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I am coming back from a long term injury in my lower back. I am literally starting from scratch. I was playing at a 2 handicap when I had to stop and now it's been 14 months since I've played a complete round of golf with a score. My 2020 goals are to improve my fitness to a level commensurate with (amateur) tournament golf, rebuild my swing from the ground up focusing on driving distance and proximity to the hole on approach shots, and of course putting stats. These goals are in no particular order so my question is where would each of you start and what would be a reasonable expectation for a timeline? I am a very aggressive competitor and must find a balance between pushing myself by not settling for mediocre results and having the patience to fully bring myself back at a safe pace so as not to cause further damage to my back and shoulder.  

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Been there and done that. I was told I'd have trouble walking again. Golf again? Forget it. This from the experts.

It takes personal perseverance, and a tough mental attitude to rehab one's golf game after a serious injury.. 

Myself, I started from the green (putting)  and gradually rebuilt my game back to the tee box. Chipping, pitching, half, 3/4, and then full swings in that order. I let the the shorter swings retrain me physically, and mentally for the longer swings.

Took me quite a while, as I had to deal with several set backs. (follow up surgeries) .during that journey.  

In the end, I got back to with in 3 strokes of my original 6 hdcp. I was quite pleased with my legit 9 hdcp. Made alot of other folks happy too. 

My best suggestion is work hard towards your goal, but don't over do it. Don't rush it. 

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@Black Sail and @Patch, very inspiring! I was never in your league as a golfer; just a 90's shooter with the occasional high 80's score. Sept. 2017 rheum arthritis struck with a vengeance in hands and rotator cuffs and right knee. I found out it had been working on me for years. After a long recovery, it hit again Oct. 2019 after a big change of meds. In both cases, I followed @Patch 's routine and advice pretty much once the docs and phys therapy routine permitted. Now I am ready to try again. At 74 my goals are pretty simple...To practice short-slow-specific 2Xweek and play at least 1Xweek with my buddies. Scores will come along as they will. Thank you for your stories! Best, -Marv

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I have had three lower back surgeries, (L4/L5), the first was when I was in the Air Force, 20 years old, and fell off the wing of a KC-135A during snow removal. I agree with the above, don't rush it! It takes time for everything to heal even though you may feel OK. After my layoffs I too started with the short game. I actually kipped the drive in the bag and use my 3W off the tee for a long time, like 6 months after the doctor said I could play again and PT.

I'm 68 now and after three surgeries my swing speed is down around 85 MPH, I am no where near your HC, but I have gone through what you're going through. My doctor, who plays golf also, really advised taking it slow, you can hurt yourself again if you rush it.

Good luck with your comeback, hope everything works out for you. Keep us advised as to your progress.

Jim 

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I had surgery on my right wrist and was told I would never be able to even touch a golf club again....ever. i was indeed in a long 3 year layoff from golf to fully recover but now I have been back for almost a year and handicap almost as before the accident.   I'm happy with that.   Only thing I cant do is hit too many balls in the range like I used to (like 200 balls).  Now I hit one regular bucket and im done, if practicing.  and I now play with a golf wrist band, which has helped incredibly, specially for those hard pan course when hitting irons.

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@Black Sail. Be patient, don't push too hard, listen to your body and continue with the therapy exercises and stretches even if you feel good. It takes a long time to heal in areas that our bodies constantly use. You will have days/weeks with no issues, then a bit of a set back at times, but keep positive. 

Not sure what issues you've had, but ice is your best friend. After exercising and golf, ice the area even if it feels good. It will reduce the inflammation that will cause soreness then next day.

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On 1/15/2020 at 7:27 AM, boogielicious said:

@Black Sail. Be patient, don't push too hard, listen to your body and continue with the therapy exercises and stretches even if you feel good. It takes a long time to heal in areas that our bodies constantly use. You will have days/weeks with no issues, then a bit of a set back at times, but keep positive. 

Not sure what issues you've had, but ice is your best friend. After exercising and golf, ice the area even if it feels good. It will reduce the inflammation that will cause soreness then next day.

Can't recommend ice enough. As I said above I have had three lower back surgeries. After the second one I got a staph infection in the spine, pain was unbelievable, it left me with lower back pain for which they put me on narcotics, not good. I was on them for over a year while seeing a doctor who was applying moist heat and physical therapy, didn't work. I went to a Chiropractor, (which I was not a big fan of), but he had me apply ice three times a day and I saw him three times a week, he stretched me. I know you will not believe this but within a month or two the pain was gone! Then I had to get off the narcotics but that is another story.

 Whenever my back acts up I put ice on it and it really helps. Just ice in a zip lock bag, no towel, just applied right to the skin, 20 minutes or so, then gently stretch. 

 

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1 hour ago, cooke119 said:

Can't recommend ice enough. As I said above I have had three lower back surgeries. After the second one I got a staph infection in the spine, pain was unbelievable, it left me with lower back pain for which they put me on narcotics, not good. I was on them for over a year while seeing a doctor who was applying moist heat and physical therapy, didn't work. I went to a Chiropractor, (which I was not a big fan of), but he had me apply ice three times a day and I saw him three times a week, he stretched me. I know you will not believe this but within a month or two the pain was gone! Then I had to get off the narcotics but that is another story.

 Whenever my back acts up I put ice on it and it really helps. Just ice in a zip lock bag, no towel, just applied right to the skin, 20 minutes or so, then gently stretch. 

 

I can't take opioids. They make me extremely nauseous. So I learned after breaking my collarbone that ice was my friend.

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1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

I can't take opioids. They make me extremely nauseous. So I learned after breaking my collarbone that ice was my friend.

The pain management doctor had me on Fentanyl lollipops, four a day, I was hooked. Withdrawal was like getting off of heroin, going cold turkey. I'll never go through that again. First the physical withdrawal then the mental withdrawal. 

Narcotics have their place and if you need them do it under a good doctor's supervision. I don't believe the pain management doctor I saw was nothing more then a pill pusher, I'm sorry I ever went to him. I'll know better next time.

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I played to scratch when I was coaching a high school golf team several years ago. Since then, I’ve had the following surgeries;

total c2 to t1 fusion with a permanently broken c1 vertebrae.

360• fusion (both through the front then through the back) of my L1 to S1 vertebrae.

also have arthritis in my knees and zero cartilage in my right knee. 
 

I know I will never get to scratch again but I believe if I start slowly I can get some semblance of a game by trying to improve in other areas. I am not going to hit those booming 300 yard drives again but maybe my mid-short iron game can be improved from where they were.

i take as my inspiration a great friend , Matty Reid (see Curt Sampson’s book Hogan) who would travel to Texas tournaments with Hogan and beat both Hogan and Nelson for a couple of Texas championships. Matty was great but back then he needed to work on a railroad nod to feed himself and his family. He was in an accident that crushed every bone in his wrist.

When we would play together he would bump it along the ground and then sink 40 footers for par. Everyone can have fun at this game with the right inspiration and expectations.

 

sorry, I felt like preaching today.

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