Anthony Kim: Addiction Struggles, Golf Disengagement, and Advice to His Younger Self

"I didn't watch much golf. I just found out from DJ [Dustin Johnson] yesterday playing a practice round with him yesterday that Brooks [Koepka] won back-to-back majors."

by Sead Dedovic
Anthony Kim: Addiction Struggles, Golf Disengagement, and Advice to His Younger Self
© Francois Nel/Getty Images

Anthony Kim returned to the golf course after a 12-year hiatus, sparking fans' interest. Kim was a promising golfer with high expectations for his career. However, injuries that marked his career were the reason Kim decided to leave golf and take a break. 

Nevertheless, it seems that there were other factors, either after retirement or even during his career before the injuries. 

In an interview with David Feherty, Kim revealed that he struggled with addiction during his break. Although he did not want to provide more details, he emphasized that these were tough moments, where doctors warned him that he might not have much time left.

"I mean, you know, not to get too far into it, but when doctors are telling you that you may not have much time left, that's a pretty rude awakening," he said, as quoted by Golf Monthly!

"I still think about it to this day when I'm out there and I get frustrated with my golf, you know, how far I've come."

After all the injuries, Kim had to undergo various surgeries and fusions, hoping to recover and return to the golf course. However, when he intended to make a comeback, he immediately experienced an accident, which surely dampened his desire for golf. Despite everything, Kim remained consistent and knew what his goal was.

"I broke my ankle eight or nine months ago, and so I was in a cast for four months. Obviously, after that, golf was out of the picture. So I played a few rounds with my wife.

The day before I broke my ankle, I played my first full round of golf. Then the next day I went out on hole 6, I tried to jump a creek and being 38 years old, I didn't make it and wound up breaking my ankle."

Kim admitted that during his hiatus, he didn't particularly focus on golf or follow golf tournaments. The fact that he didn't know that Brooks Koepka had won back-to-back majors is particularly interesting. Kim was likely exhausted from everything, and watching golf would have only frustrated and disappointed him because he couldn't be a part of the whole story. When you're aware of your qualities and talent and see your peers progressing, it's not easy to confront such moments. However, Kim can be happy that he even returned to the big stage, considering that he still has a lot to offer us.

"I think I probably watched nine holes of golf when I wanted to fall asleep. But I didn't watch much golf. I just found out from DJ [Dustin Johnson] yesterday playing a practice round with him yesterday that Brooks [Koepka] won back-to-back majors, which is awesome. But I had no clue that that happened."- he continued.

Kim explained that during that period of his life, he wasn't particularly focused on golf. He admitted that he had heard about Tiger Woods' win at the 2019 Masters but emphasized that he was going through personal challenges that took precedence over golf. Given the circumstances he was dealing with, golf wasn't a priority for him, and he didn't attach much importance to someone winning a tournament.

Anthony Kim advises his younger self

Kim shared some insights he would pass on to his younger self. He would advise himself to be patient, appreciate the present moment, and take his time to navigate through life's challenges. Kim stressed that rushing into things led him to miss important realizations and took responsibility for the issues he faced. However, every moment in life is an ideal opportunity for us to learn something new, even those moments where it seems like we have no way out. Over the years, Kim has come to realize certain things, and it seems that he now has a completely different mindset.

Anthony Kim
Anthony Kim© Francois Nel / Getty Images

He recognized that his early success in golf presented him with unique opportunities, but he also admitted to making decisions that contributed to his struggles. Despite facing obstacles and going through difficult times, Kim expressed gratitude for being able to overcome them and feels honored and blessed to still be present despite the odds.

Kim has admitted that during all these years away from golf, this sport has experienced important changes. The mere fact that LIV Golf has emerged with its vision and plans is reason enough for Kim to emphasize that golf is a completely different sport than it used to be. Regardless, Kim primarily spoke about certain aspects of the game, highlighting that you don't have to hit the ball in the center since you can achieve the same amount of yardage and accuracy even when not hitting in the center. Kim pointed out that now everyone is hitting long shots, making golf much more competitive and challenging to play.