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Problems with the golf swing? Call the right professional

Problems with the golf swing? Call the right professional

Posted: Friday, April 30, 2010 8:03 pm
By: By David Critchlow Jr.

Problems with the golf swing? Call the right professional | David Critchlow Jr., Just A Thought
Want to improve your golf game?
Go see a professional — as in golf professional, not a medical professional.
I’ve tried the medical approach and it just doesn’t work.
A few years ago, I had an appendectomy.
During a follow-up exam, I asked the doctor about golf.
He said, “You can chip and putt.”
Thankfully, I didn’t share that information with any of my golfing buddies because it turned out to be false. I couldn’t putt or chip.
A few years after that, as I was recovering from a torn retina, I asked the doctor about golf during recovery.
“You can chip and putt,” he replied.
Unfortunately, this time I told my friends I could “chip and putt.”
“Who told you that?” they laughingly asked. “Your doctor? Obviously, your doctor has never seen you play.”
Sure enough, they were right and the doctor was wrong.
I considered legal action against the doctor for all the pain, suffering, mental anguish and public humiliation he caused by telling me I could chip and putt.
While I was confident I had a strong case, I finally decided the legal system was overwhelmed and opted not to pursue the matter.
Most recently, I had shoulder surgery for a torn rotator cuff.
Almost two months later, during a follow-up exam, I inquired about golf.
“Can I, at least, chip and putt?”
His response: “Could you chip and putt before your injury?”
“Well, no, not really,” I said.
“Well then you will not be able to chip and putt now,” he said. “On the bright side, however, you can go out and attempt to chip and putt.”
“Thanks, doc, for the encouraging words,” I said.
I already knew all of this, of course, because it’s true. I can’t chip or putt or really even play golf for that matter, and why I would turn to a medical doctor to remind me of that I don’t know.
A local golf pro has offered the same suggestion to me for years: “Have you ever thought about practicing?”
“But I don’t want to practice. It takes too much time,” I’ve always responded. “I just want to show up on the first tee, take a nice smooth swing like Ernie Els (aka ‘the Big Easy’ on the professional tour) and beat my friends.”
Unfortunately, what I want and what I get are two distinctly different things.
I’ve seen my golf swing on video before and there is nothing smooth or easy looking about it. It comes closer to resembling a tall, fat and balding lumberjack chopping wood — often missing the target.
When I watch the video, it becomes clearer to me why my shoulder started hurting in the first place. It’s painful to watch.
And, speaking of pain, I want to thank all the concerned folks who offered their helpful thoughts and observations after the surgery.
Here are a few examples:
• “Rotator cuff surgery? I hear that’s really painful. Recovery is terrible.”
Yep, they were right about that one.
• “Why is your arm in a sling? Did your wife push you down the steps?”
Nope. She may have wanted to, but she hasn’t done it yet. I’ll admit I have caught her trying to put a pillow over my face at night. She says it’s because I snore, but sometimes I’m not so sure.
• “You’re really falling apart. It means you’re getting old.”
Bingo. As you can tell from the aforementioned surgeries, I’m definitely falling apart, which means AARP cards can’t be far behind.
One of the good things about getting old, though, is I’ll get to move up to the senior tees on golf courses fairly soon. Maybe I can chip and putt from up there.
Editor David Critchlow Jr. may be contacted by e-mail at
Published in The Messenger 4.30.10


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