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Goodbye to summer


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#1 profsmitty

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:56 AM

Four Thursdays from now, Summer ends for me. I am told that I will begin Winter at 8:00 am Friday morning. I will take my golf bag out of my trunk along with my Sun Mountain cart, three pairs of golf shoes, two rain jackets, one fleece sweater, assorted socks, hats, worn-out golf gloves, several dozen golf balls of various stages of use, and innumerable broken tees, used score cards, and a water bottle that somehow broke in half. Iíll clean out the dried grass. And summer will be done for six months while a torn rotator cuff heals.




Iíve had injuries that have kept me off the golf course before. Knee surgeries, a pulled muscle in my back, and a groin pull all conspired to keep me away from the course for a while. But nothing has ever kept me away for this long or prevented me from at least swinging a club back and forth. I am told that I will be so trussed up for at least 6 weeks that I canít swing with both hands and that my therapist will kill me if I try. Iíll work diligently to rehap the shoulder. Iím a good patient. But I wonít play golf until mid-January. This a prospect that is too painful to believe.




It has been a good golf summer for me, at least until it abruptly and prematurely ends. I have found a set of irons that I love, a putter than listens to me (periodically), a wedge that is almost automatic, a new attitude towards strategy, and a renewed optimism about what is possible for a sixty-year old to accomplish on the course. I have written a couple of things that I am proud of, seen some improvement in my physical health, and read a couple of pretty good golf books. But in the bottom of my heart, Iíll still think of this as the lost summer, the summer that was snatched away.




Still it would multiply the tragic sense of loss that I feel about these next six months if I didnít learn something from them. I hope I will. Like all of the hundreds of college courses Iíve taken and taught over my career in academia, what I think I will learn is seldom what I actually do learn. But I know with absolute certainty that I have already learned one thing - I will do everything in my power never to have my game ripped away from me.




Many of us are at an age when time is not our friends. We have or are beginning to see old friends begin to fade physically and even mentally. We know it will happen to all of us unless something abrupt happens to accelerate the process. I have decided that that day, the day when I clean out my trunk for good, will be the day of my choosing, not the result of neglectful, negligent silliness on my part. I will not ďgo gently into that good [golf] nightĒ. The weight comes off. My cholesterol and blood pressure come down, Iím watching my blood sugar, and Iím walking the course at least half the time.




Letís do it together, friends. Letís talk about our hopes and efforts to prolong our golf futures. Letís encourage each other along the way. Letís become ďthat old guyĒ that walks on the tee with a bunch of young flat-bellies and demonstrates that ďage and treachery will overcome youth and skillĒ. Thatís the future I want for myself and Iíll bet its the future you want for you.




Letís only clean out our trunks when we want to, not when we have to. Letís get involved with ourselves. The alternative is too painful to consider. I know. I have.



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#2 oscarpepper

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:41 AM

sorry to hear that

#3 J Jack

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 03:17 PM

Sounds like your first lesson is "resolve"

#4 Bella Woods

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 05:44 PM

smith5606:

Amen

#5 freddiec

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 08:54 PM

George, best wishes for a great recovery. Be well my friend. Use the time wisely.

Edited by freddiec, 22 June 2011 - 08:55 PM.


#6 profsmitty

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 03:09 PM

Just a little update.

I decided to go out with a bang. My buddy and his wife joined my wife and I on a one-week golf binge. We went to Northern New Mexico for a glorious week of golf in the cool mountain air. We had a ball. Played 6 straight days of golf, hit some good ones, some bad ones, laughed, met some really great people, hugged a bunch - generally had a spectacular time.

On Wednesday (we were scheduled to leave Saturday morning to return home), I scooted across the seat of the golf cart and felt a very, very slight twinge in the small of my back. The next day, I was a little sore but not sore enough not to play. Friday, I was a little tight across the bottom of my back and had some pressure in the thigh of my right leg. That night, my leg began to throb. (Do you see what's coming, yet?) I couldn't sleep but was able to get the car loaded and began the nine hour trip home.

Those nine hours were not pleasant. I didn't want to say anything to worry my wife or to get a earful about how silly my buddy and I were to kill ourselves on the golf course. Was able to get home, unload the car, walk the floor all night. On Sunday morning, instead of going to Mass, I went to the emergency room. We left an hour later with an armful of the most delicious concoction of controlled substances and enough pills to get me to my Doctor on Tuesday.

He listened to me, read the emergency room report, X-rayed my back, mumbled under his breath, and scheduled an MRI for that afternoon. After the MRI was read I had an appointment for Wednesday with the Neurosurgeon. They did an L3-L5 laminectomy Friday morning. I got home on Sunday afternoon and have been watching baseball, reading, and a little writing since. I'll be completely out of my office through the end of the week, get a little more involved with life until August 25th when that rotator cuff that started this whole mess will be repaired. This time though, I'll stay home the week before the surgery. No telling what else I'd break.

Seriously, I'm feeling better every day and am still looking forward to hitting 'em long and straight in the Spring. Until then, I live my golf life though you guys. Have fun for me.

