Big 12 Campus Correspondent
When faced with the question of what's next, Luke Symons, a fifth year senior on the Colorado men's golf team, says he will fulfill his dream of playing professional golf after graduation, a dream that seemed almost unreachable only a year ago.
About half way through his junior season (2008-09), Symons started experiencing hip problems. He finished the year before undergoing surgery on a torn labrum in his left hip. After five months of rehab, he started training again in January '10 for the spring season his senior year. Quickly after his return, he started experiencing the same symptoms, this time with his right hip. Symons had his second hip surgery in May 2010, just nine months after his first surgery.
After being quite familiar with the rehabilitation process, he "forced it a little bit" the second time around because he didn't want to miss out on any more competitions during his fifth and final season.
The first goal he set for himself was making it back onto the course for the first tournament, a mere five months from his surgery. Due to dedication and his desire to compete, he fought through and returned to the course in time for the first event.
"I've been playing this whole year and haven't missed an event, which is nice," Symons said. "That's obviously what I wanted to do, but in the fall it was a little difficult just going right into it. Getting back into it took me a while because in golf, your lower body is obviously a big deal. You need to use your legs. Relearning how to do that and how to have a more mental mindset was the toughest part. You have to go out there and feel that you can make a swing without your hips hurting."
To date, he's accomplished two top 10 finishes and has led the team on three occasions. He's tied with teammate Kevin Kring with the best individual round (67), which he accomplished in the second round of the Wyoming Cowboy Classic at the beginning of April. After playing 35 rounds this season, he is averaging 74.37 strokes per round.
"I've played consistently enough," Symons said. "One of my long term goals was to prepare myself not only for my senior season, but for after college. I feel like I've done a good job to be successful at the next level."
Despite the two injuries and other struggles he's encountered in five years at Colorado, Symons has a specific goal in sight.
His outlook on life is much like his attitude on the course. When he's not playing his best game, he tells himself "that it's not the end of the world".
"I didn't let [the injuries] get me down," Symons said. "I realized this is something that happens in life. People get injured all the time. It just so happens that I had two injuries. I look ahead and don't dwell on the past. I don't dwell on questions like 'why did this happen to me? Or why didn't this happen to someone else?'"
Overcoming adversity was something Symons didn't want to do, but had to do. The wisdom Symons learned from that adversity is advice he can pass along to others and serve as a reminder to himself.
"Look forward at how you can make a change to come back and be successful in the future."
Advice that's helping Symons accomplish his dreams.