I cannot believe how quickly the days flew by last week while I was at home. In a blink of an eye, it was time to pack my bags and head out on the road. Fortunately though, I wasn't alone as I said goodbye to the dirt roads of South Georgia. As my tail lights made their way down the driveway at 5am on Monday morning, my family closed their eyes and began the journey with me to West Palm Beach, Florida, and the Honda Classic. We boarded a plane in rainy and cold Atlanta, Georgia, and made the short flight to sunny skies and 85 degree temperatures! Beth and I somehow managed to keep our two extremely active monkeys in check during the flight which I will be the first to admit...wasn't an easy task. I definitely don't see how Beth does it alone! God Bless her!
On Wednesday of last week, I headed north and met with the Orthopedic Doctors that work directly with the University of Georgia and their athletes. They took some x-rays and injected my left hip with cortisone and a "greaser" to help lubricate my joint capsule. I limped around the house for a couple of days due to the increased fluid in my hip and finally gave it a test run on Friday. Fortunately, I didn't have to travel very far to practice! Jake and I walked out the back door and hit balls for a couple of hours on the green at my house. My hip felt pretty good and actually got better and better as the weekend progressed. When I met my caddy Barry on Monday afternoon in Florida, I was able to turn on my left hip with ease. My speed through the ball had returned and everything felt great. In fact, my hip turn was so fluid that my swing felt out of sorts and different. My body had become used to the restricted feeling in my left hip and I didn't realize how bad it had gotten. In fact, I now realize that I made a mistake this past winter. Last year, I received two shots of cortisone due to pain and stiffness in my left hip. My plan was to get an injection prior to this season but due to the minimal pain I was feeling, I decided to wait. Obviously, this was a mistake. I played the entire west coast on a hip that was extremely restricted and because it didn't hurt all the time, I thought I was fine. This obviously wasn't the case and I can chalk it up to a lesson learned. Note to self...you have a 2x4 of a left hip and until you have surgery, please continue to get regular cortisone shots regardless of how well you THINK you feel!
I played on Tuesday with one of my normal practice round partners, Kenny Perry. Fresh off his Champions Tour victory of five shots, I spent the afternoon picking his brain on his latest win. He has always been very kind and generous to me and I cannot not tell you how extremely blessed I am to have him as a good friend. The insight and knowledge that he has provided me over the last three years has been incredible. I am very lucky to have someone who is so willing to give advice each and every week. Hopefully one day, I will put all his knowledge to good use!!
We will see how my swing reacts to a fluid hip this week. I know my best golf is ahead and my timing and rhythm will return. Last year, it took a week or two my shots to finally trust myself and swing freely. This week's tournament at PGA National is a tremendous test. The rough is high and the winds swirl on every hole. The infamous Bear Trap (holes 15-18) serve as a land mine and can dismantle a good round in seconds. I have high expectations this week and I am excited to get started. Regardless of what happens, I know that my hip is pain free and unrestricted! Hopefully my mind will trust that my hip is ok and I can play carefree for the first time in a long time. We will see.