Top 10: Strangest golf-related injuries

News & Tour

We take a look at some of the weirdest injuries in the golfing world

Many people view golf as just a simple stroll round a course, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Horror injuries, shattered clubs and rogue deer antlers are just some of the pitfalls that have befallen some of the people in our Top 10 list.

10. Golf legend Lee Trevino is struck by lightning

The chances of a person being hit by lightning are extremely slim. Unfortunately for retired American golfer Lee Trevino, he became one of the rare few to be struck – and it happened on the golf course.

The six-time Major winner was struck by lightning at the Western Open, near Chicago, in 1975 and suffered injuries to his back.

Despite the freak incident, Trevino was able to continue his career and add more trophies to his already packed cabinet.

9. Phil Mickelson doesn’t know his own strength

Mickelson was forced to withdraw from the Texas Open in 2014 after 10 holes because of a pulled muscle in his right side.

The five-time Major champion picked up the injury after using too much force in a tee shot. He said: “I pulled a muscle on my downswing trying to hit it hard. It just killed, and it wouldn’t subside for 10 or 12 seconds.”

I will have to remember that one next time I hit a duff tee shot.

8. Tiger roars in pain at the Masters

We have all hit shots that have stung our hands and caused us to mumble a stream of expletives under our breath, but Tigers’ short iron shot at the Masters in 2015 was the daddy of them all.

The former World No.1 accidentally drilled his club into a tree root on the 9th. He bravely soldiered on after popping a ligament back into place in his right wrist.


7. Oh deer, Nick, watch what you are doing

Nick Faldo was nearly forced to pull out of the Open last year after a run-in with a deer.

The six-time Major winner was taking his shirt off after the opening round and as he flung his hands back, impaled his middle finger on the antler of a deer head mounted on a wall.

After having the wound glued at the hospital, Faldo, sporting tape round his middle finger, finished his second round after being encouraged by his children to play on.

6. ‘Being tackled by that large man I would compare to a minor car accident’ – Ellie Day

OK, so this is loosely connected to the game of golf, but it is still worthy of a mention.

Check out golfers going crazy in our Top 10 tantrums in golf

World No.2 Jason Day and his wife Ellie were courtside at the Oklahoma Thunder versus Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game when 6ft 8in, 250lb NBA superstar LeBron James came barrelling towards them.

In his attempt to keep the ball in play, James hammered into Ellie, and she was stretchered out of the arena.

Ellie, on her Twitter account, said: “Wow!! It’s official. More messages from getting blowed over by LeBron than Jason winning a major. Ha.
“First of all, I’m okay!! I’m incredibly sore and exhausted. Being tackled by that large man I would compare to a minor car accident. My head and neck hit pretty hard so it was really scary.
“My whole body feels like it was hit by a truck.”

Watch the video of the collision here

5. Poor old Monty – another setback at a Major tournament

The popular Scot, one of the most talented British golfers never to win a Major title, reckoned he could finally achieve glory in the 2003 Open.

But tripping and spraining his wrist at a hotel put paid to any chance of him bagging one of the most coveted prizes in golf.

Monty was forced to pull out of the tournament at Royal St George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, near Dover, after just six holes, leaving everyone wondering about what could have been.

4. Hockey star Claude Giroux smashes his club, rather than the ball

In what is probably the manliest golf injury of all time, Philadelphia Flyers hockey captain Claude Giroux was forced onto the sidelines in 2013 after smashing his golf club during a jaunt round the fairways.

Have a look at our Top 10 short putts that pros have missed

The Canadian took a swing and the club head hit the ground just before the ball, shattering the shaft. 

The shattered part of the club splintered into his index finger.

Perhaps it would best if Claude utilised his power and strength on the ice rather than on the green in the future.

3. Horror injury for Richard Boxall at the Open

Boxall was just three shots off the lead at the 1991 Open at Royal Birkdale, in Southport, when his championship came to a horrible end.

The Englishman complained of sore leg on the morning of his round and the pain continued into the match.

Boxall, now a golf commentator with Sky Sports, hammered his tee shot on the 9th and a loud cracking noise could be heard. The championship contender had broken his leg.

2. Rory McIlory scores an own goal in build-up to Open defence

World No.1 at the time and about to embark on the defence of his Open title, McIlory couldn’t have timed this freak injury any worse.

The Northern Irishman ruptured ligaments in his ankle during a football kick-about with his mates.

Many questioned the wisdom of him playing football so close to a Major competition. However, I broke my wrist playing football a couple days before a family holiday to Florida when I was 15, so I have full sympathy for him.

1. Sandy Lyle gets cold hands at the Open

Englishman Sandy Lyle pulled himself out of the 2008 competition because he apparently had cold hands.

The former Open winner managed just two hours and nine holes before chucking in the towel at Royal Birkdale.

High winds, cold conditions and driving rain, and Lyle feeling off his game, resulted in him packing in early.


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