Golfing Through the Pain, For Better or Worse

We’ve all seen it, a professional golfer withdraws because of some injury prior to the upcoming tournament. Anna and I have both had to withdraw from a tournament because of an injury. Why not just play through it? What’s the point that you call it? Of course that it’s all personal and relative to each person’s pain threshold and what a physician may say. But I wanted to talk about a few of the times I did withdraw and why, and a couple times I was golfing through the pain.

What brought this blog post on? It’s hard not to talk about Tony Finau’s ankle dislocating during the Master’s Par 3 Contest and then him continuing to play the rest of the week. And play well! Honestly, the whole time I’m watching it I’m thinking, “There’s no way this guy is going to withdraw from his very first Master’s tournament.”

So for me, my biggest injury was a couple years ago right before I turned pro. I played in a tournament towards the end of the year and my right elbow was really hurting. I was wincing after after shot. But I was golfing through the pain because at that point, it just wasn’t hurting enough. Fast forward to another week of practice and heading to the next event, I’m in a practice round and literally crying after tee shots. That was my limit. I want to the doctor and it ended up being tennis elbow. I took almost 8 weeks off from playing for it to heal, along with some physical therapy.

Now last year was probably my most recent golfing through the pain moment.

I was playing in the US Open Qualifier in Scottsdale, Arizona. Unfortunately for me, I woke up not feeling great that morning but figured I had 36 holes and would probably feel better by the afternoon. Boy was I wrong. So wrong. I was coughing up a storm with a high fever by the time I reached the back 9 of my second 18 holes. It was so bad that even though I was hitting greens in regulation, my vision was going blurry so I couldn’t putt worth a darn. I 3-putted my last 4 holes! But…I finished. I felt that I had come that far and just wanted to turn in the scorecard, even though I was close to passing out on my 36th hole.

There are times when you can play through, and times when you can’t. What can ya do? Was there ever a time that you kept playing even though you probably shouldn’t have? Let me know in the comments!

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