FAIRFIELD, Connecticut – Hollis Stacy had an excruciating right shoulder injury that she thought could survive with advil and massage. Until she punched four wedges with Jane Geddes during a round of golf in January 2020.
“This really is my bread and putter,” said Stacy. “I said, ‘Oh, I think I have a problem.’ ”
A month later, she underwent total shoulder replacement surgery. The 67-year-old LPGA Hall of Famer returned to competition for the first time since 2019 at the US Senior Women’s Open this week, bringing back a fantastic looking golf swing.
“I feel like I won the tournament,” said a grateful Stacy, who started with a 3-over 75 at Brooklawn Country Club.
Players begin their back nine on the 12th. Here is three-time USWO winner Hollis Stacy starting her round. pic.twitter.com/vxDw8Dolfp
– Beth Ann Nichols (@GolfweekNichols) July 29, 2021
The six-time USGA champion won 18 titles on the LPGA, including three US Women’s Open. She finished 28th at the first US Senior Women’s Open at the Chicago Golf Club and finished 33rd at Pine Needles two years ago.
Stacy rehabilitated her shoulder three hours a day and started hitting balls three months after surgery. It wasn’t pretty, of course, but she knew that hitting thousands of golf balls on the range was the best way to strengthen her golf muscles. The four-time major winner was never a huge fan of the range, preferring to work on her short game.
Stacy’s surgeon Dr. Stephen Otte of Bradenton, Fla. Said a full recovery from the procedure would take 18 months to two years.
After the surgery, Stacy returned to basics to replace some of the habits she’d learned to compensate for an injured shoulder.
“My swing had gradually got straighter and only had arms,” she said.
Stacy blew up a drive during Thursday’s opening lap that was flying 20 years longer than the rest and was excited about what’s possible.
“It just brought a new meaning,” said Stacy of the impact of the surgery. “I wanted to be really relevant with my golf game.”
Photos: US Senior Women’s Open at Brooklawn Country Club