The 8 Best Club Throws in Golf History

Ben Alberstadt@benalberstadtFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2013

The 8 Best Club Throws in Golf History

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    Most golfers have seen some seriously epic club tosses at the local municipal course. Perhaps, you yourself have whipped your three wood into a tree in a fit of rage, or sent your wedge for a swim in a nearby pond after a duffed chip.

    The worst club throw I have ever been party to took place on the first tee of the club I used to work at.

    A member, particularly unimpressed with his opening tee shot, flung his driver directly behind him. The thing flew like a boomerang into the face of his playing partner, shattering his nose.

    Which leads me to my next point, a sort of golf PSA: Be an adult and hold on to your clubs.

    This being said, the all-time best club toss in golf history undoubtedly belongs to Judge Smails. However, His Honor was never a member of the PGA Tour and is thus unfortunately excluded from this list.

    Here are the best PGA Tour players' club tosses captured on video. 

Dishonorable Mention: Michael Phelps on the Haney Project

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    It's quite safe to say that Michael Phelps is a much better swimmer than he is a club thrower. This left-handed overhead toss on The Haney Project displayed the Olympian's inexperience in the finer points of on-course emotional outbursts. 

    We can only hope that as esteemed teaching professional Hank Haney helps Phelps improve his golf swing, he will also instruct him in the subtleties of the club toss. Haney ought to know a bit about the subject, considering his former star pupil's love of blaming his tools—which you'll see evidence of later in this list. 

8. John Daly at the Scandinavian Masters (2007)

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    As even the casual golf fan knows, Long John has a history of outrageous on-course behavior, including playing sans shirt or shoes (admittedly not at a tour event). The 1991 PGA Championship winner is also noted for making incredibly high scores on individual holes and, well, hitting a lot of balls in the water consecutively, as he did at the 2011 Australian Open. At that tournament he launched seven balls into the wet stuff, reportedly running out of ammunition. 

    Daly's addition to this list of club hurlers is relatively tame. The golfer does, however, perfectly demonstrate the "spear-throwing" method of golf club chucking. Golfers looking to broaden their club-tossing repertoires will want to study the clip in detail.  

7. Charley Hoffman at the Players Championship (2008)

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    Charley Hoffman lost his California cool a couple of years ago at the Players Championship.

    Hoffman missed a six-footer, powering it a couple of feet beyond the hole. He hurried his comeback putt, and when it lipped out the long-haired UNLV grad was poised to flip out. After cleaning up what was left, Hoffman plucked his ball from the hole, took a couple of strides and with a flip of his wrist, rather calmly sent his club end-over-end into the nearby water hazard.

    On the positive side of things, the offending club didn't trouble Hoffman any further that round. Negatively, however, he still had five holes to play when he jettisoned the flatstick.

6. Pat Perez at the Shell Houston Open (2010)

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    At the Shell Houston Open, Pat Perez flung his club away in disgust after (apparently) not hitting the ball as close to the pin as he would have liked. Double P's temper is the stuff of legend and this club toss is one of many Perez-ian outbursts on tour.

    The golfer was described by Sports Illustrated's Rick Lipsey as "a temper-tantrum machine and an embarrassment to the PGA Tour." Lipsey wrote the aforementioned following Perez's outrageous behavior at the 2011 Reno-Tahoe open, where he stormed away from the course in a rage and made children cry.

    Compared to that incident, then, this club hurl is nothing for Mr. Perez. 

5. Henrik Stenson at the Dubai Desert Classic (2011)

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    At least he kept his pants on.

    This club toss really speaks for itself. Alternatively, the YouTube video, a screen recording by German golf fans, is simply incredible. Although I don't speak a word of German, I'm sure they're reacting much the same way I did to Stenson's backwards wedge hurl. This clip is a legitimate LOL-er, for me.  

4. Sergio Garcia at the Thailand Golf Championship (2011)

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    Sergio Garcia has a distinguished history of on-course outbursts. A few years ago, there was this tantrum in a bunker. Most recently, Sergio reprised his bunker-demolishing ways in Dubai, violently attacking a sand trap.  

    This club toss, following a blocked tee shot at the Thailand Golf Championship in 2011, conveys an essential truth about throwing a club: If you want to achieve maximum distance and velocity, you've got to rotate the torso optimally so that power is transferred to the wrist in a lever action....much like the golf swing, really.

3. Tiger Woods at the Australian Masters (2009)

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    Even more ridiculous than Tiger bouncing his driver into the crowd is the total (but predictable) lack of concern Woods shows when retrieving the club. Any argument about Woods' passion and the way it sometimes manifests negatively must stop short of condoning the golfer spiking his golf club so violently that it careens into the gallery.

    Not only is the toss itself notable, but the incident is a fitting encapsulation of "Bad Tiger" (on the golf course, anyways). Not only does Woods not care about acting like an adolescent, throwing his clubs and launching into profane tirades, he doesn't care about the fans in the gallery enough to apologize for hurtling a club their way, or to make sure everyone's okay. Rather, he just assumes that the fans will rush to return his club (which they do) because he is, well, Tiger Woods

2. Tiger Woods at the Masters (2012)

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    Technically, Tiger didn't throw his club. He did, however, give it a healthy boot. The incident was evidence of two things: Woods' disgust with his own inability to execute in majors, and the golfer's total disregard for decorum when he's upset...even at the Cathedral of Golf. His tantrum on the 16th was presaged by a loose shot and customary profane outburst on the previous hole.

    Woods kicking his club around at Augusta is analogous to spiking your guidebook and kicking it on your trip to the White House or St. Peter's Basilica, or watching a political/religious figure do the same. 

1. Ian Woosnam at the Open Championship (2001)

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    In one of the more curious rules violations in major championship history, Woosnam had just moved into a share of the lead when, as Peter Shuttleworth of BBC Sport wrote, "Byrne, the recently appointed caddie, then uttered those fatal words that will haunt Woosnam for the rest of his days: "There's too many clubs in the bag."

    A two-stroke penalty resulted. Woosnam flung away the extra driver and with it, his chances at the 2001 Open Championship.

    The club throw itself isn't the most impressive; it's a halfhearted "spear-throw" in the manner John Daly demonstrated earlier in this slideshow. It is however, the most significant club toss on video in tour history, when placed in context.