I’ve loved golf since the first moment I picked up a golf club at the age of 16 until the putt went in on the final hole of my course record round.
At a young age I wasn’t sporty and that normally went with popularity right? I played football but my knees used to give me issues and after a full match of running round like a headless chicken, I would struggle to walk normally for a few days.
It was on my 16 birthday when I was asked what I would like, that my friend suggested playing golf at the local course. We had swung the clubs round the local football field and I had occasionally hit the thing but more than likely, swinging the club like a whirling dervish! (For the Robot Wars fan)
Golf became a hobby that I played for hours on end, day after day even giving up my university place to follow my dreams of becoming professional.
I had a clear goal and as I walked up the golf walkway surfacing surrounding the green on the 18th at Bushey Hall Golf Club, I was 1 putt away from shooting the course record. It wasn’t just a course record 64 though, it also ensured that my handicap was low enough to allow me entry to the PGA Professional Circuit.
So technically I’m an ex professional golfer and I can always say I set the course record on the oldest golf course in Hertfordshire. Beat that!
Golf was a hobby for me that I was passionate about enough to give a damn and actually push myself to be amazing at. There’s not many things that I was good at especially sports but setting my sights on that one goal above all else I knew I would do it.
Now the truth is I wasn’t an amazing golfer and I didn’t have loads of big trophies. I definitely wasn’t for the PGA at that time but after 4 years of playing I had a national title under my belt, a course record and was captain of the scratch team. Not bad for a lad from the council estate!
After pushing my body to the limit on a daily basis with a stressful workout regime, hitting about 1000 golf balls a day and having a car without power steering I tore my Rotator Cuff.
This was a massive blow and without having it sorted straight away started my on a journey which was to end with me finishing my golf career.
Without sorting out straight away the fibres repaired themselves twisted causing me to have restrictive movements in my shoulder throughout the next 6 months and pulling at my back muscles. This then led to lower back issues and treatment by a chiropractor. At the age of 20/21 seeing a chiropractor isn’t the best and when I finally decided enough was enough and my shoulder needed seeing to, it was too late.
A private physio could see the restrictions in my movement and after an ultrasound, revealed that the fibres were twisted and I would have to have my muscle re-torn.
As you can imagine it was a difficult decision to make, on one hand I may never have full range of movement in my shoulder and on the other I’d be saying goodbye to playing to the same standard of golf.
In that moment of excruciating pain I was giving up not only something which I’d spent years practising and perfecting but my future career and the one thing in my life that I was actually good at.
6 months of frustrated training, stretches and little mobility the constant golf talk of members, minimum wage, 6 months of pouring rain and depressing injury got the better of me and I decided it was time to get a proper job.
One of the saddest decisions I’ve ever made.
To turn my back on the thing that I was good at, the one thing that made me better than those around me in the council estate I was brought up in and pushed me to be a better person was over. It was the one thing that showed me discipline and gave me the confidence to leave home at 19 and follow my dreams.
I still enjoy the odd game of golf here and there but it’s always with friends for enjoyment rather than as a career or a profession. It’s easier that way and I can play as bad as I want.
If you’d like a game of golf, just get in touch :)