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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ready or Not...Here I Come

On January 29, 2013, I began a new journey.  This journey changed my life in so many ways.  It is far from complete but today, October 7, 2013, my journey begins a new chapter.

252 days ago, this journey began with the sound of my wife’s voice in the background.  I opened my dazed and sleepy eyes to find myself in the recovery room at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado.  Her kind voice and smiling face that greeted me were a welcomed sight after almost six hours of major hip surgery.   World-renowned surgeon, Dr. Marc Phillipon, repaired the train wreck that was once known as my left hip.  He fixed FIVE problems in and around my hip socket, which in return gave me hope that one-day pain free golf was possible.

So 252 days ago, I began preparing for today.  For 252 straight days, my phone buzzed and beeped with a daily reminder and countdown targeting today’s date, October 7, 2013.  I couldn’t help but smile this morning when I received my daily reminder.  It simply said…0.  Today, I make my return to the PGA Tour.  Today, I get to walk inside the ropes again.  Today, I am back!

So what took me so long?  Well, my original plan was to return to golf by way of the Tour a month or so ago.  Through my medical exemption with the PGA Tour, I was allowed “rehab starts” on the Tour.   Everything was on schedule until I pushed myself too far and strained my hip flexor working out.  My recovery status went from around 90% at the time to a devastating 50-55%.  Rather then pout about it, I rallied the troops and began working even harder to get healthy. Would it have been nice to “test” out my hip before my return to the Tour? Sure…but things didn’t work out that way.  So here I am, tournament rusty but blessed to have the opportunity to compete in my first tournament since January.  And how do I feel?  In all honesty, I am about 85%.  I am still having a couple of issues but nothing major.  Over the last week or so, some have questioned my decision to return at 85%.  I quickly reminded them that 85% is 85% better than WHAT I WAS!!

“New” will definitely be the theme this week as I compete in the just outside of San Jose, California.  My “new” hip will join my “new” caddy as I compete in the first tournament of the 2014 season on the PGA Tour.  Longtime friend and Georgia native, David Robinson, will walk alongside me this year.  Believe me when I say this…David will be a game changer for my career.  He is, without a doubt, one of the best putters that I have ever seen (easily in my top five of all-time).  He was an All-American in college and played professionally for many years.  He is a great guy, a tremendous competitor, and an even better friend.  I am very blessed to have him alongside me and on my team this year.

To be honest, I am amazed at the timing of how everything worked out in regards to the hiring of David and my previous caddy Barry.  When I decided to have surgery back in January, I promised Barry that I would help him find work while I was gone.  Well, I didn’t have to look very far.  My best friend on Tour, Boo Weekley, had been struggling a bit with his caddy situation, which in return was affecting his golf game.  Barry seemed like a perfect fit and, to give Boo credit, he didn’t think twice about his decision to hire him.  The two began working together at the Honda Classic in February and as the weeks progressed, Boo’s game began to improve.  In fact, after only two weeks of working together, they rallied on Sunday to almost win the Transitions Championship in Tampa.  I was happy for their success and I immediately called Boo and gave him my blessing to keep Barry on his team.  This was the right thing to do and even though Boo was reluctant, I knew he would eventually agree to my offer.  Now don’t get me wrong…Boo wanted to keep Barry but he didn’t feel “right about it” because in his mind, he was only borrowing Barry until I returned from surgery.  It wasn’t until I met with Boo face-to-face three weeks later at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head that he agreed to my offer.  Barry was a great caddy for me but I knew that he would be a difference maker for Boo.  To be quite honest, I think Boo knew that as well.  He thanked me over and over again and from that day forward, Boo was a completely different player.  He immediately played well and a few weeks later, he teamed up with Barry to win the Crowne Plaza Invitational at the Colonial in Texas.  I couldn’t have been more proud for both of them and the rest is history.

I will also be introducing some new equipment this week, as well.  A “new” TaylorMade SLDR driver will be in the bag as well as some “new” iron shafts from Aldila.  I may also pull the trigger on a “new” club for the first time in over twelve years.  For several months now, I have been practicing with a short putter.  Since 2001, the belly putter (style where the putter touches a player’s body) has been a fixture in my bag thanks in large part to a bad back.  With my back feeling better, I have worked hard to put the short putter back in play.  We will see if it makes the lineup come Thursday.

