From Pain to Par: Bobby Collins’ Remarkable Journey Back to the Golf Course

Three years ago, there were few people less likely to win Founders Group International’s “Love of the Game” contest than Bobby Collins.

The New Jersey native enjoyed a career as a carpenter, but the hard work of framing houses and hanging drywall took its inevitable toll. Collins and his wife moved to Myrtle Beach in 2012, following years of golf trips and family vacations, but he was eventually forced to give up golf.

Bulging discs and pinched nerves, among other ailments, made it too painful for Collins to play the game he loved.

That all changed when he became a patient at Ortho SC and began seeing Dr. Erin Watson and eventually Dr. Erkan Alci, a surgeon who implanted an electrical device in Collins’ lower back. The battery powered device contains a pair of leads that run up the spine and intercept pain signals.

Other than a 30-minute charging session every 4 to 5 days, Collins doesn’t notice the device that led him back to the golf course.

“It changed my life,” he said.

With the debilitating pain gone, Collins purchased Founders Group International’s Prime Times card and excitedly returned to the course. The 18-handicapper regularly plays two or three times a week, and when he heard about the Love of the Game challenge – a contest to see who could be the first person to play all 21 FGI courses in 2024 – he found a mountain he wanted to climb as quickly as possible.

His quest began with a round at Grande Dunes (pictured right) on January 2 and concluded with 18 holes at Pawleys Plantation, including a birdie on No. 13, February 13. Collins logged a couple courses via FGI’s member appreciation days, but he closed the contest like he was Tiger Woods on Sunday at Augusta, playing 11 courses in 14 days to win the challenge and a free upgrade to being an Honors Club member.

All the golf didn’t improve his handicap, but he enjoyed the journey, making friends along the way, while never forgetting the new lease on life the folks at Ortho SC helped provide.

“I have a greater appreciation for being on the course and life in general,” Collins said of the freedom his (relatively) pain free back has provided. “Being able to walk around as much as I want (is great). I love being able to work in the yard, I work in the neighborhood quite a bit and it gives me the ability to do all that stuff.”

With the health to play as much golf as he wants and the benefits of Prime Times membership, Collins envisions spending a lot of time on the course 2024.

“I love being able to play 21 courses with the diversity and different levels,” Collins said. “You’ve got everything from Colonial Charters to Grande Dunes. They’ve priced their range of courses accordingly and it’s easy to play wherever you want. It’s just fun.”

Adding to the enjoyment of Collins’ pursuit of playing all 21 FGI courses were the friends he made along the way. Playing as a single, Collins was paired with Mona Rosskamp for the first time on January 12 at World Tour, and they quickly became friends, teeing it up together several times as both worked to complete the Love of the Game challenge.

Rosskamp, a Lake Erie, Pa., resident who is spending four months in Myrtle Beach to escape the harsh winter weather, completed the contest February 26 at Aberdeen Country Club, and she was the first woman to play all 21 FGI courses.

Playing golf, making friends, and having fun helped make every participant in the Love of the Game contest a winner.

Click Here to Watch a Video Interview with Bobby Collins

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