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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Smiling With Pride

Junior Golfer:  "Am I doing good?"

Me:  "You're doing great!  Every day you practice I see you hitting the ball straighter and farther than the last time."

Junior Golfer:  "That makes me happy!  I'm proud of myself!  You're a golf professional so if you think I'm doing good them I must really be getting better.  I'm so proud of myself right now!  Golf is fun and I really enjoy playing it.  I promise I'm going to work even harder than I have been!  The next time I talk to my mom I am going to tell her how much fun this is."

The above conversation took place between me and one of our junior golfers during one of the recent weekly "Golf Days" at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital.  While he was taking a break, this young man asked my thoughts about his golf swing & game.  Following this he started asking how he can keep playing golf when he goes home from the hospital.  The smile and excitement he showed was incredible.  A simple game bringing this much joy to a junior golfer makes you wonder why programs like this are not more widespread.

Golf is a healing tool.  I have said it repeatedly on this blog and in conversations about the junior golf program at Ranken Jordan.  It does not matter the age of the person or complexity of medical issues, golf is a healing tool.  Yes, golf can heal physically.  If you do not think so I invite you to Google Zakki Blatt and then get back to me.  Golf also heals mentally and emotionally.  Given the attitude and behavior occasionally seen on golf courses you may not think so, but it happens.  The young man discussed in this post is the perfect example.  The bad day he was having turned into a good day as soon as he had a golf club in his hands.

Spending time at Ranken Jordan at least once a week for almost 4 years has provided me the opportunity to witness countless amazing stories and recoveries.  Some of those have involved golf while others have not.  For those recoveries that have involved golf, I cannot tell you how rewarding it is to watch a child's golf swing improve while their health also improves.  Seeing a child get better physically, mentally, and emotionally while at the same time learning the game of a lifetime is indescribable.  Or, to put it in the words of a certain junior golfer . . . it is fun.

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