Sympatico Golf Column: Tiger Needs To End the Tantrums

It was meant to go live last week, but my Sympatico column on Tiger Woods’ club throwing incident in Boston two weeks ago is now up.

Here’s a taste:

There’s never an appropriate time “ ever “ when a player should throw a club in disgust, and certainly not with a two-handed hammer toss.

There I’ve said it. Maybe one shouldn’t put the conclusion of a column at the start, but there it is “ plain and simple.

Regardless I’ve my perspective, that’s exactly what the world’s best golfer, Tiger Woods, did with his driver on the Friday round at the Deutsche Bank tournament in a tantrum after hitting a wayward tee shot. The outburst wasn’t televised “ but it was caught by a spectator with a smuggled video camera and placed on Youtube soon afterwards (see it here: In essence he hits a poor tee shot and then follows it up by throwing his driver forward into the long grass where his indentured servant, the always dislikable Steve Williams, has to retrieve it. Woods then seems to collect himself, and walks down the fairway, leaving Williams in knee-deep fescue searching for the club.

And in case you haven’t seen it — here is the video:

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Interesting and timely article especially given the behaviour of other elite athletes in traditionally civil and polite sports (e.g. Serena Williams at the US Open this past weekend).

    I do not think Tiger is at the stage where his outbursts are remembered more to the masses than his on course performance…unlike other athletes (John McEnroe as an example). And one could argue that Tiger will never be remembered more for his tantrums than his record given he is the best golfer of our generation and some would say, any generation…and his tantrums are directed at himself (generally) rather than a third party (e.g. refs/linespeople in tennis).

    However Tiger, whether he likes it or not, is a role model and carries that responsibility. His outbursts on course are not one to be modeled regardless of its potentially positive impact on his game.

  • Well said Robert. Unfortunate that the PGA lets him get away with it. His biggest fans will say he brings in ratings and that’s hard to argue and likely why they put up with it. But I’ve been watching golf on TV for 25 years and have rarely seen other pros even mutter audible sounds much less throw clubs like Tiger does when they hit wayward shots. The man has more fame and fortune than most other players in the field will ever see – so what does he have to be angry about?

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