If the lesson isn’t not to stick with a swing model that doesn’t work for you, for five years and ultimately end up with a broken back, then it’s this: pain is a warning signal, and one you heed, if you’re in sports.
It doesn’t matter the sport, only the foolhardy play through injuries or pain.
And I’m not talking about getting hurt on a play and then finishing out the game or match – anyone who has competed in sports has had to “suck it up” after getting hurt in competition.
However, at the end of the day, you pack it in and go get treatment and therapy if required, and you sit out until you’re healthy again and good to go.
For golfers, there’s a double danger to playing hurt – for one, you’re going to do more and more damage as you plow through the warning signs that pain is giving you.
And this statement from Tiger just leaves me shaking my head, in a piece on his playing career from Emily Kay at SB Nation:
Did playing through injuries cost Tiger Woods the chance to break Jack Nicklaus’ majors record?
(DJ’s Answer: Of Course! Well, that and the source of his injuries – the Modern Golf Swing which had him experiencing left knee issues in his teens…)
Tiger Woods concedes that rushing back too soon from past injuries lopped “months and years” off his career.
But the rehabbing winner of 14 of those prestigious events did concede that he had paid a heavy price for being impatient to recover from a vast array of afflictions during his nearly 20 years on the PGA Tour…
“I’ve played through a lot of injuries, I played through some situations I probably shouldn’t have,” Woods said during an afternoon press conference from Bluejack National, the Houston-area course he designed.
“I’ve cost myself months and years because of it but that’s what athletes do. We play through pain.”
Second, a chronic or sudden pain while swinging the golf club should tell you – you’re doing something wrong…
It’s that simple.
If you’re hurting, then you’re doing something wrong. If you’re not doing something wrong and you’re still hurting – go find something else to do.
Tiger Woods has no excuse. He was the Number 1 player in the world for most of the time he played, and he won by far the most money on Tour during his years playing.
He also made the most in endorsements. It’s not like he needed to be out there for the money.
So, there is no excuse to play golf on a broken leg, or to ignore the certain pain he was experiencing in his left knee while he was wrecking that, and of course the back pain he would surely have been feeling (unless those clutches at his back were something else) swinging with Sean Foley’s model for five years.
In short – that’s not smart.
It’s worse than “not smart,” actually, but I’ll leave it at that.
Swinging a 13oz golf club shouldn’t hurt.
I know this.
I myself have a serious twist in my spine, and I am sore in the lower back all the time from my deformity – but it doesn’t come from swinging a club.
In fact, the only time my back doesn’t ache is when I’m standing over balls and swinging. It’s a natural, athletic motion and I’ve been in sports my entire life.
I’ve swung in countless different manners while conducting my swing research, and I can assure you all, I even tried some of the very mechanically incorrect things you see on TV.
But I found out very quickly through physical feedback which things weren’t mechanically sound (through pain or discomfort that I hadn’t had before), and I stopped swinging that way.
I certainly am not going to risk health and life enjoyment to stubbornly swing a golf club “the way I want to, dammit,” while my back or knees or other body parts are screaming that this isn’t the way to do it.
So, there is no “price to pay” for simply wanting to play high level amateur or even professional golf.
The price to pay is the needless injuries and chronic physical issues you will live with after you’re done, just because you arrogantly or short-sightedly think, “Ah, it’s worth it, it’s the price to pay…”
No, it isn’t. So, if you simply hadn’t thought of it that, or if you were told by a trusted instructor/mentor that pain is the price to pay for playing golf – it.is.not.
So, now you know. It’s never too late to come back from the dark side.
If you remain there however, you will find out what the price is…
It’s the price to pay for hubris and stubborn refusal to admit you could be wrong about your views on the golf swing, however well you might play the game or however long you might hit it.
Here’s the sad part:
Woods as much as allowed that the only chance he has of regaining some semblance of a winning form, giving chase once again to Jack’s all-time mark, and not landing back on the DL, is to exhibit the patience he lacked over the decades.
Too late for that, I’m afraid.
Far too late.
Wanna learn the MCS methodology and swing like the greats did in the classic era?