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USA Today

The Dangers Of Golf

It's officially time to stop calling golf boring.

August 21, 2018 - 1:10 pm
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When you think of dangerous sports, GOLF usually isn't on the list. A game where dudes roll out in plaid, and wear visors while knocking around a little ball that's sitting still, hardly seems as lethal as other sports. 

Usually the most dangerous thing to happen on the links is The Cat pulling out the big dog at the tee and dotting a dude in the gallery from 300 yards away. Or Hefty- getting ready to unleash some of his black belt in Taekwondo on knee-high fescue, so he can improve his line, or using a judo-chop to stop an errant three putt while it's still rolling. 

It’s just golf. This is not a combat sport. Suckers are not getting blown up, or snot-bubbled. The gentleman’s game. Or so I thought because it was a bloody, violent weekend for a gentleman's game. And two incidents on the course this weekend demand your attention. 

The first happened on the Web dot com Tour, when golfer Kevin Stadler sent a spectator to the hospital after he slammed his 7-iron off the turf and the clubhead snapped and brained a dude. 

Imagine being behind the ropes. You're watching the Walrus's kid play a Par 3. It's a Web.com Event, the top minor league circuit, so you're probably only a couple feet away. And all of a sudden a clubhead comes flying through the air like a tomahawk and practically lodges in your skull. 

This wasn't a bruise. Or a scrape. We're talking EMTs dispatched to the scene. Playing partner Shaun Micheel said: "It's been a while since I've seen so much blood." And the poor dude who needed to fill his head with zippers just to close the gash was being looked at for a possible skull fracture.

Yo Walrus Junior. It's the WEB-dot-Com tour. You didn't just pull a shot into Ray's Creek at the Masters. You tugged an iron into a bunker at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz. And you got up and down! Too bad you can't say the same about the poor dude who has a wrench jammed into his melon. 

Now if you think a skull fracture sounds bad, wait until you hear what happened at Southers Marsh Golf Club, about 45 minutes south of Boston. Because it's one thing to get hit by a flying club in a freak accident in the gallery. It's another to LOSE A FREAKING DIGIT in an all-out GOLF BRAWL. 

Look, I'm as competitive as the next guy. But no matter how hard the competitive juices are flowing, a Friday night Twilight round at Southers Marsh shouldn't end with one-dude looking like RONNIE LOTT. 

Two foursomes brawled so hard that a guy literally bit another man's finger off. Some poor schmuck now only needs 80% of his golf glove because one group was reportedly playing too slow. 

Look, slow golf IS a crime against sports humanity. There is nothing worse than getting stuck behind a group where each dude is rehearsing his back swing before every shank, or stalking an 8 foot putt like he's Justin Thomas on the 72nd hole, only to blow the thing six feet by. But just because it takes a little longer to get the round in, doesn't mean you need to leave a dude fingerless and lying between three golf carts waiting for a medic to arrive. 

Now the finger biter was in court yesterday, and the story only gets more bizarre. According to court documents, the Biter, a 46-year-old man, claims that in the middle of the melee, he was defending his father -- who was also playing in his foursome -- when a finger just "ended up in his mouth." And then he just bit down. 

That could happen to anybody. Brawling alongside Pops on the 18th hole. Things are getting crazy. A guy goes with the classic "fish-hook!" and on instinct you just bite down, lopping a guy’s finger off "to the knuckle." 

Now the dude short a digit told the police a different story. Knuckles said that Biter grabbed his wrist and began mowing down on his fingers. PLURAL. And that the noise made from the dude grubbing on his hand sounded like -- now wait for this -- it sounded "like someone chewing on a Dorito." 

A FREAKING DORITO. No word on if it was Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch. And even after Knuckle's son picked up the severed finger and put it in a cup of ice and brought it to the emergency room, they couldn't re-attach the stub at the hospital.  

Find me a crazier weekend of golf than THAT ONE. On one coast, a Pro Golfer sends a saw'd off 7-iron into the gallery like a Tomahawk. On the other, Fathers and Sons decide to throw down over slow play. And someone loses a digit. 

Seriously. I understand it’s a FIGHT. And ANYTHING and EVERYTHING goes in a fight; especially in the street. Or on a golf course, in this case. But biting?? And biting a dude’s digit off?! Not everyone has that tool in their chest. Hell, Mike Tyson turning Evander Holyfield’s ear into a tortilla chip thinks that’s over the top. Most people wait until the 19th hole to get a bite to eat. This dude was crushing a knuckle sando on the 18th because someone took a little too long between shots.

Walrus Junior is cracking coconuts. Biter was protecting his old man when a finger just ended up in-between his teeth. And Knuckles said he almost got turned into Captain Hook and it "sounded like someone chewing on a Dorito." 

Say what you want about golf, but it's officially time to stop calling it boring.