KG’s Blog Post #62 – 6/2/10 11:22pm

Year One Is Near – No Worries,

Figure that some might be tired of me complaining, I’m sorry. I’m getting very concerned that I’m in golfing trouble. My only ankle is as big a problem as trying to figure out this new swing plane. Played yesterday and played decent but my ankle today is like a fried bagoda. I think my teacher (Peter Kostis) may have to make some changes to our plan. Getting everything on to the left side is just imposssible.

Now on the even more setback trail I must tell you that I’m an emotional wreck, the signs of depression are flying all around me and the one year date is scaring me to death. Next Tuesday is going to be a nightmare for me. I don’t know why but it’s been in my head for a month now. It’s just a day but I feel like it’s something I just can’t put into words.

Mr. Munch has to be tired of kissing my tears off. Not sure if that was in his job description, but oops for him. Maybe I’ll buy him some more toys.

It will be interesting to see how Peter reevaluates the plan. Do we wait and see if it does heal or do we alter our plans. I’m worried about whether I’m gonna have to stop playing golf again for a few months. What on planet Earth will I do?

Okay, my friends, I have once again probably said more than I should but I’ve promised you the truth on my life, golf and the battle. Some battles we lose, but as long as we win the war my tears will turn to happy ones. Thank you for letting me speak as this is my therapy.

As anyone tried my chipping ideas? Soon as I figure out how to putt I’ll give you those too.

Ken

13 Responses to “KG’s Blog Post #62 – 6/2/10 11:22pm”

  1. John Schlosser says:

    I’m 73 years old & had my left leg amputated (bk) in January. I’m anxious to get back to playing golf and suggestions that would be help.Good Luck on your comeback.

  2. ALAN WINSTON says:

    Every body says hang in there Ken. Keep trying, never give up. I truely believe in this. I don’t know what it is like having lost a leg, brother, son and girl friend.
    I do know what is like to have a disease that effects coordination, ability to use arms legs and arms. This disease effects thinking and memory and a lot more and there is no cure. I have lost my ability to work at my profession. I have Multiple Sclerosis. Before my last attack in my brain I was able to break 80 just once. Now I have not been able to this again.
    This is my goal. I will do this. My physiologist says I will not break 80 because of my age and disease. I say I will. You are my role model. If you can make it on the Champions tour I can break 80. When I do it I will stick it up this guy’s ass. I will send him my score card and remind him never to tell someone that they can not do something that they want to do.
    I am counting on you to show me the way. You can make the tour, I can break 80 together we will never give up. If we die trying then we die, but we know we will never give up. Ken good luck my friend. Alan Winston, Sarasota Florida

  3. Duane Withers says:

    I wanted to make sure you read this again…I know it will make you Smile! :) !!!
    Come..On Greenie! There are so many more shots like this one waiting for you and us! We luv you buddy! Embrace the pain in your heart

    Now, Caddy Mitch Gross tells us “The Rest of The Story”…
    …Comment Posted 5-19-10 by Mitch (to KG’s #58):
    Ken is understating what happened, though he is accurate about me falling backward to get his butt up and out of the creek. To this day the shots he made constitute the single greatest par I have ever seen, heard about, or read of. And that’s no exaggeration.

    Once we found the ball in the creek it was a foregone conclusion we would pick it up and take a drop. Peter Jacobsen asked the marshal 4 times whether the ball might have crossed the hazard and rolled back in. No such luck. The ball went in on the fly. Lietzke said, “Maybe you didn’t see it right. It looked like it crossed to me.” Again the answer was “no.” All this time Ken stood looking down at the ball 20 feet below the putting surface sitting on a moss-covered boulder. It was clearly beneath the surface and oscillating gently in the current. Jacobsen finally noticed a place where Ken could take a drop.

    No one, and I repeat, no one, conceived he would attempt to hit that ball. The marshal bent down to pick it up and Ken stopped him. “I really think I can get it out,” Ken said.

    When Lietzke heard it he was in shock. “Maybe you better rethink this, Kenny. A guy with two good legs couldn’t get down there.”

    Jacobsen echoed the sentiment.

    Ken said, “Look, there’s a low point about 30 yards away. I’m pretty sure I can make my way back to the ball.”

    When he started down, Rose Lietzke, who was caddying for her husband that day, pinched me and said, “Stop him. He’s going to kill himself.”

    Quite frankly, I didn’t know what to do. Nor did Mark Woods, the tournament chairman, who was doubling as a marshal. Nor did the Golf Channel cameraman, who had climbed down out of the tower and had come over, ready to jump in and rescue Ken.

    It took several minutes of slipping and sliding for Ken to negotiate the slippery rocks and make his way to the ball. All the while Peter Jacobnsen kept muttering to himself.

    Ken finally steadied himself and swung.

    Water and mud flew into the air. A second later it arched upward and landed 25 feet from the flag. There was a collective gasp from the people there. The gum the cameraman was chewing fell out of his mouth. One woman actually started to cry. I swear.

    Ken told the crowd, “I didn’t think I would hurt this leg,” he said, referring to his prosthesis. He then went on the make the putt.

    By this time it was obvious we weren’t going to win the tournament. But it didn’t matter. What I saw was the essence of guts, determination, and a love of the game so great, a man was not going to give in without a fight. He job was to shoot the best score he could and that’s what he did.