As excited as I am to return to my life as a professional golfer on the PGA Tour, I am a thousand times more heartbroken that I had to leave my family behind.  For the first time in my life, I have been an at home, full time daddy and husband.  And for those of you that experience this title day in and day out, year after year…God Bless ya!  What an amazing experience.  Eight months of daddy and husband duties were a dream come true.  I am blessed beyond words and I am grateful that I was able to spend this time with my family.
But now it is time to go back to work and provide for my family.  My journey back to the PGA Tour has been long and extremely humbling.  I am ready to compete.  I am ready to win.  We will see what happens.  Whether I hoist a trophy on Sunday or miss the cut, a pain free tournament will be a WIN in my book!

Thank you all for the continued support.  It means more than you will ever know!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Can See the Light at the End of the Tunnel...

It is amazing the thoughts that run through an individual's mind when they make a decision that could ultimately change the landscape of their career and the livelihood of their family.  As I laid in a Vail, Colorado, hospital bed back in January my mind was racing...Will this surgery work?  Should I just continue to play hurt and accept the semi-success that I have had since 2009?  Will I ever play golf pain free?  Will I ever return to the PGA Tour  and be competitive?  These thoughts and question marks have definitely been a mainstay in the back of my mind since the day I decided to have surgery on my left hip.  But rather than waste time and energy worrying about the unknown, I decided to use these concerns as motivation and the driving force behind my daily rehabilitation.  It hasn't been easy and I have worked extremely hard to get to where I am today.  I still have a long way to go but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  My wife has been my rock throughout this entire process and she deserves a ton of credit.  She held our family together when I was unable to walk and do my daily father and husband duties and her support never waivered.  I owe her a tremendous amount of gratitude and I am extremely fortunate to have her by my side.

As I sit here writing this entry, I am confident that I have the answers to those earlier questions of doubt and concern...YES, this surgery will work...NO, I shouldn't have continued to play hurt and accept the everyday limitations of my body...YES, I will play golf pain free...and YES, I will return to the PGA Tour and be EXTREMELY competitive.  Like I said earlier, I have a long way to go (I'm probably about 75%-80%) but I already feel a major difference in my left hip.  The newfound freedom and extended range of motion has been a Godsend and I cannot wait to reach 100%.

My return to the PGA Tour is simple.  If my progression continues as scheduled, I will give my hip a test run with a couple of rehabilitation starts on the in August.  If everything feels "normal" then I will return to the PGA Tour in October at the  The only hiccup I have seen so far in my recovery has been the continued tightness in my left hip flexor.  I can't seem to shake this feeling of discomfort even though I constantly stretch it...hopefully it will work its way out soon.

With that being said, I am extremely excited to return to work in October.  However, I would be lying if I didn't admit that I am also dreading my return to work in October.  As everyone knows, my time at home is precious and, for the first time in my life, I have been able to experience what a "normal" husband and father encounters on a daily basis.  I have gained so much from this experience and I am very fortunate to have spent this time at home.  I cannot wait to get back to work but I dread not being at home...such is life.

On a brighter note, everything at The Blake Adams Golf Academy is going well.  We are growing with each month that passes and our students are getting better.  I have been on site almost every week to help my Director of Instructor, John Tillery, with clinics and the day-to-day operations.  I am extremely proud of him and his continued passion to make the Academy a success.  I am very fortunate to have him on board!

In addition to the normal weekly programs at the BAGA, John and I will once again host a Junior and Adult clinic in July.  The Junior clinic (ages 8-13) is this coming Saturday, July 13th, from 9am to noon ($95) and the Adult clinic is Saturday, July 20th, from 8am to noon ($225).  Spots are limited so please make sure you sign up in time.  The BAGA is also proud to announce our first weekly series of clinics for Adults.  More information and a schedule will be available in the next few days.  Please call the BAGA at 706-818-5246 or email us at for more information or to register.

