Feb 8, 201209:53 AM

Wait, did I read that correctly?

Last week, Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves stepped on the face of Houston’s Luis Scola and was suspended for two games. On Thanksgiving, Detroit Lions’ linebacker Ndamukong Suh stomped on the arm of the Packers’ Evan Dietrich-Smith, also receiving a two-game suspension. When I heard about each of these acts of stupidity, I was disturbed, but not surprised. I probably uttered something like, “What an idiot” and didn’t give it any more thought.

Athletes often lose their tempers in the heat of the moment, whether it’s because of adrenaline-pumping aggression driven by competitive spirit or anger management issues (which many think is the case with Suh). And some are just plain dirty (again Suh, at least in my opinion).  Or both (yep, still Suh).

But a headline came out recently that caused me to do a double take. Even after I re-read it, my immediate thought was, “Wait, what? Did I read that right?” The headline read, “Man stabbed with club shaft in bizarre golf course clash,” followed in the next line by “because his group was playing too slowly.” Are you kidding me? I checked the source. Nope, not The Onion. This, ladies and gentlemen, actually happened.

Clay Carpenter, a part-time, casual golfer living in Fort Worth, Texas, was stabbed with a broken club shaft at the Resort GC near Eagle Mountain Lake over a dispute regarding slow play. The dispute was between the 48-year-old Carpenter and his yet-to-be-named assailant when Carpenter’s threesome wanted to play through, ahead of the assailant’s slower foursome. What started out as a verbal argument turned violent as Carpenter’s leg was punctured twice when the man used the club shaft as a weapon and stabbed him in the leg.

According to the doctors, Carpenter was “close to death” and may lose his leg, as the muscles in his leg are atrophied due to massive blood loss from a punctured femoral artery. Over a dispute on the golf course.

The article then referenced a similar confrontation that happened in Wisconsin in 1996, which left a New Berlin man dead. Some of you may recall it, but I did not. Apparently, the man was playing golf with his 12-year-old son, and as they were looking for the ball his son hit into the creek on the 18th hole, a ball from the next threesome landed near them. A fight broke out and the man died from “blunt force to the chest and abdomen.”

These obviously are rare occurrences, and 99.9 percent of the time issues regarding slow play are resolved much more peacefully. I don’t really have a moral to this story, as these sad stories leave me speechless, except for a few profanities from which I will spare you.

What about you? Thoughts? How about a story of your own? If you have any interesting stories to tell about an experience you had on the course involving slow play, I’d love to hear them. I may even share some of them (with your permission, of course).

Leave your comments below or email me at erin@wisgolfer.com.

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