Golfer loses his wife, brother, son, dog and leg but returns to golf

By: Jim Johnston Email
By: Jim Johnston Email

For many an afternoon on the course is a way to relax but, for 55 year old Ken Green it is a way to survive.

"I knew right away that I was going to use golf as my sole drive as why I want to succeed and why I want to exist for the remaining time I have on this planet," Ken said.

On June 8th of 2009 Ken was in an RV with his family on board when a tire blew on interstate 20 near Hickory Mississippi. The vehicle veered off the road, down an embankment, and then slammed in to a tree.

Green's wife Jeanne Hodgin, his brother Billy Green and his dog Nip all died in the accident.

"How do you prepare yourself for losing your brother your wife and your best friend in a blink?" said Ken. "No one really does. You don't think about that."

Ken was the only one in the RV to survive but his right leg was badly damaged and he was forced to have it amputated. While trying to return to golf Green battled pain in his leg that would leave him shaking in pain.

"How I explain it to people is it is like a taser. If you put a taser on a low level, that is what I was getting just all day long. It was just, you couldn't move."

Then in January 2010, just months after the deadly crash, tragedy struck again. Ken's 21-year-old son Joseph Hunter Green died.

"6 months later you lose your son and it is like 'woah.' All I can try to tell someone is that it sucks."

Following the loss of 4 of his loved ones Ken found himself at a crossroads. He could either give up or fight. For him it was an easy decision, he was going to play golf."

"That is where I felt that it was so important to have that goal. That purpose. A reason. If i didn't have a reason to live or a reason to bring hope to people, then I think I would have probably fallen back in to that depression and probably would have offed myself"

Ken returned to golf just ten months after his accident and Thursday afternoon he will make his third Senior PGA Championship appearance.

Where he finishes in the tournament isn't exactly the biggest worry for Ken this weekend. He is there to show people that if he can get through what he has gone through then anybody can.

"I am trying to give a smile to people showing that you shouldn't give up even when life can be just be brutal."

He added "I am hoping some day they see this story and they can say 'wow we can overcome anything that is thrown at you'"


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