Golf Moments That Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

This article first appeared on Golfshake.com in Dec 2016.

IF YOU haven’t seen the video featuring the club golfer who decided to hit a recovery shot from an ice-covered pond then you really should check it out. It was a seriously bad idea and, predictably, it ended in disaster.

It got us thinking about other bad ideas on the golf course.

We start with English golfer Richard Finch. He won the Irish Open in 2008 but is best remembered for the shot he hit at the final hole. He had narrowly avoided dumping his ball into the river Maigue and decided that, despite the precarious angle from which it needed to be played, he would have a crack at the green. He made solid enough contact but lost his balance and ended up in the river. It was not the most dignified end to his tournament, but Finch didn’t care.

Thomas Levet was a happy man when he won the French Open in 2011. Well, it is not every day that you win your national title. Levet, who is known for his extravagant celebrations, decided to jump into a lake alongside the 18th green. He looked happy enough when he stood up, dripping wet. But then he realized that he was in pain – serious pain. It turned out that he had broken his leg, and ended up missing three months of the 2011 season.

At the Players Championship at Sawgrass in 2004, Ian Poulter accidentally threw his ball into the water on the fourth hole. He needed to locate it in order to avoid a two shot penalty. His fitness coach, Kam Bhabra, volunteered to go in and have a look for the offending ball. The good news was that he found the ball. The not-so-good news was there may have been an alligator lurking around, so in Bhabra had to make for dry land pretty quickly.

Woody Austin was playing for the USA in the Presidents Cup match in Montreal in 2007 and decided that he could play a recovery shot from the water, even though the ball was completely submerged; we presume this was something he had tried previously. It didn’t exactly go to plan – as Austin tried to dip his sand wedge through the water he lost his balance and fell back into the lake. The best part of this mishap was the expression of his playing partner, Jim Furyk, who had to pull his cap over his face to hide his laughter.

Pablo Larrazabal was playing in the Malaysian Open in 2014 on a hot and humid day. An insect landed on his face and he made the mistake of flicking it off with his hand – all that he succeeded in doing was making the insect very angry. It turned out to be a hornet and, although with about 30 of its friends, it decided to attack the Spanish golfer. He was chased down the fairway by the swarm and was stung more than 20 times, escaping only when he jumped into a lake.

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