Progress Update – July 30, 2011

Ah, yes, I’m on the shelf again. Things have gotten quiet around here lately because I haven’t been doing much of anything.

When I arrived in Texas, I took upon the monumental task of rebuilding my swing with the help of a local pro. Things were slowly, but steadily turning around. I was spending a lot of time at the driving range. Probably too much, really, as I’ve hardly even set foot on a course this year (I started the process of moving here at the tail end of winter in New Jersey).

Around five weeks ago, I tweaked something in my hand or wrist at the gym during a workout. Whatever I did, I wasn’t even aware of it at the time. It started to ache ever so slightly after I was finished and on my way home. It hurts kind of at the back of my hand where my thumb starts to meet up with my wrist.

I’m sort of a “play through the pain” guy, so naturally, I found that I could still practice without too much discomfort. After a week of that, it started to get worse, so I took it easy for several days. On a trip back to New Jersey at the beginning of July, I played golf twice, and realized that I really needed to seriously rest it.

Since I came back to Texas on July 9th, I haven’t picked up a club, save for the occasional practice swing in my apartment, which I use to try and gauge whether it’s improving. Gripping a club isn’t painful, but swinging it is another story. You’d be amazed how much stability that stop thumb provides in the swing. Either that, or it just doesn’t take much resistance to make it hut.

It seems that it’s not getting any better, so my choice is to keep resting it, or to find a sports medicine doctor and get to the bottom of the problem. I’m probably going to end up doing both because who knows how long it could take me to get an appointment.

I guess the timing wasn’t too bad for this to happen, because it’s been over 100 degrees for nearly a month, so it’s a real grind playing and practicing in that weather. On the flip side, I feel like my momentum has been sapped. And my pro probably assumes I’m dead because I haven’t seen him for at least 6 weeks.

Fortunately, I have a few things to occupy the down-time, which is why I haven’t been active around here as much lately. One of them I hope to share with you at a future date. How’s that for cryptic?

That’s all for now. I’ll report back when I figure out what’s wrong or when it goes away on its own, whichever happens first. Now, I know how Tiger Woods feels. Well, as far as being sidelined with an injury anyway. I’m not really up on all the rest.


  1. Michael Nielsen says:

    Hi Mike.. bet better soon! Nothing else to do, but to follow tiger next week :)

  2. Geoff says:

    Injuries in golf are flaming irritating and painfull as well. Returning in 2009 to thegame there have been several months lost to torn muscles and strains. have the sore wrist at the minute myself since a coaching session on my swing. All for the better but damn it pain is somthing that is much better for others not me lol.

  3. Sam Goble says:

    Hello Mike,

    I don’t have any injuries to deal with but cannot practice or play in this heat. I miss it all so much.
    I do know the first thing I want to do is hit the range and work on releasing the club more effectively.
    I get lazy on releasing the club and end up with the blade open at impact. The downswing, it all
    happens so fast I just need to get the club rotating faster.

    Since your hear in Texas with us now I think you will find manhy good physicians in the area. So when the heat goes away you will be ready to go.

  4. Patrick says:

    Hi Mike,

    I’ve done the same thing to my wrist and let it rest for a week or so and it felt pretty good after. One thing I did to get through the down time on my tweeked wrist was practice putting non stop to keep my body and mind in some part of golf. Good luck and I’ll definitely be following your progress.

  5. Chris Medeiros says:

    Hi Mike,
    I have read your blog for a while but haven’t commented much. I had been dealing with wrist injuries for a couple years. I tried taking time off, but when I came back and the pain returned. I saw a specialist and he gave me a cast to wear at night. So for a month I did that and when I came back it felt good for about a month practicing a couple times a week. But as I practiced more the pain returned. Talking to my pro about it we have found a solution. I am not sure if it will work for you or not but might be worth a try. I am a lefty golfer. So when I setup I take my right hand and turn it over to the left more, nothing crazy but my thumb is definitely on the left side of the club. This has made my grip a fair bit stronger (was neutral before) but the wrist pain was immediately gone when I made my swing. I have been hitting 50-150 balls a day all summer without issue. Took a few weeks to get use to the stronger grip but there is no more pain and my scores are settling back to the high 70′s and low 80′s where they were before all the pain issues. In any case best of luck healing your wrist and accomplishing your goals.

    • Mike Gray says:

      Thanks for the tip, Chris. Glad to hear you’ve been able to find a solution. At this point, I’m not completely healed, but it doesn’t bother me much, so I’m able to practice all I want.

  6. Hey Mike – tough break. Injuries are both irritating and worrying, particularly given your quest. Have you tried icing it regularly? That can be helpful if it’s sore because of an inflammatory reaction (although this shouldn’t be interpreted as medical advice!). Have you though about seeing someone with an interest is sport’s injuries? They might be able to give you advice on how to maximise your healing, or at least give you a timescale. I’ve also had great experience with physiotherapist with an interest in golf – they’re fantastic at identifying where your physical restrictions are, and giving you a set of exercises to improve this. In my case, a $50 session improved my swing more than $500 worth of swing lessons would have done…because my body just couldn’t move correctly.

    It’d also be something you could do to improve at golf even though you’re laid up with injury?

  7. Sam Goble says:

    Hi Mike,

    Have not heard from you lately. Wondering if you are still battling an injury or have working on your game?
    Would love an update post, hope you are doing well.

    • Mike Gray says:

      Hi Sam, I’m not completely healed, but I’m able to work out and play all I want. At this point, I’m just working on my swing as much as I can. The changes are easy to understand but not so easy to implement. The day job has been consuming a lot of my energy, so I’ve been on a bit of website hiatus, but I’m still working on my game. In fact, I just had a lesson on Saturday and I’ve been making some nice progress the last few weeks.

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