Scots pro opens up on mental side of injury

Hannah Mc Cook

Scottish professional golfer Hannah McCook has detailed the mental struggles that go hand in hand with recovering from injury.

McCook, 26, realised that she had an issue with her left hip about five years ago when it started to give her mobility and rotational issues.

Only in January, when the pain became unbearable, did the LET Access Series pro decide that a visit to a specialist was necessary.

“It got to the point where I would move on the sofa, tweak the hip and I would start crying it would be that painful,” McCook told bunkered.co.uk. “I got a scan in early January and it showed that I had a bone impingement and torn labrum. I got surgery in March and that was that.”

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The Scot, who won three consecutive Scottish Golf Ladies Order of Merit titles in her amateur career, admitted that whilst overcoming the injury itself is one thing, coping with the mental aspect of a long-term layoff is another entirely. 

“It still feels like I have a long way to go,” she added. “You try to prepare yourself, but you realise it’s a lot harder than you ever thought it was going to be. I kept thinking that there are people worse off than me, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Having to ask for help to get socks and stuff on is never nice.

“I tried to start doing some chipping after 12 weeks, but then you immediately feel like you’re back to the start of your recovery as you realise you still have so far to go.

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“It’s definitely scary at times. People talk about a psychological barrier and you don’t really realise what they mean until you experience it yourself. A few weeks ago, I was trying to jump for the first time, and it took me ten minutes just to have the courage to do it. Every time you are faced with something new, you worry about how it is going to go.”

As well as recovering from the injury, another concern facing golfers during stretches on the sofa, is that they are not getting the opportunity to earn money – a real issue facing the majority of golfers outside the top tours.

“Financially, it is a worry,” says McCook. “The last tournament I played was in South Africa in 2020 and I played well. I thought that was going to be the start of something good, but then lockdown came in and nobody could earn for months. Even now, with nothing at all, it’s quite hard.

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“I am very thankful that my sponsors are supportive and continue to stand by me, as well as SportScotland for looking after me. That’s been a massive help as I have just been able to live. I always worry about money. Not being able to try and earn money through golf right now is very challenging.”

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