Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Worst Golf Shots in History...

I'm still thinking about that poor guy in Reno who stared the fire and it got me pondering some of the worst golf shots I can think of. Some of these are famously bad shots from the world of golf while others are shots I have personally hit or witnessed. Got any other good ones? I mean bad ones? Let me know.

Phil Mickelson, 2006 -- So many to choose from in the 2006 U.S. Open, but I prefer his tee shot on the 17th which airmails the gallery and lands in a trash can.

Michelle Wie, 2007 -- Just 3 weeks ago in the midst of Michelle Wie's disastrous round at the Ginn Tribute, she pushes her drive on the 3rd hole so badly, it hits a parked car, rolls down a drain and eventually leads to a 10.

Me, 2007 -- Sure, Michelle Wie can hit one car, but can she hit two? I did just that earlier this year playing a 3-par course in Austin. Struggling with the shanks, I hosel a shot across not one, but two fairways, into the street where it hits the tail of one parked car, then ricochets off and nails another one before disappearing altogether. My friend kindly tells me, "Uh, you might be taking the club too far inside."

James M., 1994 -- I was playing with my good buddy and standing off to the side of the tee box when his practice swing nips his teed up ball. The ball pops straight up in the air, comes down and hits me in the head.

Scott Hoch, 1989 -- Maybe the most painful putt ever. Misses a 2-foot putt on the first playoff hole that would have won him the Masters. He loses the tournament to Nick Faldo the next hole and never wins a major in his career.

Bill M., 1996 -- The father of the friend mentioned above, he pulls his approach down a hill and has a blind pitch to the pin. James stands inbetween Bill and the hole to kindly give his dad a line of where to aim. Bill then blades his wedge into his own son's back.

Ty Webb, 1980 -- In my opinion the best worst shot in Caddyshack. Ty Webb's fairway wood down the stretch in his match against Judge Smails impales itself on a bird's beak. When Al Czervik tries to comfort him by saying "That's good luck," Webb replies glumly "In Haiti."

Matt A., 2007 -- This was a bad shot that was made worse by the fact that play was slow and so there were three groups waiting with us on the tee when my buddy hit this one. He hosels a 7-iron across a lake toward a foursome on another tee box. Everyone (and by "everyone" I mean all 12 of us) yell "Fore!" as the ball slices through the air. The guys don't move and the ball nails one of them in the foot.

T.C. Chen, 1985 -- As far as I know, the only professional who has a terrible golf shot named after them. T.C. has a four-shot lead in the final round of the '85 U.S. Open when he "double-hits" a shot from the rough at the 5th hole, leading to an 8. He never recovers from it and loses the Open to Andy North.

Ralph Lake, 1992 -- A guy from my high school golf team. Teeing off on the 1st hole at our home course, Ralph nails a drive that somehow is only 2 inches off the ground. The ball hits the tee marker on the ladies' tee box and comes straight back at us. We jump out of the way as the ball bounds back over the tee box, across the putting green and out of bounds into the parking lot.

Jean Van de Velde, 1999 -- I would be remiss to not mention Jean as the British Open returns to the site of his famous 18th hole meltdown at Carnoustie in '99. The only difficult question is which of his 7 shots on the last hole was the worst? I'll go with his 3rd shot from the deep rough after he bounced the previous shot off the bleachers that landed him in the burn. Of course if he'd actually attempted to hit his 4th from the burn as pictured above, the worst shot ever wouldn't even be up for debate.


Rob said...

A few bad shots come to mind from our P'ton days:

1) Joshi defied the laws of physics by hitting a ball from #2 tee into the bunker in front of #6 green

2) Lucas hit a ball into the Skillman lumberyard from #16 tee, and then proceeded to punch a tree

3) It wasn't a full golf shot per se, but you did managed to destroy our precious Tiger Cup trophy with some practice swings of yours on the first tee.

4) There also has to be at least one "worst shot" from the round you played with winter gloves on.

And one more comes to mind from playing at your home blocked a 115 yard wedge on the 18th hole about 60 yards to the right into a hillside by the clubhouse. Then the profanities flew! Sinner.

Jeff said...


1) Ryan (high school golf team mate) toes his 3 wood and hits me in the shin... the problem with this is I was perfectly perpendicular to his shot.

2) 2 days later, same Ryan blades a 90 yard wedge to clobber me in the hamstring while walking ahead to the green (needless to say we don't play together any more)

Bob said...

Yeah, golf shots where someone else (or you) gets injured tend to be the most memorable.

Thanks to Rob for reminding me about one of my worst shots, shattering the crystal trophy for the 1st Annual Tiger Cup Tournament in college. Everyone hadn't even finished teeing off yet when I destroyed the prize while absent-mindedly twirling my putter.

Bob said...

Here's a great story from David in Kansas about the worst shot he witnessed. This one's hard to beat:

After hooking a drive my best friend throws his driver. We both watch as it helicopters through the air towards a bunch of geese. To our dismay the club head snaps a goose's neck and it collapses and immediately dies. So not knowing what to do with a dead goose lying in the first cut of rough, he picks it up and puts it in the trash, cleans the blood off his driver and we get the heck out of there!

I'll spare the details of how gruesome the carnage actually was, but it was bad enough that my buddy actually threw away his driver over the incident.