How Many Clubs on Left in My Bag?

Sport and Leisure during the Second World War CNA3615.jpg
Sport and Leisure during the Second World War A Services Golf Tournament held in Rome, in which several well-known peacetime golfers took part. Photograph shows: Lieutenant Bobby Locke, now serving in the South African Air Force, playing while Private Tommy Bolt, the American golfer looks on. — Wikipedia

Golf is one of the most frustrating games I have ever attempted. On one hole, it is marvelous. Everything goes smoothly, and you gleefully report your swings. Still, on the next one – everything falls apart, and I can identify with professional golfer Tommy Bolt (March 31, 1916 – August 30, 2008), better known as “Thunder Bolt.” He had a terrible temper, often breaking his clubs or throwing them down the course. Wilson and Russell report:

He gave advice to others on how to display their displeasure properly on a golf course. One of his favorites was, “Always throw the club ahead of you so you can pick it up on your way.” Another well-intentioned warning was for the angry golfer: “Never break your driver and putter in the same round.”[1]

The Los Angeles Times shared this story:

Tommy practically invented club-throwing. The most famous Bolt story concerns the time at Knollwood Country Club when he had filled the water hazards with thrown clubs and came to the par-five finishing hole with 240 yards to the green. “What’s the shot?” he asked the caddie. “A six-iron,” the boy answered. “A six-iron!” roared Bolt. “How can you expect me to get there with a six-iron?!” “Because it’s the only club you have left, Mr. Bolt,” the caddie told him. [2]

Batsell Barett Baxter called anger one of the four destructive emotions. I think it is the most destructive emotion. Yes, there is a “righteous indignation,” and there are times when our faith demands that we become angry, but those occasions are few and far between. Most often, our anger is simply preparing us for the fires of hell. Herodian observed:

“Quick-tempered persons lose no time being angry and do so with those they ought not, over things they ought not, and far more than they ought.”

The Apostle Paul wrote:

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil (Ephesians 4:26 – 27).

In other words, don’t stay angry, and remember, anger is a “gateway sin.” Unfortunately, it leads to far worse, so the ancient Christians rightfully called it one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

“Caddy, how many clubs do I have left in my bag?”

  [1] Wilson, J. L., & Russell, R. (2015). The Anger of Tommy Bolt. In E. Ritzema (Ed.), 300 Illustrations for Preachers. Lexham Press.


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