THE MONTHLY ADVANCE
9362 W. Overland Rd., Boise, Idaho 83709 September 2017
Now, I would never claim to be a swing coach — you would be silly to take advice on how to hit a fade from someone with my handicap! What I focus on is making sure that there’s no physical impediments to being the best golfer you can be. Many folks spend decades looking forward to the time of their life when they can golf more than just once in a while. When that time comes, it can be crushing to learn that your body isn’t prepared for more than 18 holes a week. What good is all the free time in the world if you cannot spend it on your favorite hobbies? I love all the work I do, but golf rehab never fails to get me excited. Sometimes my staff members will remark that my voice raises a few decibels when I start talking about the sport. I can’t help it; it just gets my blood pumping. When someone steps into my office bemoaning the fact the only pain-free swing they have is with a putter, I empathize immediately. Thirty years from when I picked up a driver, it’s hard for me to imagine a life without golf. As a physical therapist, I make sure none of my patients have to imagine it either. “Wow,” I said to myself, “this is a game that produces joy.”
A GAME THAT BRINGS JOY How I Became a Golf Nut
Like many people from my generation, I didn’t pick up a set of golf clubs until I was an adult. It’s hard to imagine now, given how popular and accessible the sport is, but it wasn’t all that long ago that golf was only for a few. It was stuffy and exclusive, which was really a shame. Luckily, that’s no longer the case, and anyone can get the thrills (and occasional frustrations) that the golf course provides. Anyone, that is, who can swing a club without cringing in discomfort. It didn’t take many rounds for me to observe how much happiness golf can bring. As I started playing more frequently, I saw some of the most elated couples I’ve ever encountered out on the fairways together — provided, of course, that they didn’t give each other technique advice. “Wow,” I said to myself, “this is a game that produces joy.” When you’re starting out, the sport can feel brutal and unforgiving. But for every hooked tee shot,
there are the moments of bliss that come from chipping out of a bunker and nestling the ball inches from the cup. It doesn’t take many of those shots to make you a golfer for life. At the same time I was discovering the joys of the sport, the world of golf rehabilitation was being born. Golf, perhaps more than any other game, requires that your body mechanics are consistent and fluid. If one thing bothers your swing, you end compensating and spending far too much time in the woods. I wanted to give people the chance to return pain-free to the game they love, so I took advantage of all the training and education I could. It quickly became a passion. I’ve been lucky enough to receive training from the Titleist Performance Institute, which is the Harvard of golf education. The lessons I learned there are invaluable to providing the best for my patients.
Al Jones , PT, OCS, Cert. MDT
Advance: To move forward; to make progress; to move ahead.
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