Also, if you have interest in receiving updates on the programs, clinics, specials and other news about The Blake Adams Golf Academy...please send us an email at and I will add you to our current list.  I want our followers to stay informed about the Academy and become involved whenever possible.  I have big plans for the BAGA and I don't want anyone to miss out!

Thanks, as always, for the continued support of my career.  I will return to the PGA Tour and I vow to be better than ever!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Good Report and A New Business Adventure...

Over the last few months, I have learned one thing…NEVER take things for granted.  It doesn’t matter how big or small, NEVER, NEVER, take them for granted!  Bound to a pair of crutches for eight weeks and forbidden to put more than 20 pounds of pressure on my new and improved left hip/left leg, I will admit…I was humbled.  Gone was my ability to walk, run and jump…gone was the stability and strength in my left leg that allowed me to carry my children to bed…and gone was my freedom to use two hands to carry an object from one place to another.  God has truly blessed my life but it sometimes takes a situation where you temporarily lose the ability to perform the most simple tasks to realize how fortunate you are.  Even though my situation only lasted eight weeks, it made me to realize how many things I took for granted.  For me personally, two things stood out the most.  Not being able to carry your children down the hall after they had  fallen asleep was a tough pill to swallow as well as the dilemma I faced every morning after making breakfast.  Do I trust the two year old standing at your feet to carry a glass bowl or plate over to the kitchen table OR do I just stand by the refrigerator and eat standing up.  From experience…chose option number two!
Beth and I returned to Vail, Colorado, after church on Easter Sunday for my post-op checkup.  Dr. Phillipon and his staff checked and re-checked my left hip through x-rays and manipulation.  Thankfully, I passed with flying colors and I was cleared to move into Phase 2 of my therapy and rehab.  This advancement involved a series of more difficult and weight barring exercises as well as a gradual introduction to the game of Golf.  Dr. Phillipon was extremely pleased with the movement in my hip but warned me to still be cautious.  I was allowed to chip and putt for the first two weeks following my visit to Vail and I have recently added pitch shots and 50-60 yard shots.  My daily trips to therapy have certainly made a huge difference in my recovery.  Eight pounds have withered away and my strength is well ahead of schedule.  I still have a slight limp when I walk but my therapists have assured me that this is normal.  Post-op  tightness in hip flexors are routine and over time I will return to my normal stride.  I am anxious to reach the finish line but I know I have to be patient.  Time is on my side and my goal still remains the same…October will be my first tournament back on the PGA Tour.
So what have I been doing with my time since surgery?  Well, I have been extremely busy.  Obviously therapy and being a full-time father and husband has been my first priority.  Taking Jake to school everyday and tucking them both in bed at night has been a blessing.  I was able to coach Jake’s basketball team and I am now his baseball coach.  Working on my tractor and farm during the day and actually sitting down to eat supper with my wife has been a welcomed change.  I am truly blessed.
In addition to all this, I have taken on a new adventure.  For the last two years I have worked tirelessly on a vision of mine that began over 10 years ago.  Tired of Golf instruction costing a fortune and the necessary resources for the weekend warrior being non-existent, I worked on creating a model to solve both issues.  After months and months of work, I am proud to announce that my vision is finally becoming a reality.  On Monday, April 29th, I am hosting an Open House event at The Blake Adams Golf Academy at Lane Creek Golf Club just outside of Athens, Georgia.  I have created a model that is both unique and rare.  By combining my resources from the PGA Tour, my hands-on involvement  AND my personal instructor on Tour, I have raised the bar on ELITE Golf instruction.  I will be an integral part of the Academy’s day-to-day operations and I will be on site whenever my tournament schedule allows, to aid and assist in clinics, schools, and daily lessons.  As I mentioned, my personal instructor, John Tillery, will be Director of Instruction.  He will be on-site each and every week unless he is at a PGA Tour event assisting his players.  In addition, I will have PGA Tour and players assist with instruction throughout the year and provide numerous opportunities for Meet and Greets with these players.
My goal is simple.  I want to provide a comprehensive player development facility that provides elite resources necessary for golfers to perform at their highest level.  Whether you want to make your Middle School or High School Golf Team, play Golf Collegiately or Professionally, or just lower your Handicap so you can compete with your friends, I have a program for you.  My Academy will have all the technology needed to improve your Golf game.  State of the art video equipment will be available as well as personalized fitness plans.  Our students will be able to not only change their Golf game but also their lifestyle.
I will have more information coming as things progress.  Please feel free to come by Lane Creek Golf Club this Monday at 4:30 for a FREE clinic with four Professional Golfers.  I will be joined by three players who are in town preparing for the Stadion Classic at UGA.  Good friends, Josh Broadaway, Will MacKenzie, and Kevin Kisner will be on site to give a mic’ed up lesson.  Come join us for this great event.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Two Weeks Down...

