One couldn’t find a more inspiring personal story than the one heard by members of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce at a lunch program Feb. 13.
Former pro golfer Will Robins told the story of the miracle of he and his wife surviving the Indian Ocean tsunami that swept them out to sea on their honeymoon Dec. 26, 2004.
While they were floating, with bone fractures, in debris just off the island of Phukat a man in a small boat searching for his relatives pulled them out of the ocean into his boat. They spent five hours together until a large rescue boat picked them up. The man in the small boat miraculously later found all his family members alive.
“Marcus (Mellberg) was a hero. He took the opportunity to save our lives,” Robins said.
The tsunami was a life changing event, though it took Robins time to realize, as he put it — life had chosen a new path for him. While waiting to recover enough to get back into the pro circuit, Robins agreed to become a golf instructor at Empire Ranch Golf Course in Folsom.
What he did was not just offer golf swing instruction, but told people he would teach them what they needed to know rather than what they thought they wanted to learn. His real inspiration was making it a team sport for those he was working with. All his students found the team approach made it more fun and after approximately 12 such sessions older men had knocked off as much a 20 strokes off their game.
It took a while for Will Robins to discover that trying to regain his professional status with the pain of a clavicle that had been broken in the tsunami just wasn’t going to happen. And it took longer for him to finally inform his sponsors that he was not going to return to the pro circuit. That’s when he realized that the success he was having with his team approach to golf for men and boys of all ages was a calling, a career that adds something of value to the community.
And now he is working for two golf clubs — Empire Ranch and one in Amador County.
To really improve your golf game go see the man who knows the meaning of life. Will Robins. What an inspiring story.