What’s your handicap?

I’m not talking about the factor you use to determine you net score in friendly competition.  I’m talking about that obstacle standing in the way of you playing your best golf… and loving it!

I recently discovered mine and it had nothing to do with hooks, slices and yips.  Here’s my story…

Over a year ago I decided to spoil myself with a pedicure at a very high end spa in the city.  During the vigorous foot massage the ethetician hit something in my right foot and caused me to almost jump out of the chair. Since that day, I’ve lived in pain. I have tried drugs, reflexology, acupuncture, chiropractology and orthodics.  Nothing worked.

It didn’t hurt to swing a club, but I couldn’t walk more than 9 holes without limping.  I started riding a cart when everyone else was hiking it. It broke my heart and my spirit. I started feeling old.

My golf game took a dive, shooting my index up almost 4 points.  More than once, I thought about quitting, but then 2 months ago, something happened…

I was helping out  my golf coach, Ginny Golding at an Adapted Golf Clinic where 15+ golfers who survived severe traumas were out to better their games.

Many of them were in wheelchairs; others could stand and walk, but had limited arm and shoulder mobility.  But that didn’t stop any of them from whacking the ball as far as they possibly could, enjoying that sweet sound a good strike makes.

Meet Ed.  Ed survived a stroke 5 years ago and has limited use of his left arm.  So his is a one-handed swing using his right arm only; but when he connects with the ball, it soars! 

Watching Ed and the others, I kept wondering what motivates them to keep trying.  I think I would have given up.

“Everybody has challenges one way or another, whether it’s cognitive or physical,” Ed told me. “But if you continue to work hard, any physical condition should not prevent you from engaging in golf.  It’s a lifelong sport you should be able to play until you’re 100 if you really want to.”

It was a wake-up call for me – one that made me look at my game and my life from a new perspective – one of opportunity rather than one full of challenges. After that day, my thoughts about my insignificant disability changed and so did  my golf game.

I fell in love with the sport all over again.  I even started getting up at 5:00 AM to play 9 holes with my golfguy before heading into work.  I couldn’t get enough of the game whether I was walking or carting.

This weekend I finally entered all my scores into the RCGA Network for the year and discovered my handicap was the lowest it has ever been in my life – 17.4

I’m smiling now just thinking about it and the fact that I have a couple more months to get it under 17.  There’s no stopping me now!

I ask you again, “What’s your handicap?”   Mine isn’t my foot; it’s the 5 inches between my ears Bob Jones talked about. Henry Ford told us how to use those inches, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

So, if you really love something, and IF you fill those 5 inches with the power of positive thinking, you will find a way to enjoy what you love, no matter what life throws your way.   I love golf.  And as long as I’m on top of the fairways instead of under them, I’ll be giving it my best shot ….Aaaaand loving it!


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  1. Monique Agatep Ignacio

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story! You go girl! Fore!

  2. Hey thanks Monique! I just visited your blog and I suddenly got very hungry for something sweet. But I controled my urge to hit the cookie jar. Instead I added you to my blog roll.

    Thanks again!

  3. My handicap is bunkers, fairway bunkers are just hell.

  4. I think more than a few people will agree with you on that Jess! It’s no wonder that long bunker shots are considered the hardest shot in golf by many pros.
    Thx for sharing!

  5. Gareth @ Golf For Beginners

    My handicap is definitely my mental game I fall to pieces sometimes after going around steady. Just one little error and it starts from their. Don’t you just love golf?lol

  6. Hey Gareth! I totally agree – in fact, I think all golfers must be masochists. 🙂


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