How To Help

To contribute to the Ranken Jordan junior golf program or to ask any questions please e-mail me at This blog is not affiliated with Ranken Jordan. The views expressed on this blog are those of the author and not those of Ranken Jordan. Thank you for reading!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

It Happened Again

It happened again.  As ball after ball is struck and shot after shot flies through the air it happened again.  While it is not a common occurrence it is not exactly a rarity, either.  Standing to the side watching her 4 year old daughter swing a golf club a mother has tears rolling down her cheeks as a smile covers her face.  Watching her daughter hit golf balls is not what is making her cry tears of joy.  Simply seeing her daughter out of her wheelchair doing something athletic brings more joy than she could have ever imagined.

Physical limitations cause the junior golfer to only be able to grip the club in her right hand.  Balance and coordination limitations require that I have a hand on the club to guide the swing and help her make contact.  One other adjustment we have to make in teaching her is that she has not been able to get out of her wheelchair for very long . . . and until this first time playing golf she had never stood in grass.  After a couple of swings her physical therapist (because of the balance issues the therapist is there to hold her and make sure she is able to stand and hit golf balls) and I determine it would be best if she stands on the edge of the sidewalk, we place the golf ball in the grass, and she hits from there.  This is not something that is even considered in a typical junior golf program at golf courses around this country and around the world.  However at Ranken Jordan, this type of adjustment is just another day in our golf program.

Making adjustments in our teaching from student to student is nothing new for PGA Professionals.  Every lesson is a different student meaning a different way of learning, different strength & flexibility, different type of player, etc.  Reasons like this are why golfers go to PGA Professionals for lessons.  We have the knowledge and training to make these adjustments, tailor our teaching to the individual student, and ensure the student gets the maximum benefit from their time on the lesson tee with us.  What is rare is having to make adjustments because someone has never stood in grass before, can only see an orange colored golf ball, or has a cast on their right arm one week followed by a cast on their left arm 2 weeks later.  These are the adjustments I, and the other PGA Professionals who go to Ranken Jordan, make on a weekly basis.  As has been mentioned in several other blogs, these types of changes provide the rewards that have given me the most pleasure I have experienced during my career.

I have seen students transform their game through hard work and lessons and make the jump from amateur golf to the professional level.  I have watched students break 100 for the first time following a long season of diligent practice and instruction.  I have also watched a student pick up a driver for the first time and hit a high, soaring drive that has her jumping up and down on the lesson tee.  But what I have enjoyed the most are moments like what happened this past Tuesday during "Golf Day" at Ranken Jordan.

These are the memories that would have never happened if I had not met with Janine Roe and created this amazing program.  Thinking back to the week before Christmas in 2012 and watching 13 year old AJ get out of his wheelchair, take his first steps, sink a few putts, and then walk back to his wheelchair still brings tears to my eyes.  Now that I think about it, having him stand up and play the game as opposed to in his wheelchair was another adjustment I had to make in my teaching.  That is the type of adjustment that makes all the time and effort so worthwhile.  This crazy game we call golf is making a difference in the lives of thousands of children with complex medical conditions.  I am honored to have a small role in making that difference.  The "difference" I am talking about . . . this past Tuesday it happened again.

No comments:

Post a Comment