There have been a couple of times over the past few years where I started a tournament round so poorly that I wanted to walk off and withdraw from the competition. But, I knew that would set an awful president, so no matter how bad a round started I have always stuck it out.
The last time I thought about skipping an event was the Iceberg Open at Rose City this April, but that wasn’t from bad play, rather it was because my back felt tweaked. It was a two-man best ball so I didn’t want to let my partner, or myself, down and decided to play through the lower back pain. It wasn’t the prettiest site and I had to make some huge changes in my swing to not have sharp pains, but made it through the 36-hole event and had a lot of fun despite the personal conditions.
But, that came with a price and the next day I knew that I should have probably skipped the second round, or at the very least the back 9. It has been about six weeks since than and I have not been able to make a full swing, and for the first four weeks wasn’t even able to carry a bag or make a chip without pain. The good news is the time away has been fruitful in that I am excited about getting back out there and have actually been dreaming about playing golf lately. Also, I am starting to feel much better and think that I can return to practice relatively soon.
Today was supposed to be the first day of my favorite Portland area tournament. It is a thee day event called the Royal Oaks Invitational Tournament (ROIT) and as the name suggests entries are by invitation only, which leads to a lot of the best golfers from the area participating. You have to write a letter to the board listing your “golf resume” and based on that you are either let in or put on the waiting list for the years to come. Last year was my first time playing in the event and it was a blast. That is easily one of my favorite courses in the area and when they get the greens rolling fast it is a tough test.
I have been looking forward to this weekend for months and had many goals for the three days. So, I had been laying low in order to maximize the healing process and six weeks after making my last full swing I finally went out and slowly approached hitting a ball. I started with little chips and some putts then went out to 1/4 swings and worked up to 1/2 and then 3/4 swings. I was feeling decent and my body was plenty warmed up, so I made a couple of full swings. Immediately I could feel the same twinge of sharp pain in the lower right side of my back and shut it down for the day. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been leading up to the Iceberg, but it was the same spot.
I woke up this morning and could feel it when getting out of bed and doing random regular morning things like brushing teeth and putting on shoes. I felt like I had reverted two weeks from just two full swings. I got ready and my tee time wasn’t until 12:30 so I decided to go out to the back yard and make a few easy swings with an 8-iron and no ball. Again a little pain, but I still wanted to play in the event. I had to make a tough decision.
Around 11:15 this morning I realized that it was much more important to fully recover than to try and play as I knew that I would most likely have to WD on the first few holes even if I did give it a shot and with the adrenalin of the event I would probably end up overdoing the first few swings and reverting back to the beginning of my recovery process. So, regretfully, I called in and withdrew from the event.
It was the most prudent decision, albeit one I did not want to have to make. Still, give it some more time and fully heal before going out and doing more harm than good. The good news is I felt fine chipping and putting so this week I can at least get back out and get the short game back in order. Kind of like starting back over from the beginning, I will start close to the hole and work my way back, doing just what the body tells me is okay to do.
Over and out. Hopefully next post will concern actual golf endeavors and not just injury updates. I suppose it’s all part of the same story, though.