#7 teespoon

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 03:41 PM

View Postsmith5606, on 19 July 2011 - 03:09 PM, said:

Just a little update.

I decided to go out with a bang. My buddy and his wife joined my wife and I on a one-week golf binge. We went to Northern New Mexico for a glorious week of golf in the cool mountain air. We had a ball. Played 6 straight days of golf, hit some good ones, some bad ones, laughed, met some really great people, hugged a bunch - generally had a spectacular time.

On Wednesday (we were scheduled to leave Saturday morning to return home), I scooted across the seat of the golf cart and felt a very, very slight twinge in the small of my back. The next day, I was a little sore but not sore enough not to play. Friday, I was a little tight across the bottom of my back and had some pressure in the thigh of my right leg. That night, my leg began to throb. (Do you see what's coming, yet?) I couldn't sleep but was able to get the car loaded and began the nine hour trip home.

Those nine hours were not pleasant. I didn't want to say anything to worry my wife or to get a earful about how silly my buddy and I were to kill ourselves on the golf course. Was able to get home, unload the car, walk the floor all night. On Sunday morning, instead of going to Mass, I went to the emergency room. We left an hour later with an armful of the most delicious concoction of controlled substances and enough pills to get me to my Doctor on Tuesday.

He listened to me, read the emergency room report, X-rayed my back, mumbled under his breath, and scheduled an MRI for that afternoon. After the MRI was read I had an appointment for Wednesday with the Neurosurgeon. They did an L3-L5 laminectomy Friday morning. I got home on Sunday afternoon and have been watching baseball, reading, and a little writing since. I'll be completely out of my office through the end of the week, get a little more involved with life until August 25th when that rotator cuff that started this whole mess will be repaired. This time though, I'll stay home the week before the surgery. No telling what else I'd break.

Seriously, I'm feeling better every day and am still looking forward to hitting 'em long and straight in the Spring. Until then, I live my golf life though you guys. Have fun for me.

  Sorry to hear that Mr Smith.  I have always enjoyed and admired your writing on golf, and life.  You are in all prayers and thoughts, for a full recovery.
   At 70, I find 18 to be getting quite a chore, but I shall play tomorrow and do my best.  Will be thinking of you and yours.

teespoon

#8 MrParr1Noid

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 03:47 PM

It was awfully hot yesterday Smitty but "WE" scored okay...Posted Image...I feel your pain Smitty...no really, I do feel both yours and my pain, and it hurts like the dickens sometimes...

I have a feeling that you will do well my friend, and do listen to your doctors, even though they don't know nearly as much about ourselves as we do...Posted Image...And I pray that your surgeon performs with his skills as if he were piercing himself.   And pain schmain, I'll send you a fresh chunk of leather to bite down on for that pain...Posted Image

p.s.  And my tomato crop is doing pretty well if it weren't for those darned horn worms. Posted Image ...The best to you Smitty..Posted Image

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#9 Maxwell

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 05:20 PM

Golf is one of the few games were you can play for a very long time. Injuries will come and go but there is always next spring. A few more weeks for me and the bag goes south - into the basement! I'll clean them over the winter and probably regrip them. They're due. Somehow, the clubs in the corner make it easier to endure the winter. I'll practice the "very" short game in the family room with Misty as my "ball return". Thanks for sharing.
Max

Edited by Maxwell, 24 October 2011 - 05:20 PM.


#10 richard t

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 05:35 PM

Best wishes pal! I never thought I'd say I'm playing the best golf of my  life at 65, but the truth is I am. I teach school, but I'm going to the NFL-Not for Long. When I go back each Labor Day it's like someone took the air right out of me.  Yeah, Some Saturdays or the driving range, but it ain't summer time. The thing I think about often is just how many more summers there may be, but then I just tell myself, go play, have fun and don't worry. Hope things go well for you. Hey, I count time from November to the Masters. Spring begins at Augusta!


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#11 Bob Cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 05:42 PM

View Postrichard t, on 24 October 2011 - 05:35 PM, said:

I never thought I'd say I'm playing the best golf of my  life at 65, but the truth is I am.  Spring begins at Augusta!


I'm 48 and played my best this Summer.  Still chasing my first hole-in-one but I know it's close and will be a great surprise.  Hope I'm playing my best at 65!
Ditto on the Spring-Augusta association.

#12 profsmitty

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:26 PM

Well, I survived. Doctor released me to return to action a couple of weeks ago. I actually got in a swing off a mat at the college's indoor range on Monday. I'm going to take things slow but by March when the ground thaws, I'll be ready. I'm coming back with a new perspective about golf though. I'll fill in the blanks in the next few weeks for anyone who's interested.

It's great to be back, friends.

#13 freddiec

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:30 PM

Glad your well George. Happy Holidays.

#14 profsmitty

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 08:38 AM

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

OK, seniors - Help Smitty Party (as much as we are capable, anyway)! The temperature got up to 60+ yesterday and true to my word, I played my first round since June. Had a great time. Hit the ball really well. Even carried my 10 club bag the front 9. It was wonderful to get back to doing what I love so much.




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