So needless to say it has been a while since my last event. Nine weeks in fact, which was practically longer than my real “off season”. Thus, I welcomed off season #2 with open arms.

I trained a lot in Oslo, enjoyed some skiing, sight-seeing and great times situating myself in this new city. But during those weeks in Oslo, although I stayed very active, I focused more of my time on my strength and endurance rather than swinging a golf club and practicing indoors. Which I think is a blessing in disguise. It was important because the only way you can really get to be a part of a community and make new friends is to be in the city itself. So for about six of those last nine weeks I planted myself in Oslo with no plan of leaving. Until this week…

I planned on competing in Florida, participating in a couple events on the Symetra Tour. I knew these weeks in Florida were coming, but some of my joints that previously caused problems this last year were not quite ready. I practiced hard this last week and by Thursday my left shoulder was saying “ouchhhhh!” But I tried to play anyway. I thought maybe my shoulder pain would slow my tempo in a good way, but when you feel like you can’t even complete a swing without some serious pain it was hard to stay positive and happy.

Over my career I have been very lucky to experience minimal injuries. The occasional strained muscle or stiff neck was the most I ever had to endure. This time something felt a lot worse, and I know from all my other friends on tour that you need to listen to your body.

For the last few days I visited our tour’s PT who is on site at every event. He is amazing and normally can make your ailments disappear. But this time he gave me bad news. He said if I wanted to have a chance at playing next week I needed to withdraw from the tournament. (This was on Friday morning, before the start of my 2nd round). So there went my tournament week in Ft. Myers.

This was the first time in my golf career, amateur and professional, that I withdrew in the middle of an event. I have never previously withdrawn due to the fact that I have been injury and sickness free, but there were also times that I pushed through the pain and toughed it out too. My best finish on the Symetra tour was a 2nd place finish. On the last day I shot -5 with a kink in my neck, and I couldn’t swing how I wanted to. Sometimes ailments and injuries can make you focus less on the game itself, and more on how much pain you feel. Distractions can be a great thing sometimes no matter how they decide to show up.

So now I am Florida with a busted shoulder, focusing on 1) how I can fix it fast and 2) how I can enjoy myself in this sunny, warm weather. Sometimes you can’t do anything to help the situation besides rest and be patient. Fortunately, I had a really fun pro-am group to share some Bandit wines with this week. I don’t think anyone left unhappy that day!

Until next time,
  Emily Talley
  Napa native, pro golfer, world traveler, Bandit fan