Tuesday, February 12th, will mark two weeks since I underwent major surgery to repair a laundry list of ailments in my left hip.  Since my procedure, I have been extremely diligent with my rehab.  Dr. Philippon and his staff have given me a program that has been tested and proven successful by some of the best athletes in the world.   And I believe in it...100%.  I am committed to the process and I haven't wavered one second from their plan.  Whether I am attending my two or three daily rehab appointments at the Clinic or laying in my leg machine for 6-8 hours a day...I am committed.  I know that my road to recovery is long but I truly believe that my determination and discipline will pay off.  In fact, to some degree, it already has!

According to Dr. Philippon and his staff, I am doing extremely well.  My PTs have been impressed with how fluid my daily range of motion tests have been and I am thankful that these movements have been PAIN-FREE!  Each day has been a positive progression and I am excited to see the end result.

The snow has fallen almost every day since I arrived in Vail, Colorado.  Beth and the kids have had a blast on the mountain while the gimp has journeyed to and from rehab.  Jake and Libby both went through ski school and after spending just two days on the mountain, Jake was convinced he was ready for the Olympics!  The kids have also enjoyed tubing, a sleigh ride, snowmobiling, and a million other things.  Their time here has definitely helped with my rehab.  Snow and crutches certainly don't mix but having my family with me during this journey has truly been a blessing.

After watching Brandt Snedeker dominate the PGA Tour over the last three weeks with TWO runner-up finishes and a WIN, I made an obvious request to Dr. Philippon.  Since he successfully repaired Brandt's left and right labrum, I asked him to make sure he did EXACTLY the same thing to MY hip that he did to Brandt's!

Thank you as always for the support and the large number of emails and texts.  They really mean a lot!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Long Road to Recovery...

According to Dr. surgery was a success!  The procedure lasted close to five hours and by all reports, everything went well.

Dr. Philippon told my wife, Beth,that he was "amazed that I was able to play golf " due to the incredible amount of damage in my left hip.  He successfully removed three bones spurs, a cyst, shaved and reshaped my femur, and repaired a COMPLETELY torn labrum that according to Dr. Philippon..."looked like it had been mangled by a dog"!

He also performed Microfracture surgery due to the limited amount of cartilage in my left hip.  This procedure was done by creating tiny fractures in my femur head.  "Blood and bone marrow (which contains stem cells) seep out of the fractures, creating a blood clot that releases cartilage-building cells. The microfractures are treated as an injury by the body, which is why the surgery results in new, replacement cartilage."

So thanks to Dr. Philippon, I will soon be a new man!  The before and after pictures are amazing and I was told by one Doctor that I received "a million dollar hip" due to all of the repairs...I couldn't agree more!  My road to recovery began immediately and I will be honest with wasn't very much fun!  Two hours after leaving the hospital I climbed up on a bike and began peddling.  As you can imagine, this didn't tickle!  However, I toughed it out pain wise and made it through day one (not without throwing up almost all over my therapist!).  Day one of many, many more days of rehab.  For now, I am scheduled to spend the next three weeks in Vail, Colorado, under the watchful eye of The Steadman Clinic with rehab occurring two or three times a day.  I will be on crutches for the next 8 weeks and I am required to spend 8 hours a day in a special machine for my leg and hip.

My road to recovery will be extremely long but I am excited about the prospect of one day playing golf pain free.  I have battled the best players in the world on one hip for over four years and I cannot wait to see how I compete against them once I am 100% healthy.  I fully expect that my journey will have some highs and lows but I am very fortunate to have the best nurse in the world, my wife, at my side.  She has been a tremendous help so far and I cannot imagine going through this ordeal without her.  I am truly blessed.  My mom and step-father also made the trip to Colorado to help me during this journey and they have been a comfort and aid to both of us.

