Marine Sgt. Josh Yarbrough was surprised yet again by friends and family Wednesday, Dec. 5 when he was presented a check for some new golf gear at Games People Play on College Street in Beaumont.
Family friend Terry Sonier presented Yarbrough with a check for more than $1,100 plus a $500 donation from Games People Play’s pro golf shop. The golf shop also gave Yarbrough two new sets of Calloway golf clubs, one for Yarbrough and another for Yarbrough’s 6-year-old son.
Wheeling in and out of high-dollar golf clubs and accessories, Yarbrough said he was excited and very grateful to get back into a game he loves after losing both legs in an IED blast in Afghanistan in June 2011.
“Calloway is my favorite brand, so I’m kinda excited about it,” the Marine said.
Although he played golf before joining the military, Yarbrough was skeptical of his current golf game.
“Yea, I’m not very good,” he said. “But I try hard.”
Yarbrough said he’s looking forward to getting on the course and taking instructions from Games People Play’s PGA professional Kurt Picard — as soon as his new custom fitted, carbon fiber legs arrive late this week.
“We’re gonna go over stance, we’re gonna go over ball position. Ya know, with Josh he looks real strong,” said Picard, who has instructed at least one amputee in his career. “I’m gonna get him to turn and work on his balance. He’s gonna be good, I think, once we get him learning about his swing path to help with his balance and using his body the way he’s able to use it now.”
Both Yarbrough’s legs were removed below the knee.
Yarbrough said he’s still adjusting to life in the states after being injured.
“I think once I got hurt, it was more about what I can’t do instead of what I can do,” he said. “And going through that list and checking off things that I thought I couldn’t do, but I can. So that’s a good thing to get back into and do it (golf).”
Yarbrough said although he’ll never play football again — his favorite sport — golf will more than suffice. After getting past the initial shock of losing his legs, Yarbrough said he tries to see only the positives after being hospitalized with fellow soldiers in much worse shape.
“Some things will just never be the same,” he said. “But you just try to get as close to it as you can and be glad you can do that because I’ve seen a lot of people that are a lot worse off than me, that are hurt a lot worse than I am. I have a lot to be thankful for because people look at this and say, ‘Oh that sucks, that’s bad’ but it’s really not compared to what some other guys have gone through and are still going through.”