A meniscal injury took its toll on golfing legend Stewart Ginn’s game, but he picked himself up and emerged stronger than ever before.
One could say the game of golf came naturally to golfing legend Stewart Ginn. While many people choose their careers, the game of golf chose Stewart instead. Growing up behind the twelfth green of the Royal Melbourne Golf Club, he began caddying at the tender age of ten. It did not take long after that for his golfing career to take flight, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Indeed, at 64 today, Stewart Ginn – who is also known as “Hollywood” among his peers thanks to his uncanny resemblance to Steven Spielberg – has a lot to look back on. For starters, he has had an illustrious golfing career spanning across more than three decades, which has brought him 10 Australian PGA Tour wins in addition to a collection of other international tour wins including two Malaysian Opens in 1977 and 1986 and the Malaysian Masters in 1995.
Things were not always a bed of roses for Stewart during his career, though. A meniscal injury while he was on the Senior PGA Tour eventually took its toll on not only his game, but personal life.
“The pain was intense, to say the least,” says Stewart, recalling his injury. “I couldn’t squat or sleep on my side. Something needed to be done, and soon! I was basically in two frames of thought – to either get it fixed while in the United States, where I was at that time on tour, or seek treatment elsewhere.”
“It was then that a friend told me about a particular orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in arthroscopic (key hole) surgery. ‘I’ve got to find this guy out’, I thought to myself,” he added.
He eventually found his way to the Kuala Lumpur Sports Medicine Centre (KLSMC) where he met Orthopaedic Consultant Dr. Saw Khay Yong, who diagnosed his problem, and suggested he go into surgery as soon as possible.
“I went into surgery right away. Dr. Saw asked if I wanted to watch the operation while it was in progress. ‘Sure’ I said,” quips Stewart. “So he put a little TV screen in front of me where I could see what was going on and he talked me through the entire procedure.”
Six weeks later, following rehab exercises, Stewart Ginn was back in the game. The mantra “what does not kill you makes you stronger” could not have rung more true for Stewart, who returned to the game stronger than ever before.
In 2002, Stewart Ginn overcame a four-stroke deficit in the final of the Senior Players Championship in the United States, where he finished at 14 under to win by one stroke for his first Champion’s Tour victory. Since then, he has gone on to win other Senior Tours including the Azores Senior Open in 2008 and the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf tournament in 2004. All in all, Stewart Ginn has seen 19 wins throughout his career.
Now retired from professional golf, Stewart still lends his expertise towards game either by coaching or taking on active roles in various tournaments. These include the CIMB Classics where he is chairman of the tournament volunteers, as he is for the Euro Asia Cup.
He has also spent his retirement pursuing his long time passion for dogs, by building a dog hotel, just outside Kuala Lumpur, which he runs together with his wife, who is incidentally, Malaysian.
Needless to say, Malaysia has become home to Stewart Ginn, having first stepped foot here at age 21, and he intends on keeping it that way until his last day.
“Let me assure you that I will die in Malaysia and will want my ashes sprinkled all over the 18 holes of the Royal Selangor Golf Club,” he was heard saying recently. “And, I want my friends to have a drink on me at the 19th hole.”
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