Niagara Gazette

Sports

June 15, 2014

RUGGIERO'S GOLF: Getting back into the swing of things

Niagara Gazette — It’s so good to be back with you in 2014. I’ve been writing in this space for the past 29 years about that game that we love. Twenty-nine seasons! Hard to believe.

2014 was not the best year for me and my family. It started out OK. Kellyann and I traveled to our home in Florida, surrounded by 54 glorious holes and a mountain of great friends. Then, the worm turned. My mom passed away soon after our warm-weather arrival and my dad followed her to their heavenly rewards just 20 days later.

You never fully know what your parents mean to you until you lose them. The good news? They are both in a much better place and are both held securely by our heavenly Father.

Between their passing in February, I was diagnosed with brain cancer after an episode that mimicked a mini-stroke. Any details in the litany of hospital stays here would be monotonous and unnecessary. The tumor was removed successfully, then came chemotherapy and radiation to remove remnants of the disease. As it stands, the battle continues.

There will be no sympathy nor sadness here. I want no part of it. In many ways, I feel better than I ever have. God has covered me in His love. He has taken all fear from me. I find myself, oddly, so happy every day. I am full of gratitude. I see God in the morning sun. I hear Him in the music of the birds and feel His Presence in the fairways. I am strong. I am filled with faith. You should know that I’m playing golf several days a week. I abound humbly in God’s bountiful grace.

Enough on the medical front. My goal today is to pass on to my loyal readers four tips that I’ve learned over recent years that I am confident will assist you in catapulting your 2014 season in a most favorable way.

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