A Journey Back to the Green

In June of 2020, my life took an unexpected turn. A stroke left me grappling with aphasia, a condition that muddled my language and made communication a daily challenge. But perhaps the most frustrating part was how it affected my golf game. I couldn’t figure out how to take a golf shot anymore, a skill that had once been second nature to me.

 

One of the therapists at the rehab center suggested I practice with fake golf balls to relearn my swing. It was a humbling experience, but I was determined. My son, ever the optimist, took me to the range after only three weeks in Cape Cod. My shots were erratic, and my balls didn’t go well, but I kept at it.

 

As we talked to the neurologist via Zoom, the doctor’s words about strokes and aphasia weighed heavily on my mind. However, when he asked if I was worried about these potential risks, my mind drifted to a different concern.

 

“I’m more worried about how badly I’ll play golf after all this,” I confessed nervously.

 

My wife, ever the quick-witted one, couldn’t resist chiming in. “Honey, let’s be real, you weren’t exactly a pro before the stroke,” she teased, a playful glint in her eye.

 

By September, a friend joined me to play at Torresdale. It was a significant milestone, and though my game was far from perfect, I felt a sense of normalcy returning. Then, on October 31, 2021, something miraculous happened. I had a hole-in-one on Hole #14. It was a moment of pure joy and validation that all my hard work paid off.

 

Fast-forward to this week, June 8, 2024. It was a weird day, but I played well. This summer at Torresdale, I have played 22 rounds, and my best score was 82 on May 26, 2024. I’ve started consistently scoring in the 80s again, although the early 90s still pose a challenge.

 

Last Tuesday, I had an eagle on the 18th hole. I shot 135 yards with my hybrid 5. When I couldn’t find the ball, one of the groundskeepers pointed out that it should have been right there. To my astonishment, it was in the hole. Moments like these remind me why I love the game.

 

I’ve learned to slow down my swings and not get nervous. I often tell stories about how aphasia screws up my focus, but I remind my friends that it isn’t about aphasia; it’s about golf. The game has taught me patience, resilience, and the importance of celebrating small victories.

 

As I continue to play, I know that every swing, every shot, and every round is a testament to my journey. Golf has become more than just a sport for me; it’s a symbol of my recovery and a reminder that no matter the obstacles, I can always find my way back to the Green.

 

(AI Chatbot helped my story)

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