Mike Jones – the great comeback

Mike Jones – the great comeback

Proud Welshman Mike Jones played golf off a 2 handicap. This electrical engineer from Cwmbran was on his Yamaha MT09 motorbike for a work trip to Bristol when the crash nearly killed him. First Mike had to battle to survive, losing a leg, then to walk again. With the support of friends, he then braved first hits on the driving range, but fast-forward a couple of years and he is winning golf tournaments. “Golf saved my life,” is what Mike will tell you – listen to his story and you certainly believe it.

Mike’s story is not too dissimilar from a number of golfers involved with EDGA, the body aiming to encourage 500,000 people to play, succeed and enjoy golf, while creating sustainable golf projects for people with disability. Mike’s is one of more than 45 interviews with golfers with disability in the series ‘EDGA Profiles supported by PING’, found at www.edgagolf.com/profiles/

Back in October 2015, Mike was off to Bristol and with a toot of his horn on his bike, he said goodbye to wife Beth without a care in the world.

Four days later, he would wake up in hospital in Swansea in severe pain and confusion. Mike nearly died at the scene of the accident and lost a lot of blood. A leg was severely crushed, his thighbone was rammed through his pelvis by the crash. The bones could be rebuilt in complicated operations, but his lower left leg had to be amputated three days after the accident. This was the start of a long road that would include 22 hours on the surgeon’s table, six months of regular out-patient visits and a hip replacement.

In his hospital ward, Mike watched golf videos and found clips from one golfer, Manuel De Los Santos from the Dominican Republic. Manuel had lost his left leg in a traffic accident, destroying his dream of playing professional baseball, but he has become a low single-figure golfer, demonstrating just what can be achieved.
Mike said: “I was obsessed with playing again. I really don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t had golf as a focus, so it literally saved my life.”

Fast forward less than 18 months to February 2017, and Mike Jones is a long way from that hospital bed. He is teeing it up in an EDGA tournament in the sunshine in the Spanish Open. Mike is playing so well that he won the Stableford trophy with two solid rounds off a new 19 handicap; while also meeting Manuel De Los Santos and making a new friend.

Mike says: “The first thing for any person who is disabled or has suffered, or is struggling with a condition, golf can turn your life around. You don’t have to be a superstar, all you have to do is hit a golf ball and putt a golf ball. You can go to a golf club and meet people. It’s all about not being isolated.”

Mike was recently appointed as a Wales Golf Inclusive Ambassador and just in the last week he spoke on behalf of EDGA at a reception during the Portugal Masters on the European Tour. It has been an amazing comeback.