Inside Comments: Steve Turcotte

Torn Achilles isn’t about to keep Coston off the course for the 2017 golf season

Diane Coston tried to give her 61-year-old husband Jeff some words of warning last December when he decided to go and play some basketball with his sons Kyle and Tyler.

“Don’t go, I don’t want you to get hurt,” she said as Jeff headed for the door.

“All I heard was ‘don’t get hurt.” said Coston.

A couple of hours later, after playing full court basketball for the first time in years and hitting the first shot of the game, Coston was down on the floor in pain. Not exactly the place he wanted to be considering that a trip to the Hawaii State Open and a 40th wedding anniversary trip to the islands were only a few days away.

But there he was, laying on the floor hoping that he hadn’t done anything major. But after a trip to the doctor, physical therapist and a date with an MRI machine, Coston was given the bad news: He had torn his Achilles tendon, an injury that can take sometimes a year to recover from.

At age 61, Coston knew recovering from such an injury might take a while. But being in good shape and wanting not to waste any time, he had surgery only days after the injury and two weeks later was back to teaching on a scooter and crutches from his teaching facility at Semiahmoo Golf Resort in Blaine, Wash.

Since then, Coston’s life has been spent a couple days a week at physical therapy, recovering at home and hoping he can get ready for the 2017 golf season. He even bought a Stim Machine for his house, a device that stimulates recovery in the Achilles.

Coston has not wasted any time in rehab. He has worked hard to get back and back in the early April played a round of golf at Loomis Trail on crutches and shot a 77. Two weeks later he played at Semiahmoo Resort on crutches and shot 67.

“I did find out that my game is different,” said Coston. “I am now a club shorter than I used to be. Maybe that will get better as the Achilles gets better.”

But the fact that Coston is back on the golf course is almost a medical miracle. He was told that an injury like his might take up to a year to fully recover and he would not play golf until June. He wanted to prove the experts wrong. With support from his wife and sons, Coston has worked to get himself back on the golf course quickly.

He plans on trying to defend his championship in the Washington Open at Meridian Valley this month and then takes off the next day for the Senior PGA Championship in Washington DC and then right after that defending his crown at the Washington Senior Open. All of this on crutches and an Achilles that is not fully 100 percent back yet.

“I had never been injured before,” said Coston. “And there was no way I was going to take a year off from playing golf. I worked as hard as I could to get back on the course.”

And for the missed 40th anniversary trip? “I will have to make up for that this year,” said Coston. “She told me not to play and I did anyway and got hurt. I owe her a nice trip to Hawaii in December again.”

Steve Turcotte is editor of Inside Golf Newspaper. He can be reached at sdturcotte@comcast.net.