So in all reality, it looks like my 2013 season is over.  My goal is to be ready to compete against the world's best in October of this year.  This date marks the start of the 2014 season under the new PGA Tour schedule changes.  Since I will miss the entire 2013 season, I will apply for a Major Medical Exemption.  This will allow me to begin playing in October with the same status that I had going into the 2013 season.

I am excited about the journey ahead.  I am excited about the prospects of being pain free.  I am excited about battling the best players in the world with TWO hips rather than one.  I am excited about what God has in store for me.  The best has yet to come.

Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Official...

It's official...I will undergo hip surgery tomorrow morning.  My procedure will take place at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado, by world-renowned Orthopedic Hip Surgeon, Dr. Marc Philippon.

After a MRI, X-rays, strength tests, and a Bio-Motion exam, it was determined by Dr. Philippon and his staff that I should undergo Hip Arthroscopy Surgery rather than a Total Hip Replacement.  This was certainly a relief because at my age, the idea of having a Total Hip Replaced is mind-blowing!  Dr. Philippon will remove the cyst, the bone spurs, shave and reshape my femur, and repair a torn labrum.  Prior to my appointment, I was aware of the cyst and bone spurs.  However, the torn labrum was definitely news to me and to be honest, I have no idea when it tore!  Regardless, I am happy and comfortable with the diagnosis and I am looking forward to getting healthy.

If you have time, Google Dr. Philippon.  You will find article after article of athletes who have flown to Colorado to receive his treatment.  Olympic athletes, Major League Baseball players, PGA Tour players, and hundreds of other athletes have trusted his hands and mind to fix their ailing bodies.  He is considered by many to be the best Hip Surgeon in the United States and one of the top in the World. So as you see...I am in good hands.

I am excited about my road to recovery.  God has a plan for me and I trust him.  I will keep everyone updated.  I am blessed to have the support of so many people.  Thank you...I will be back...I cannot wait!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

It's Time...

My week began as normal.  I wrote my weekly blog entry on Tuesday evening and recapped the trials and tribulations from the week prior.  The Humana Challenge was indeed...a challenge.  I talked about the difficulty in shaking off my winter rust and the confidence I had in the weeks and months ahead.  I spoke about how my family traveled from God's Country to spend the week with me in the desert.  The weather was perfect and it was certainly a nice change from their "everyday January."  The blog was ready to post but at the last minute...I chose to wait.

Why did I wait???  Well, to be honest...I waited because I had a hunch.  A hunch that unfortunately became reality.

After a frustrating round of golf on Thursday, I decided that it was in my best interest to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California.  Once again you ask...Why?  Well, I withdrew because I decided that it was finally TIME.

On Monday morning at 8am, I have an appointment in Vail, Colorado, with the most renown and respected hip doctor in the United States.  Dr. Marc Philippon and his staff at The Steadman Clinic will run a series of Bio-Motion tests as well as a MRI to determine the future of my left hip.  If surgery (which seems very obvious to me) is necessary, I will go under the knife on Tuesday morning.

So what does this mean in regards to the 2013 Season?  I have no idea...I will find out on Monday.

There is good news however.  Dr. Philippon and his staff are the best of the best.  I will be in good hands and I will listen, trust and value their opinion.  They have repaired the hips of a countless number of professional athletes who have suffered from major ailments...some of which include Alex Rodriguez, Greg Norman, and Brandt Snedeker.  I spoke with Brandt on Friday morning and his recommendation and insight played a pivotal part in my decision to visit Dr. Philippon and his staff.

I will keep everyone updated.  Thank you as always for your continued support.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

So Here We Are...

