Sports

July 6, 2013

On his way back to the tee

Finally healthy, Adams eyes his return

(Continued)

Away from the course

Since he has been away from competitive golf, Adams has had time to concentrate on two things very important to him — a new teaching academy near Athens and his family. He started the Blake Adams Golf Academy (BAGA) with his swing coach John Tillery. The idea was to bring elite instruction at an affordable price to golfers of all abilities.

 “My surgery back in January definitely allowed me to shift my focus to the birth of the Academy,” he said. “It has been a vision of mine for almost 10 years and it became reality over two years ago when John and I began working on our model. Playing on the PGA Tour is my job and outside of my faith and family, it requires all of my attention. Since my surgery and recovery will sideline me from the PGA Tour until October, I was able to concentrate on the Academy and dive headfirst into it.”

Tillery said the idea came out of a desire to help junior golfers at the high school level more than anything else.

“Blake and I both have gone back and forth trying to figure out how to do it and a good place for it,” Tillery said. “Finally with his injury, we really were able to put in the time to get it done. The genesis of the whole thing was having the things that players need to develop their game, especially at the junior level.”

“The junior golf programs start them young and do a good job of teaching them the game,” he said. “Then when they get to high school, unless they have their own individual coach, they aren’t getting quality coaching.”

Adams said it was a natural partnership between the two.

“(Tillery) is one of the best in the business,” Adams said. “He is young and passionate about improving the game of his students and will go to all necessary lengths to make sure they leave with a clear vision and understanding of his instruction ... and that to me is what the BAGA is all about. I trust him with my own golf game and career and the BAGA is very lucky to have him.”

Partnering with Lane Creek Golf Club in Oconee County, the Academy started in April, and it is Adams’ goal to expand the mission of the school.

“My dreams for the Academy have and will always be to help grow the game of golf through top level and affordable instruction,” he said. “I want to grow the Blake Adams Golf Academy into an elite facility that people will travel to from all over to improve their golf game.”

In addition to the Academy, the other priority during his recovery has been his family. Spending time with his wife Beth and his children Jake and Libby has made the time away from the game he loves a lot easier.

“I view these last six months as a blessing,” he said. “This surgery will hopefully lead to pain-free golf, but most importantly I have been able to push pause on my career and, for once, I have been able to be a hands-on husband and father. I have coached my little boy’s basketball and baseball teams and attended dance recitals for my little girl. My wife and I have been able to live under one roof for the first time in our marriage in 2005 and I have been a presence in my children’s lives. People only see the glitz and glamour of PGA Tour and never realize how much time I spend away from my family. Being at home this year has been the most fulfilling time in my life and even though I look forward to my return to the PGA Tour ... it is going to be hard to leave my family.”

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