The Worst "Night Before Your Golf Vacation" Horror Stories

This article originally appeared on

Have you ever had things go VERY wrong right before an epic golf trip?

For example, realizing the night before an Ireland trip that your passport expired?

Or nearly cutting off your finger the night before your first visit to Bandon Dunes?

Yep, these both have happened to people we know; the latter was just a few weeks ago.

Our group met at the airport, and one guy walked up sporting this...

Not a good look before a golf trip.

Yep, that's six fresh stitches in his left index finger.

And the reason for his 11th-hour ER visit the night before?

An avocado. He was cutting one up and the knife slipped.

That'll teach you to eat healthy!

Thankfully, this guy's a stick, so he was still able to play solid golf...albeit with a slightly unusual grip...

Now it's your turn...

Have you had (or heard of) any "night-before-your-golf-trip" horror stories?

Please share them and/or read what others are saying below.

Jul 10, 2017

Join the conversation

Post a comment 

The Ultimate Loop's avatar
The Ultimate Loop wrote at 2017-07-25 13:35:12+00:00:

Locked myself out of my apartment right as I was getting ready to leave for the airport to go from NYC to Ireland. I would have simply left and bought new clothes in Ireland, but the clubs were inside. Scrambled for a locksmith and ultimately it all worked out, but much more stressful than I would ever desire!

Sheldon's avatar
Sheldon wrote at 2017-07-20 02:21:25+00:00:

Our annual father son tournament was at Reynolds plantation. My brother in laws and their Dads and my Dad stayed at the lodge. I was getting close to 40 and even without a few beers for dinner I had to get to the bathroom at about 2 am. I fell over my Dad's suitcase on the floor and hit my head on the dresser. Huge gash and blood everywhere on the white tiled bathroom floor. My Dad who has seen a lot of blood in his work almost passed out and I decided to drive myself to the hospital. (easy to find in rural Ga. just fiollow the H signs on the road). Typical Saturday night ER with drunks and noise everywhere. 8 sutures later and made the 730 am tee time. I found a construction hard hat and wore it on the first tee. Didn't break 80 but good times.

Phil's avatar
Phil wrote at 2017-07-18 19:21:06+00:00:

Last year a week before our annual week long golf trip to Mesquite, Nevada a female friend severely broke her ring finger playing adult kickball. No golf for 6 weeks, no golf trip. She made up for it this year and placed 2nd overall for the week.

TK's avatar
TK wrote at 2017-07-18 19:13:40+00:00:

This is not a Golf Trip per say, but it did include golf and was hilarious. A long time ago, my buddy and I played in a Charity Golf Tournament @ Mont Tremblant just outside of Montreal, Canada.

After the tournament, we got cleaned up and went for the dinner that was planned. On the menu was "Roast Beef Au Jus" in other words, RB with sauce. My buddy wore white pants and a pink polo (Salmon??). He took one cut of the RB with his knife and fork and the whole plate fell in his lap. Couldn't stop laughing - even now - 30 some years later, it still brings up memories.

Thanks to all for posting their stories.

Chris J's avatar
Chris J wrote at 2017-07-18 18:15:46+00:00:

In the summer of 2002, two buddies and I were flying from Grand Rapids, MI to Philadelphia to: (1) play at Merion; and (2) then to play at a charity golf event hosted by Jay Sigel at Aronimink GC. I was really looking forward to the trip as my game was in great shape. At the airport, I had to check in, bring my bags to be scanned by TSA and then bring them back to the check in counter so they could be tagged by the counter agent. Its a small airport and the process is unusual. Anyway, back at the counter, there are three tags stuck to the end of the counter waiting for the gate agent to tag the scanned bags. He tagged my suitcase and clubs with the tag on the left and the right - leaving the center one still stuck to the counter. It seemed to me that when he printed the tags the liklihood was that my tags were together not bookends. I mentioned this to the counter agent and very politely suggested he made a mistake and asked him to double check. He wouldnt. I asked him again. He refused. I asked him one more time and he threatened to have my arrested by airport police (this was 10 months after 911). I walked away knowing one of my bags wouldnt arrive in Philadelphia and hoping it was my clothes and not my clubs that got lost. When we arrived at PHL, i got my suitcase. No clubs. But a pink suitcase with a ladys name was left on the conveyor. I looked and sure enough my bag tag was on it. I went to file a claim and the USAir agent in PHL could not understand how this happened. She said there was no way to find my clubs. I said "sure there is - look up the reservation of the lady whose suitcase in PHL. My clubs at her destination because her suitcase is at my destination." My clubs were in Houston. We told the story to Jay Sigel. He let me borrow some old clubs from his basement. He also called Merion and asked the locker room attendant if they had any spare golf shoes (I had packed mine with my clubs). The next day, we areive at Merion and the attendant hands me a pair of very old shoes and says, "these belonged to a member who died over the winter and his family didnt want to claim them." Did I mention they were old? They seemed a little tight but I laced em up. I then proceeded to play Merion, walking in a deadmans shoes (they ended up being too small and blistering my feet) and swinging the golf clubs of a pro with shafts as stiff as telephone poles. Needless to say, I played awful. USAir finally delivered my clubs to me at my hotel - but only we checked out of the hotel as we were packing the rental car to drive back to the Philly airport to go home. My friends and I still joke about playing a US Open course in a dead mans shoes.

