2020 has been an interesting year for everyone, but for me personally it has been a year of re-building and recovery. The previous year I had played in a couple professional tournaments but played with pain. I am not a stranger to playing hurt as I have had reconstructive wrist surgery, back surgery, and a C-section. In typical Jessica fashion, I ignored the fact that I ached and had sharp pains in my shoulder. This year I started training for 3 events by playing more and training in the gym. Meanwhile the pain in my shoulder became more advanced and chronic. I did lots of physical therapy, ART, Cupping, and Cortisone shots. No relief.
Playing in Pain
Even though my swing was being modified due to pain and restrictions I played my events, viciously hooking all clubs. It was eye opener as ball striking has always been the strength of my golf game — in my senior year of college I hit 93% of my fairways and 74% of my greens. I remember missing a green by 30 yards from 100 yards away with the type of ball flight that gives you nightmares! My swing had morphed into something out of the blue lagoon.
On my last event, I was warming up on the range and felt a horrible popping shredding feeling in my right shoulder and couldn’t finish my last round. I had pushed myself to the limit. Upon getting an MRI, my orthopedic surgeon found a large bone spur on my AC joint. He operated and removed the spur that was shredding my bicep tendon along with my bursa. According to him, my bursa was so chronically enflamed that the only way to rid the problem was to remove it. News flash to me — I didn’t know that you could re-grow a bursa.
Instantly after surgery my shoulder felt tight, but not with the same sharp pain. The road to recovery was a long way ahead of me. First, I started light stretching so that I wouldn’t get a frozen shoulder. My mobility was so limited, I could not get a straight arm above my hip. It is so easy to think that you will never get back to where you were before surgery, but slowly I’ve started to get small improvements on flexibility. Physical therapy pushed me past my limits and got me more movement.
For the last 3 months I have been focusing on just short game, which is so beneficial for not only rehabbing from an injury but also learning how to make contact again. I hate to say that I had to learn how to hit the ground again. I started with chipping, taking one ball at a time and asking myself if contact hurt. Over and over I had to tell myself that it didn’t hurt and that I was OK to make bigger swings. Chipping turned into soft pitches around the green and then graduated to long distance wedges. For months these have been the only swings I make, stopping when I feel limited or tight. This past week I moved on to a fuller swing and feel closer to normal. I’m definitely not ready for a round of golf yet, but I am on the road to making full swings. Hopefully hitting a driver is not too far away.
What I have learned throughout this process is that I have to listen to my body, be patient, optimistic, and keep believing that I will play and compete again. Taking the game away from someone who is a true competitor and loves to play their best is tough on the psyche. So much of who I am is golf. I get so much satisfaction hitting a drive down the fairway, confidence from knowing that I am a great player, and internal drive when given a challenge. Look for me on the course in 2021 when I come back strong.
As many of you know, I have been teaching golf at Oakmont/Valley of the Moon for six years. Working there has felt like my home and so many of my wonderful students live in the community. This year has been a challenging time with the course being closed the beginning months, COVID-19, and changes in management companies. As a teaching professional it has been extremely hard to maintain my business through the ups and downs. That being said, I have decided to move my lessons exclusively to Santa Rosa Country Club for the duration of the season beginning August 1st. This decision has been a very hard one to make. I am desperately in need of stability and support from the course that I teach at. Santa Rosa Country Club has been gracious in allowing me to bring in any clients regardless if they are a member or not, and the teaching facility is wonderful. I hope my Oakmont and Sonoma students will come see me there for lessons — the drive is just 25 minutes from Oakmont. If you need to cancel your lesson due to the venue change, I completely understand and please let me know as soon as possible.
After quite a few months, I have finally been cleared to give golf lessons again! I couldn’t be more excited to get back to my normal schedule and see all of my wonderful students. I will be teaching individual lessons at both Valley of the Moon (Oakmont) and Santa Rosa Country Club. If you cannot find a time that works for you, I do have some flexibility. The best way to book a lesson is through my website. My new schedule is as follows:
Tuesday 9:00-3:00 Valley of the Moon Wednesday 9:00-3:00 Valley of the Moon Thursday 9:00-3:00 Valley of the Moon Friday 9:00-3:00 Valley of the Moon Saturday 8:00-3:00 Santa Rosa Country Club
I am excited to announce that I have the opportunity to give back to LPGA. I have accepted the honor of being part of the Global Education Team. I will be evaluating new LPGA teachers getting their Class B and Class A Certifications. Don’t worry, my teaching schedule will remain the same once the courses open! This position will take a little bit of traveling to do evaluations a couple times a year. I’m happy to grow the game!
I will be having two wonderful events coming up in May. This year will be the 4th year Rebecka Heinmert and I will lead events together!
The Shortgame Extravangza will be help May 1-3rd at the beautiful Chardonnay Golf Club in Napa. We are excited to again be focusing exclusively on the SHORT GAME! This year we will do a deep dive on high, soft shots around the green
The second event is a foundational program for new women golfers on May 30-31st which will be held at Santa Rosa Country Club.
Please mark your calendars for these exciting events! Also, feel free to forward this email to the women in your life who might benefit for attending. Formal sign-up is coming soon, so be on the look out.
Updates…with the Oakmont course being closed and the range open Thursday through Monday, I have decided to teach at another location on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Starting on December 31st, Santa Rosa Country Club allowed me to take non-members into their facility to teach lessons. Below is my new teaching schedule and lessons can be booked online as usual.
As many of you have now heard, Oakmont Golf Club is closing the course on December 16th. What will happen to my lessons until they re-open? I am still teaching! The driving range will be open Thursday through Monday with balls being purchased at the Quail Restaurant. I will be teaching my normal schedule on the driving range with the exception of Tuesdays and Wednesdays where I will be in the Golf Lab. During rainy weather, lessons will resume in the Golf Lab as well. If you have not taken a lesson inside, I have my new Flightscope Launch Monitor which allows you to see your ball flight and lots of other useful information.
Check out the featured Golf707 article on me by Bruce Meadows at the Youth Sports Network ysn365.com. Bruce and I go way back to the days when I was a junior golfer and he worked at the Press Democrat. Thanks for the good word, Bruce!