Thursday, March 19, 2020

Under the Knife

Two weeks ago, I underwent surgery to repair an inguinal hernia in my right groin area. An inguinal hernia occurs when tissue protrudes through a weak spot on the abdominal muscles.

I first became aware of the hernia early last summer, when I would experience discomfort while standing for a lengthy period of time. The discomfort would quickly subside once I sat down. With each passing week and month, the discomfort came quicker and more frequently.

In October, during a routine visit with my physician, I made them aware of this discomfort. My doctor said what I was describing sounded like a hernia, and verified it through a physical exam of the area. However, a subsequent ultrasound failed to show the hernia.

In early January, my doctor ordered a CAT scan, which clearly diagnosed the inguinal hernia. I met with a surgeon, was cleared to have surgery by my cardiologist, and the repair was scheduled for late in the month. However, a severe cold, which later turned into pneumonia, forced the surgery to be postponed until two week ago.

Following the successful surgery, I was instructed to limit my activity as part of my recovery. A followup exam last Friday with the surgeon showed the repair is healing nicely. While I do have restrictions in how much I can lift and other activities, the doctor said I could return to the gym in a few weeks, which will allow to start getting my stamina and fitness back.

My golf, however, has been put on indefinite hold while I go through my post-repair recovery. The surgeon said that right now, the force of a golf swing could cause re-injury. He said it could be two months or more before I can begin hitting golf balls. This will delay the start of my golf season until at least mid-May.

As you may recall, I had heart bypass surgery in March 2017, which delayed my golf season until August, which resulted in me only being able to play about three rounds that fall. So being delayed until May or June is not going to ruin my golf season.

I have another followup appointment with the surgeon in mid-April. I am hopeful that he will clear me to at least begin putting, and perhaps some chipping, at that time. Until that time, all I will be able to do is watch golf videos and whatever content the Golf Channel is showing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

2019 Year in Review

Before we get too far into the new year, it is a good to reflect back on the past season. So here is my 2019 golf season in review.

Third Hole at Fairways Golf Club

In 2019, my season began on April 27th and ended on October 28th. Between those dates, I played 14.5 rounds, three of which were golf outings, over eight different courses. I had hoped to play more rounds during the season, but was limited by car troubles through all of July and some of August.

Paxon Hollow Scorecard

My 2019 scoring average was 92.2 for the year. I played 261 holes, making 49 scores or par or better on the 207 holes I played as an individual. That equates making par or better on 24 percent of the holes, nearly making the goal of 25 percent that I set for myself at the beginning of the year. I also made two birdies in 2019, both at Fairways Golf Club: the 291-yard Par 4 11th Hole and the 108-yard Par 3 3rd Hole, where I chipped in from off the green.

The Third Hole at Neshaminy Valley

My best round of the year was an 82 shot at Fairways on August 10th, in which I made a birdie and 6 pars. My worst round was a 100, also shot at the Fairways on June 21st. It was the only round of the season that I failed to shoot in the 90s or lower.

The yardage book from Juniata Golf Club

I played eight different courses in 2019, included two new courses: Paxon Hollow, Fairways Golf Club, Neshaminy Valley, The 1912 Club, Juniata Golf Club, John F. Byrne Golf Club, Sawmill Golf Course and Union League Golf Course at Torresdale. The 1912 Club and Union League were the two courses I played for the first time.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

What a Difference in a Decade

One of the more popular trends as the 20-teens ended on December 31, was to compare pictures of yourself from the start of the decade in 2010 to those at the end in 2019. Although I didn't do it, I suspect I kook a little older and little more gray. I decided that instead on comparing pictures of myself, I would compare what was in my golf bag at the start of the decade with what was in it at the end. Here is the comparison.

Driver: 2010 was split between a TaylorMade Tour Burner and a Wilson Staff Smooth. The Smooth Driver remained almost a constant in my bag throughout the decade until it was replaced last year with a Ping G400 Max.

Fairway Woods: In 2010, I started the season with a TaylorMade Tour Burner 3- and 5-wood and finished with an Adams Redline RPM 4-wood. In 2019, I used a TaylorMade M2 4- and 7-wood, before moving to a Ping G 4-wood for most of the season.

Hybrids: I used numerous hybrids in 2010, including Nickent, Elevon Tour and TaylorMade. My 2019 bag was home to a Wilson Staff FG Tour 3-hybrid and Wilson Staff V4 utility iron.

Irons: TaylorMade Tour Burners ruled my bag in 2010, while I mostly used Wilson Staff Ci7s in 2019.

Wedges: Solus 53- and 56-degree wedges were a constant in the 2010 golf bag. 2019 saw a combo of Cleveland (48-degree) and Wilson Staff (52- and 56-degree) wedges in the bag throughout the season.

Putter: The putter is the one area that stayed basically the same. I alternated frequently between an Odyssey or Snake Eyes putter throughout most of the season.

Golf Ball: In 2010 I used a Wilson Staff golf ball through most of the season. 2019 saw Titleist as the only golf ball in my bag.

So there you have it. While I began the decade as a loyal TaylorMade equipment user, I ended the decade with a number of brands in my bag: Ping, TaylorMade, Wilson Staff, Cleveland, and Titleist.