In a recent post about this year’s Club Championship, I shed some light on my physical struggles with my lower back, glute and leg. It has been a slow and steady process, but I’m happy to report I’m back on the golf course enjoying the game I love.
I’ve been receiving regular treatments from Dr. Murray Heber at Elite Sports Therapy here in Calgary. He is a Chiropractor who also specializes in A.R.T. (active release technique) and IMS (intra-muscular stimulation), where they essentially put acupuncture needles into targeted areas of a muscle to help release deep-rooted knots and get blood flow to these areas (or that is my understanding). I’ve been seeing steady improvement and the treatments, although painful at times, are helping me get things sorted out. Coupled with some visits to DM Golf Performance to improve my golf specific fitness (more on this later), I’m excited what the future holds.
I’ve turned a corner in the past week and, for the first time in a while, have felt good enough to get several full rounds in. I’ve played five 18-hole rounds plus a 9-hole round in the past 2 weeks. My scores have been 77-79-76-77-79, which has been a nice change from not even feeling strong enough to finish a round. Although I’m not 100% just yet, I’m in the process of bouncing back, and it is nice to feel athletic on the golf course again.
The highlight of the past week was on Thursday night, when my wife Beth and I got out for some evening golf on my birthday. I wanted to have a relaxed evening so we went out to the club for nine holes and followed it up with a fantastic dinner. We didn’t keep score, and would even hit an extra ball if we wanted to. It was a beautiful fall day. We went out and got some exercise, enjoyed the view, and most of all each other’s company. At least for that hour and a half, all of life’s stresses melted away. It was perfect.
Every aspect that made my birthday round of golf perfect had nothing to do with where my ball ended up after I hit it.
It got me thinking — what if the physical limitations I’ve experienced lately became permanent, and I could never play to the level I aspire? What happens when I get old and can’t hit it as far? Would I quit? Constantly be frustrated? I would hope not.
Although my goal to become a scratch golfer has not changed, it is more about the process of staying driven, having purpose, and the opportunity to connect with like-minded people than it is about scores and handicaps. It has nothing to do with impressing people, ego boosts, or self-image. It’s about using golf as a vehicle to form and strengthen relationships, engage in friendly competition, and spend quality time with people you care about. It is about having goals and remaining challenged, both mentally and physically, to stay young and healthy.
My birthday round of golf reminded me the importance of being equipped with an attitude and appreciation for the game that keeps it fun and fulfilling, no matter how many times you need to hit the ball. It was a reminder that golf is the best game in the world — for so many more reasons than the excitement of seeing a ball go into a hole.