    On the way down the 15th fairway, Peter Jacobsen fell in step beside me and said, “I hope you know you just witnessed a miracle back there.”

    That night, I wrote to my agent about what had happened. He sent the email verbatim to a book publisher who called me and asked me to recount the events. As I did, he become choked up. So did I.

    There is an old expression that goes, “A man who won’t be beaten, can’t be beaten.” I never knew exactly what that meant until the other day.

    -Mitch

  4. Andy and Ruth Ann Peters says:

    Keep fighting – you are such an inspiration to so many people. I wear your hat with pride and am excited to see and hear about your progress each week.

  5. Jim R says:

    Hi Ken,
    Keep hanging in there Ken. From your blog it sounds like a down week. I hope your not putting too much pressure on yourself. It’s truly amazing what you’ve survived and how you have progressed. I know the anniversary will stir up some emotional soup… but I think you ought to plan a little celebration for that day. Celebrate the memories of your lost loved ones and continue to celebrate your amazing recovery.
    I just wanted to tell you I’ve enjoyed hearing about your story. Please try to focus on the positives and get your rest. Sometimes in the fight you got to take a little break to regroup. I wish you the best… fairways and greens, Mr Green.
    Jim from Houston, TX

  6. TC Harp says:

    Ken,
    Those anniversaries were a big deal to me for about the first 5 years after my amputation. Now they pass with barely a note. Try to not let your recovery or your depression be aggravated by imposing specific time limits, but rather gauge your recovery by the milestones you accomplish. Everyone recovers at very different paces. You can do this. Remember to take special care of the limbs and joints you still have. They are even more important now.

  7. Dave Dunville says:

    Yes that one year date is a pain in the ass, Depression that you think a Hooters Girl could not wipe away. I suggest starting with 2 Hooters Girls, I started smiling again at 3 Hooters Girls. There is another one year date that happens to…. Its that first new step, its that first time without a walker, crutches or a cane, its the first time back on the driving range. Does it get better Ken, Yes it does most years I don’t remember the day of the accident, or even the day the Doctor took my leg. I do remember Those first new steps, I remember the guy in PT that heard that I golf, and said to bad you could never do that again- Then seeing his face when I played through on him and his friends.
    I spent Tuesday talking with a teenager who just lost his leg do to a drunk driver, and is a golfer. He was looking forward to join the High School’s Golf Team. He know of you, and other PGA Golfers. I told him how you have returned to do some of the tournaments, and you should have seen his eyes light up! It fired him up to know he has a shot at making the team after all.
    Ken, It does get better my friend, yes it really does get better. Just remember there other amputees out here that would be happy to talk with you.
    Dave Dunville
    Amputee Firefighters Association

  8. N.G.Simon says:

    c’mon,Ken,we still remember you as a stubborn Irishman,or is it focussed?Our thoughts and prayers are still with you,and I’m sure Mr.Kostis will get you on the right track!

  9. Tom Briggum says:

    Those anniversary dates are hard for all of us and will be more so for you because you lost more than just a body part. But each succeeding one gets less stressful, the first was the toughest.

    I tried the chipping tip but I suck at chipping that way even worse than the regular way. Maybe you can suggest a way to make short-game practice as much fun as banging the driver?

  10. Julie says:

    Hi Ken, Big Hugs! They say time heals all wounds and I do believe that. Life goes on and we have to deal with everything it throws at us. I to have suffered family loss and at this time now it is almost the anniversary and birthday of my deceased best mate my brother. It’s been 8 years and yeah it still hurts but with time the pain does lessen. Never forgotten. You just have to pick yourself up and do what you can to enjoy your life, find it in something. Even if it is golf and you have to give it up (lets hope not) something golf related at least. I am a horsewoman who won many championships but now find I can still keep my interest by judging, teaching and now photographing horses without riding. On another note your Ankle! I recently had a stress fracture in my foot for the second time. I can understand your frustration at trying to rest it. Almost impossible for a sports minded person. I guess you just have to adjust and make a few changes to get by. I walk a lot so I had to implement things like driving the car to feed the horses instead of walking, taking a cart at the golf course instead of walking. Putting it up and resting it when I could. Nothing in comparison to what you are going through I know……….but I am sure you have it in your heart to keep going and doing your best at enjoying your life.

  11. Dick Cote says:

    hi Ken,I can really understand how all this is ganging up on you at this time.But Lianne is
    right and time is truly the great healer,both physically and emotionally.There’s a famous quote that goes “it’s always darkest just before the dawn”.I’ve found that to be true in my life
    and I hope it will be in yours too.We are all with you in this battle and you will win out.
    God bless and be with you always.

  12. Jim Curley says:

    Ken,

    You have an entire community of amputee golfers out there who have dealt with everything you have or will feel in both your good (so to speak) and bad leg. That is a resource you may want to tap and I’d be happy to hook you up with the right people so you could get the word out. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people out there who have no idea what you are going through and I know they’d be glad to help anyway they could. Just a thought.

    Jim from Malvern, PA

  13. Lianne Thayne says:

    Hang in there Ken! Time and memories will heal. Can you tape the ankle to give it more support? Hope that you can find something to work. You without golf is not good. Rest the ankle for awhile. Take care.

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