John Trice's avatar
John Trice wrote at 2017-07-12 21:25:35+00:00:

Jen above is right. Ron's was hilarious. Though probably not to him at the time. I had chafing once, though not on a golf trip. Was following the pros at New Orleans. My son, noticing I was walking like a penguin, asked if it hurt. "Only when I walk, son" was my reply. But I got lotsa relief and fast healing from Boudreaux's Butt Paste. Funny name, but this light brown paste w/zinc oxide was a welcome relief. Hadn't considered the maxi pads. Hey! Whatever works. My worst golf injury happened at age 60, 3 yrs ago. Was using 2 clubs like chopsticks to fish balls out of a pond. Reaching from steep bank, my foot began to slip into the water. In an effort to regain my balance, I flailed hard w/ both arms. But one club was caught between webbing of right little finger and ring finger. Sprained the hell out of that little finger tendon/ligament. With an interlocking grip? Had to ad lib, dangling that finger off the club for almost 2 months. At 60? I don't heal as fast as those 20 somethings.

Mark Emmons's avatar
Mark Emmons wrote at 2017-07-12 02:31:54+00:00:

Driving with 4 guys in a van to Myrtle Beach. Not even 1 hour in a14 hour drive I got sick and started throwing up with food poisoning. Threw up all the way there. Half way there it started coming out of both ends. Oh my.! Took 16 hours but we made it. Took a shower, went to bed and felt great the next morning. Played 3 straight days. Got to play Tidewater. Great trip but it was a drive from hell to get there.

Jen's avatar
Jen wrote at 2017-07-11 19:07:24+00:00:

Last one hilarious

Ron Meys's avatar
Ron Meys wrote at 2017-07-11 16:53:41+00:00:

Pitt Meadows BC Amateur weekend quite a few years ago. Round 1 was VERY warm and muggy, sweaty. That night I developed crotch rot -- a rash, burning red and very painful. The following morning I couldn't even walk it hurt so bad and tee time was approaching. Tried absolutely everything I could think of to ease the pain...when I stumbled upon my wife's maxi pads (the peel and stick version) and paste one to the inside of each leg. Long story short I'm on the 1st green, putting. I looked down and one of the pads slipped out onto the green. Now what? Well, "that'll be mine, I said," and I finish the hole. Then I slipped into the bushes to adjust the pads. Not much was said, but you know what there thinking! Anyway, end of round I tell my bud about the experience. His comment to me was, "were they for light days?"

Michael Stiebel's avatar
Michael Stiebel wrote at 2017-07-11 16:16:18+00:00:

David Allan is the Chuck Norris of golf trips - the rest of us can just back away and applaud the plucky Scot!!!

TD's avatar
TD wrote at 2017-07-11 16:15:16+00:00:

Leaving work for home and then to airport to Scotland. Driving extra car because wife's car is "down" for repair. Car blows a hose. Wife calls and says she just took a large turkey to the windshield of van (my usual vehicle). Windshield shattered and caved in, but turkey did not come all the way through. She and kids not really hurt, but really upset. A freakin TURKEY fer Pete's sake! So needing to board a plane in 3 hours, my two driver family with three cars has no working vehicles. I managed to repair the hose leak in the parking lot of an auto parts store WITHOUT burning myself. Arranged for windshield repair for following day, caught plane on time.

