How golf helped Price through cancer scare

Improving the games of others and getting back on the golf course himself provided a welcome distraction after Aussie veteran Terry Price suffered a cancer scare in September.

A five-time winner on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, Price is preparing to turn 60 on Sunday thankful not only for what the game has given him in the past but how it helped him through a medical scare in 2020.

After undergoing successful surgery to treat prostate cancer in September, Price is encouraging other men to be proactive in combating a disease that is predicted to kill 3,152 Australian men this year.

A professional since the age of 17, Price has split his time in recent years between the PGA Legends Tour and teaching on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast and said that activity served an important purpose in his recovery.

“It certainly has helped with everything that I’ve gone through this year, the distraction of the game,” Price said.

“I don’t look backwards so I couldn’t care less about turning 60 although these young fellas I help out these days keep sending me photos of the ‘94 Masters and giving me crap for having hair back in the day.

“I just have to wear it on the chin and smile.

“The one thing that I’ve always got going for me is that ‘Finchy’ (Ian Baker-Finch) and (Peter) Senior and all these guys have all got there before me.”

Joint winner of the Twin Waters Legends Pro-Am on December 11, Price invests the majority of his time helping golfers from age eight to 80 play better at Tewantin-Noosa Golf Club and Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club.

As the obsession with power reaches new heights Price insists that it is important to apply the correct swing mechanics on a case-by-case basis, highlighting Bryson DeChambeau’s physical transformation as a key factor in his distance explosion.

“The biggest problem I’m seeing with speed – and Bryson DeChambeau is onto it – is that if you’re trying to swing faster and you’re not a big man, you’re risking serious injury. Just ask Tiger Woods,” Price suggests.

“DeChambeau has realised that if you want to swing at 125-130mph, you’d better not be a whippet. What that’s going to create is problems with ligaments, tendons, the things that allow your limbs to function properly.

“The more protection you have for your body the faster you can swing it.”

Rather than the search for pure speed, Price focuses more on constructing an efficient swing that physically suits the golfer he is working with.

“There’s still a fundamental that is being overlooked which is if you swing really well that will help you with speed,” says Price.

“The more often that you hit the centre of the club, the more often you hit the centre of the ball, the smash factor on TrackMan will go up.

“Obviously speed is a component of what we’ve got to do – we still want to send them out there with a nice golf swings – but you’ve got to be in the game from inside 50-100 metres. We’re teaching 7-year-olds that.

“If I wanted to really simplify it I would say that I teach two types of swing, a swing for athletes and a swing for non-athletes.

“If you’re over the age of 50 we’re giving you a different style of swing from the big turn.

“If you’re 65 years of age and inflexible, you make a bigger shoulder turn you’re going to move your head off the ball, you’re not going to have a consistent strike. You need to swing another way.”

And although he helps young tour players – including his son Sam – Price says he derives just as enjoyment from helping beginners fall in love with the game.

“I like watching young professionals fulfil their dreams but I also like watching a little old lady who could never get out of a bunker get out of a bunker for the first time after a few little hints,” says Price.

“I had one lady who didn’t tell me for 12 months that she was blind in the right eye.

“She didn’t think anything of it because she’s had it for 40 years, just happened to forget to tell us. These are the types of things that you have to take into consideration.

“I’ve got one guy who is 6’10”. He’s a big, old lumbering English guy and he can now hit his ball.

“He’d never been able to hit a ball. He was told that he was too big and now he can paddle it down the fairway 200 metres and he can go around and play with his friends.

“There are all these different things that make you feel good about getting someone up to a certain standard.

“Every one of them is different in the enjoyment you derive from teaching different people.

“The smile on their face is very rewarding.”

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