So here we are.  The beginning of a new season, my 4th season, on the PGA Tour.  A season where once again…my expectations are high, my goals are lofty, and my acceptance for mediocrity is as usual…unacceptable.  I expect to succeed.  I will succeed.  However, my unwavering quest to succeed has never been, nor will it ever be, about fame or fortune.  I am a simple man.  A man who loves his family and the simple things in life.  I don’t ask or want the attention that so many athletes crave or desire.  I want only to conduct myself in a Godly manner, provide and care for my family, and help those who need it the most.  It’s simple.  Simple things for a simple man.  Nothing fancy.
My off-season flew by in a blink of an eye.  I was able to spend quality time with my family and, for the first time in a while, I was a hands-on Dad, Husband, and a few other unexpected but special titles.  One of my titles quickly stuck after I gladly traded in my option and freedom to go hunting every morning for the right and privilege to become Jake’s personal “Chauffeur” to school.  The best part of being a Chauffeur?  Our daily conversations.  The randomness and curiosity that fills the mind of a five year old is amazing.  It is simply this…pure innocence combined with a never-ending desire to learn.   I am so thankful that I was a part of this curious time in his life…and I could care less that I was just his “Chauffeur!”  I wouldn’t have traded it for the world.  The next title I earned this off-season was very sweet and one that I HOPE sticks forever.  My little girl Libby has quickly transformed herself into Cinderella.  Her Cinderella dress is her daily attire and it doesn’t matter where she is.  She wears it to restaurants, to Wal-Mart, to the Dentist, and anywhere else she goes.  She is no longer Libby…she is Cinderella.  And thankfully…her Daddy has become (by her choice) her “Prince Charming.”  Now I truly expect for this title to remain MY title for….OHHHHHH…lets just say…FOREVER.  I cringe at the thought of her growing up and having some little Punk pursue her…Blahhhhhhh (I just threw up)…NO CHANCE this happens.  So yes… I will GLADLY claim the title of “Prince Charming” and I refuse to EVER relinquish this title.  Good luck little Punks!
The beginning of my 2013 season took an unexpected and tragic delay.  In my three previous years on Tour, my routine has always been the same.  I fly to Palm Springs/La Quinta, California, (site of our tournament…the Humana Challenge) and practice for a week before I head over to Hawaii for the Sony Open.  My flights were booked and I was set to leave the great state of Georgia on January 2nd.  Unfortunately though, my plans were changed when we lost a special member of our family on December 31st.  My wife’s uncle lost his life in a tragic and freak accident while working on his farm in Swainsboro, Georgia.  He was an incredible Husband, Father, Pa, Uncle, Brother, and Friend to those who knew him.  He was an extremely hands-on Pa to his eight Grandkids and was a strong voice of wisdom for his Wife, three Children, and Sister (Beth’s Mom).  Our family was very close to Uncle Jim and his loss was a tough one to understand and swallow.  He will truly be missed.
So for obvious reasons, I canceled my flight to practice in Palm Springs the week prior to the Sony Open.  After the events that took place on December 31st, I decided to take to heart the unexpected and uninvited life lesson that God laid in my lap.  You see…I lost my father unexpectedly on April 11, 2004, and the passing of Uncle Jim was just another reminder that we are never promised tomorrow.  My job is great…I love it…it is the best.  However, at the end of the day…it is just a job.  With my job, I miss first words, first steps, and most first, second, and third of everything.  I decided that THIS time, I wasn’t going to miss a first time.  I gladly withdrew from the Sony Open to watch Jake play in his FIRST basketball game.  He was so proud to have me there and I was proud to be there!  Who needs Hawaii anyway?  It’s only Golf, right?  Absolutely…but to Jake…my attendance was more….it was everything!
So as I mentioned before…here we are.  The beginning of a new season, my 4th season, on the PGA Tour…at the Humana Challenge in La Quinta/Palm Springs, California.  I am proud to be here and I hope you will join me during my weekly adventures on Tour.  As usual though, I need your help…PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE…send me any questions or comments that you may have.  I enjoy writing my blog as I have stated many times…not for me, but for my followers and my children.  I want these entries to be a journal of sorts for my children to read later in life.  But I need your help.  Birdies and Bogeys bore me beyond belief and I refuse to write a bunch of junk about myself.  So help me…help me create a journal that will be of interest to read.  I will, of course, bring you inside my life…my life inside the ropes.  I hope you enjoy my adventures.  God Bless each of you and remember…we are never promised tomorrow!  Please, go and hug the neck of your loved ones!