The dangers of being a golf pro

Don’t eat the turkey sandwich at the Holiday Inn in a certain New Orleans suburb.

A few years ago I made that mistake and it quite literally put my life in danger.

I was trying to qualify for what is now the Zurich Classic.

I got there Saturday night and got a turkey sandwich from room service. I was sick all night and when I woke up the next morning, I was not feeling well (major understatement), so I decided to drive myself to the nearest emergency room.

I got in the car, pulled out of the parking lot and a few hundred yards down the street I blacked out and ended up in a small ditch on the side of the road.

When I came to, what ended up being a few minutes later, I had vomited again and sorry to be graphic, but I also needed a change of lower undergarments.

I pulled back around, went to my room, cleaned myself up and went down to the front desk to ask if someone could drive me. Apparently I didn’t look very well because as soon as I walked in, the desk clerk asked me if I needed an ambulance to take me to the hospital.

By the time the ambulance got there, I was violently ill. They hooked me up to an I.V. and took me to the emergency room. The doctor, after watching me wretch quite a bit, gave me something for nausea that didn’t help. I was actually in decent spirits and we joked it might be the worst case of food poisoning, that didn’t end in death, that he had ever seen.

Here comes the interesting and sad part of the story. They brought in a man who had multiple stab wounds from a domestic dispute. When I say multiple, the quote from the EMT was, “too many too count.” This man was on my right.

A few minutes later, an elderly woman was put on my left. There was a laundry list of heath issues, again too many to count, that ranged from emphysema to diabetes.

The doctor told me to relax for a few hours, take the I.V. and he would release me, so I decided to take a nap…and a few minutes later to my left…


“time of death…”

not 2 minutes later


“time of death…”

I am sure this emergency room gives excellent medical care, but it is very disconcerting to have the people on either side of you pass on within a few minutes. I removed my I.V. on my own, found the doctor and pleaded for him to release me. He agreed and I spent the next 45 minutes heaving into a plastic bag waiting for a taxi to take me back to my hotel.

To digress a moment, a few years before this incident I had a milder case of food poisoning and made it through the qualifier the next day after being sick all night, so I was dumb enough to think I could repeat this feat and tried to play the next day.

Needless to say, I did not qualify for the Zurich Classic that year.




  1. woody

    Sometimes it works out better than that.

    There’s a golf pro in the LA area who was very sick with flu, and tried to play the next day.

    He didn’t have much strength in his arms, and he found out that he hit it farther and straighter than ever. It was an awakening, and he changed his swing to take advantage of gravity and centrifugal force, instead of muscling it.

    His website was being redesigned, and I haven’t visited it in a long time. I think I’ll check it out.

  2. rojoass

    Every time I’ve been to NO seems like “room service” had nothing to do with food. Not at my request either.
    Maybe I was in the wrong neighborhood……..

  3. Calvin

    What to ask room service: Where’s the closest good restaurant or Mickey D’s?


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