You can play golf with aches and pains.

Journal Entry #7
Monday, 6/9/2003
by: John K. Darling

When I went to a golf school last spring the demands of three mornings on the driving range each day and 18 holes of golf to follow was quite a challenge. A challenge, because I was just coming off total hip replacement surgery three months earlier.

Since I had spent a significant amount of money to take the school, I was not about to sit out one minute of the school if I could help it.

On the third day the other two students in my class, who had arrived a day earlier than I, had departed and that meant that I did not have to share the teaching pro, a young guy named Bobby Steiner. So it was one on one, this time for only three hours rather than four. It seemed like six hours to my body.

Let me tell you about Bobby. At age 20 he was bitten, and bitten very hard, by the "golf bug." He left college and committed himself to being a professional golfer. It took him four years, but he made it. Talk about pain, I'm a sissy compared to what he went through. Can you imagine hitting on a driving range from dawn to dusk and often with bloody and calloused hands? Then playing 63 holes of golf a day or until night intruded? That's what kind of dedication it took. Meanwhile, he pursued his hobby of karate and has been ranked nationally as high as second in the nation. Now at age 33 he has become an author and his book "Golf, Heart and Soul," should hit bookstores next summer. He was very gracious and gave me a copy of his manuscript. Wow, it was entertaining and instructive as well. I hope to review it on when it is published. His book has a very entertaining slant, and it teaches golf very well. It also traces his journey to becoming a professional golfer.

After my four hours of enjoyable torture on the driving range, in the practice bunkers, which I never mastered, and on the chipping and putting green I was exhausted and hurt all over. I had developed tendonitis in my left forearm and a painful tennis elbow too. Why don't they call it "golf" elbow when a golfer has it? The groin muscle on my left leg was saying "don't play" as well. Had I not used a cold pack treatment the evening prior, I might not have been able to do the last 18 holes of the school.

So, how did I fortify myself to play golf the last day? No, not booz, bandages. I bought a Velcro wrap for my forearm, and wrapped my left thigh with a 3" Ace bandage. That did the trick. I played with very little pain. Of course that evening I still used my poor-man's cold packů.frozen peas in a zip lock bag.

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