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TGJ Podcast: Episode 71

The Sober League

Three members of Philadelphia’s sober golf league discuss the game’s role in their recovery

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“I can’t think of any other sports where you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m going to go play tennis or shoot some hoops and I’m kind of worried I might get a DUI on the way home.’”

Yes, in TGJ No. 14, Coyne chronicled the hellish battles he and four others had with substance abuse and how golf in a sober league became an unexpectedly vital part of their journeys to recovery. But in this pod, it’s clear that busting each other’s chops is also a big part of it. In a surprisingly funny and hopeful conversation, Coyne and two members of the league discuss golf’s longtime kinship with alcohol, their own roads to sobriety and why a sense of humor helps too. Because hey, it’s a lot easier to play 36 a day when you’re not hungover.

“I knew something had to change and I was just so scared of taking any action. I think that’s true of anybody that gets into recovery—taking that action, whatever it might be, there is a definite moment of fear and terror and needing some courage to do that. But my experience was that after I asked for help I felt like I was carried by people, and that’s why I feel bad saying I was brave. I wasn’t brave, I was fortunate and blessed.”

GARTH