There’s a well known adage to “beware the sick or injured golfer” but, believe you me – and as many of you reading this well know – being injured is zero fun. And if you are a professional sportsperson, it can be so serious that fun doesn’t come into it at all.
Many years ago my playing career was somewhat derailed by a serious back injury which resulted in surgery. Thank you to David Jaffrey at Gobowen for his expertise and particularly neat sewing! Decades of back exercises and maintenance mean that most of the time I can now play golf pretty much when I like but it doesn’t seem to take too much to crock me or for my back to go on me – now assuredly anno domini as much as anything else, I suspect.
Cast an eye down the lists of touring professionals, most of whom are supreme athletes nowadays and at any given time it is easy to reel off numerous names who are out of action.
Rory has rib trouble at the moment; Tiger has undergone copious knee and back ops and has withdrawn from several tournaments; Jim Furyk has had long term wrist injuries; and in Thailand this week Inbee Park returns to the competitive arena for the first time since she won the gold medal in Rio six months ago. A damaged left thumb kept her out of action and she had to call on all her reserves of determination and stubbornness even to play in the Olympics.
No matter how lowly or lofty our standard of play we share one thing in common: golfers are much happier people when they can play golf. Sure, we may take time to get back into the swing after a lay-off, we may have to readjust our goals and even our reasons for playing may change a little. I now find that I have no desire to go out with a card and pencil despite loving that format for years. Frequently there is a mental adjustment to be made to accommodate a decline in standard – something good players often find hard to do – but there is still so much fun to be had.
I’m currently recovering from shoulder surgery and the congenial company of three of Dunham Forest’s finest the other day was as good as a tonic. A new course and new friends – what’s not to like?
Remember, there is more than one way to play this great game. There is no right or wrong way. It is simply about finding the way that is easiest for you and your physical capabilities. That applies to all of us, even the Rorys and Tigers of this world. So, do what happy golfers do – get out and play!