February 07, 2012

Golfer Stabbed with Broken Club During Course Melee: A golfer in Texas was stabbed by a broken golf club during a Jan. 27 brawl that began over slow play at Resort Golf Club on Eagle Mountain Lake, suffering a punctured femoral artery and massive blood loss. Clay Carpenter, 48, was in a threesome that confronted a slower foursome ahead of them to play through. He said a club was swung at his head and he broke it, then was stabbed in the groin by the same man. A member of the foursome called 911. "He's passed out once already," he said. "We've got his artery clamped with our hand."

posted by rcade to golf at 11:40 AM - 13 comments

Will someone please explain the etiquette behind this fight? Should you let the people go ahead? Should the people behind just exercise some patience? Is this sometimes a contentious matter?

posted by bperk at 01:19 PM on February 07, 2012

There was an incident at an overseas military base at which I worked some years ago. It wasn't a fight, but was caused by anger. A player hit a poor shot and threw his club in disgust. The club hit an out-of-bounds marker and snapped just above the club head. The shaft rebounded directly back, and the sharp point stabbed the player in the leg, piercing the femoral artery. The only thing that saved his life was one of the foursome being a Senior Chief Corpsman in the Navy who knew exactly what to do. Moral of the story: Anger does nothing but get you hurt.

posted by Howard_T at 01:31 PM on February 07, 2012

It's been a long time since I golfed, but when a smaller group behind you wanted to play through, it was a dick move not to let them. Stabbing them was never an option.

posted by rcade at 02:07 PM on February 07, 2012

Stroke penalty, no doubt.

posted by yerfatma at 02:44 PM on February 07, 2012

This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "play through."

posted by feloniousmonk at 02:59 PM on February 07, 2012

From the website: Fort Worth's Friendliest Golf Club

I guess Frontier Justice has a little brother named Fairway.

posted by beaverboard at 03:21 PM on February 07, 2012

It kind of comes down to how crowded the course is, really. If you're on a packed golf course, and the group behind you has nowhere to go, it's kind of pointless to let them play through. If the course is wide open, yeah, it's sort of dickish not to let them go. It also says in the article that the marshall had asked the foursome to let the group behind them through, so they probably should have done so.

That being said, golf is generally a four player game. If you head out to the course with less than a foursome, you are inevitably going to wait on most shots while the group in front of you finishes up. If they're keeping up with the group in front of them, you should just suck it up and wait.

And I'll defer to others, maybe JJ on whether or not stabbing is an appropriate remedy.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:38 PM on February 07, 2012

It's always good to read a story like this now and then when you've said (or heard) "This is making me feel stabby" just a bit too often.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:10 PM on February 07, 2012

If the story is accurate, the course marshal told the foursome to let the threesome play through. That really should end the conversation as the marshal has control of the play on the course.

If there really wasn't a marshal involved, then the only reason to not let them play through is if you're right up against the group in front.

Some golfers feel that smaller groups do not have the standing to play through a foursome, which is the normal grouping on a course. It gets tiresome for foursomes if there are a lot of smaller groups on the course as they will play faster. Thus, the foursome is having to wait quite often as the other groups play through. I've played many courses where it is noted that twosomes are not to play through unless asked. And, most etiquette manuals stipulate that singles have no standing on the course. That really pisses that player off, but he does have the option of skipping a hole to go around a group if the course is wide open. Some books say to play through when there is an open hole ahead of the slower group, some say when there are two strokes open ahead, which is open to interpretation. Most often a par 3 hole is where the slower group can most easily pass. This is the marshal's primary responsibility, and if this course really had one I think he should have controlled this better. I have witnessed marshals that merely told the faster group "yeah, you ought to ask them to let you play through"., never saying anything to the slower group. A decent starter tries to eliminate this from the start, but probably can't eliminate it 100%.

I've seen arguments, never fights over this. Usually the worst that happens is the group that just got played through takes it as some sort of manly challenge to play faster and hit into the group that played through. Getting hit with a golf ball probably is better than getting stabbed, but not enjoyable.

posted by dviking at 05:37 PM on February 07, 2012

I was trying to decide whether to take up base jumping or golf when I retire. I think I will go with the safer activity, base jumping. Just can't fight as good as I use to.

posted by Atheist at 06:33 PM on February 07, 2012


posted by outonleave at 06:36 PM on February 07, 2012

Two memories:

Sign at my local course - "Your place is behind the group in front and not in front of the group behind".

Local rules at another course - "Threesomes are not recognised". I still want to know why.

posted by owlhouse at 07:40 AM on February 08, 2012

As Dr. Gupta would say, it depends on what kind of threesomes you are talking about.

posted by beaverboard at 08:24 AM on February 08, 2012

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