I know it's not a sliced off finger and certainly not a heart attack, but pretty high stress factor none the less. Great trip to Scotland!! 14 rounds in 7 days. Visit to R&A Clubhouse.

Turkey last seen wandering in a crooked line down the road ditch. Yes, the turkey survived. At least temporarily. But wife reported that another motorist had stopped and was eyeing the turkey.

James Nowakowski's avatar
James Nowakowski wrote at 2017-07-11 16:14:04+00:00:

One week prior to leaving on my annual Fall golf trip with my father and my brothers, I ruptured my Achilles' tendon in a pickup basketball game with my next door neighbors. One of the more aggressive (or maybe just more clumsy) weekend warriors stepped directly onto it as I pivoted and he lunged. I immediately heard it pop and felt it snap as I fell to the ground in pain. The planned trip went on without me.

This cost me my first chance of playing The Island Hole at TPC Sawgrass. I didn't fare much better years later when we rescheduled another visit there. Our Stadium Course tee-time was surreptitiously allocated to a corporate outing as we were relegated to The Valley Course instead.

I'm hoping the third time's a charm as I hope to reschedule this outing once more. It's now officially on my Bucket List.

Randy's avatar
Randy wrote at 2017-07-11 14:54:16+00:00:

The night before our annual 5 day Reno golf trip with 48 guys I typically stay at my buddies house and tie one on. His dog loves to have you throw or kick toys to her in the back yard. Well, she took off and I saw what I thought was a rubber playground ball with a big split so I kicked it with everything I had to reach her. It was a 16 lb bowling ball!!! I thought I had shattered everything as I was wearing Sanuk's. Luckily, I didn't but I did golf in bare feet due to the swelling and took 3rd low net!

Larry Gavrich's avatar
Larry Gavrich wrote at 2017-07-11 14:13:31+00:00:

In the early spring of my senior year in high school, I had a real chance to finally make the golf team in the final qualifying round. That morning, as my father was waiting in the car to drive me to school, I managed to wedge the middle finger of my left hand between the slats of the garage door as I closed it. I spent the next two hours in the hospital emergency room where the doc drilled a hole through my nail to relieve the pressure, and the rest of the day giving a huge bandage wrapped finger to my fellow students. Needless to say, no golf team for me.

Jb's avatar
Jb wrote at 2017-07-11 13:46:17+00:00:

Nite before playing Cypress Point (yes-that Cypress Point)- leaving dinner with my host and slammed his finger in the car door. Luckily, not enough to keep him from hosting....

Ray's avatar
Ray wrote at 2017-07-11 12:39:39+00:00:

No pre-vacation nightmares here, but a piece of advice re pitting an avocado. I have a friend who cut his hand badly and went from a 2 handicap to a 9 (with putting and chipping yips)! Instead of taking the knife around the edge, use a very sharp knife and cut right through the pit (like cutting an apple in half). Problem solved.

Ted B's avatar
Ted B wrote at 2017-07-11 12:26:46+00:00:

Annual trip, not necessarily epic but certainly one I look forward to. Felt tingly in my toes the night before, woke up in the morning to SEARING pain in left foot. Nurse wife says "you have gout" - mind, I was 41!! As I drifted into depression (guess I'll go, but not play golf) she said "what?! This is your version of a championship! Go to the doctor and get a shot." One mind-numbingly painful shot directly into my swollen big toe later, and I was relatively good to go.

David Allan's avatar
David Allan wrote at 2017-07-11 12:20:14+00:00:

I had a heart attack at one o'clock in the morning and thought it was indigestion. Got up took two pain killers and back to sleep. Got up at 4am and went to the airport and joked with the other 11 guys that I thought the indigestion was a heart attack. We flew out to Portugal at 6am.

After first day we played Sunday and Monday and as the indigestion wasn't going away (and was affecting my swing) I asked the hotel for a doctor who whipped me into Intensive Care for two days and then the Nursery Ward (I think they meant General Ward) for a day. They weren't going to let me fly back on the following Saturday with the rest of the guys but relented as I had flown out after the heart attack!!!! They told me to take it easy for the rest of the trip. Well being Scottish and had paid for the golf I used the buggies and played Thursday and Friday.

Dying for a game of golf took on a whole new meaning!!!!

Wife picked me up at Glasgow and took me straight to local A&E who transferred me to Golden Jubilee who sorted me out.

Beat that one with your cut finger!!!!!

Craig Better

Staff Writer

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine,, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.