might obtain a second weapon.

7. If necessary, call for help. Seek the assistance of your fellow golfers to help diffuse the situation.

8. Continue to talk to him until he calms down.