How Golf Saved My Life
I feel as though throughout life everyone should pick up a golf club. The game is full of situations that require us to think, act, react, and mentally prepare for both the best and worst outcomes possible. I simply wish I would have known this sooner. My name is Jonathan Schickler, and my story with golf is not necessarily your typical one. I started playing to keep competing after high school sports, or to go out and have fun with buddies. Golf did much more for me than that. Golf saved and changed my life going forward both physically and mentally for the better.
It all started with my junior year of high school back in 2017, when I decided to go to a party one night. I was your typical “A student” at the time and had only ever smoked weed a few times. At that party, someone offered me a line of cocaine, and through the adrenaline of wanting to be the man at my school I chose to partake in that activity. Little did I know the ramifications of my actions in that moment. After the first try I fell in love with the drug, which led to my relationships with my family and friends becoming fractured and almost causing me to fail my way out of the private school I had be attending at the time. I chose to attend rehab in 2018 with severe cocaine addiction and did a stay of about a month there. During my stay I learned many lessons, but once I left, I soon found my way back to the bad habits I loved so much.
"Golf saved and changed my life going forward both physically and mentally for the better."
During my post rehab stage I went off to college at the University of Maryland and had failed out by the end of the semester, after suffering constant relapses with drug abuse and not attending my courses as a result. As a means to make money after failing out, I became a member of the outdoor staff at a local golf course in Massachusetts and quickly fell in love with the vibes being around golf had brought. I was 19 at the time, and my 20th birthday was quickly approaching. For my birthday I asked my dad if we could go play golf. He quickly agreed, as it was something he always enjoyed. I used some old Golden Bear blades the first time I went out and a driver from the same set. The first drive I hit went right down the middle and then I hit a pure wedge that stuck the green. Of course I proceeded to three putt but my love for the game had been cemented in that moment.
I’ve since started to take things more seriously at the age of 21 now, getting ready for 22, and have quickly realized I want to teach the game at some point. I play five to six days a week, and when I don’t have the opportunity to get out on the course I’m at the range practicing my heart and soul out. Golf has provided me with each hole and each round a different way to think about things in life. I’ve learned that no two days in life will be exactly the same, much as no two holes in golf are exactly the same. I have learned that you’ll experience both highs and lows within the same day, much as you would the same hole on a course, and I have truly come to realize that golf and life are the same, in that they are not a sprint, but rather a marathon that will test you at every twist and turn. If it weren’t for golf, I don’t know that I ever would have learned these lessons, and a large part of me feels like without the life lessons I may not be here today to write this for you all. Thank you, golf, for the second chance and for giving me the joy I had lost.
- Jonathan Schickler, Golfer, PSG community member, friend, and inspiration to golfers everywhere.
Follow Jonathan's journey on Instagram @_jschick_
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