When I first started getting semi-serious about playing golf, I was a fairly regular user of marijuana. It wasn’t a matter of having to light up first thing in the morning, and I certainly never smoked while in my workplace (I was an IT professional for over 35 years), but I found it to be a better way to unwind after work than drinking a lot of beer. This, of course, was before I discovered the joys of fine wine, single malt scotch, and craft cocktails.
Anyway, as an annual reminder that cannabis and golf can be a strange mixture, a group of us would hold a season ending tournament at the now-defunct Whippernon Golf Club in Russell, MA called the Greater Marijuana Open (“GMO” for short). The “Whip,” as we fondly called it, was a 9-hole, par 34 goat hill that rarely received much play and was the perfect venue for our shenanigans.
The format of the GMO was simple – 4 man scramble teams, and each team member was given a blunt that he was required to smoke over the course of the round (roaches were to be submitted to the Rules Committee at the end of the round as evidence of consumption). The low score would be declared the winning team, and we would all repair to someone’s home to relieve our munchies.
At some point, I (mostly) gave up pot, but continued to feed my golf habit. I suppose I made the right choice, although some days I wonder.
As legalization has begun to spread around the country, more attention has been paid to the medicinal benefits of cannabis. While there is plenty of debate in the medical world about the validity of such advances, there has been plenty of anecdotal evidence of joint pain relief and stress reduction through the intake of CBD, which is the non-intoxicating element of marijuana.
CBD in its pure form has been cleared by the International Olympic Committee as a non-performance enhancing substance and has caught the attention of some professional golfers. Scott McCarron, who has had some success on the Champions Tour, signed an endorsement deal and became an investor in a CBD manufacturer, and Bubba Watson recently announced that he was doing the same. “It was a no-brainer,” claimed Watson, which, given to whom we are referencing, seemed to fit.
[There was some speculation that the gum that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson was chewing during the Masters might be a CBD product. In fact, Golf Gum, while manufactured in cannabis friendly Colorado, contains caffeine and vitamin B-12 – sort of a chewable 5-hour Energy Drink – but no CBD]
Anyway – I’ve had my share of back pain issues, and recently developed plantar fasciitis in my right foot. I had been taking Tramadol prior to playing a round of golf; while it provided relief, I didn’t like its side effects – plus being an opioid, it can’t be the healthiest remedy.
So I’ve started using CBD lozenges prior to playing, and the results have been promising. Both my back and foot have held up well (and this is during walking rounds); moreover, I’ve found myself feeling calmer while playing.
Placebo effect? I honestly can’t say, and as mentioned earlier, the jury is still out medically. But I say that anything that helps one naturally deserves a try.
At the same time – no more Greater Marijuana Opens for me.