Brand new KYMIRA Ambassador interview: Sam Robinson! The highs and lows of injury in a 15-year career
This past week I had the opportunity to speak to KYMIRA’s latest ambassador in sport; professional golfer Sam Robinson. We spoke about his career and plans, and how KYMIRA intertwine with their eagerness to keep golfing at a higher and higher level. Between the COVID situation and the injuries sustained over many years, Sam Robinson offered some great insight into the determined mindset and adaptable outlook that allows sportsmen and women to do great things. Similarly to a recent interview with Darren Stevens, Sam showed a casual but relentless drive for the sport and the KYMIRA gear that is helping him continue it…
Sam Robinson: Alps Aficionado
Good morning and welcome to Sam Robinson, KYMIRA’s newest ambassador! Which is an exciting thing to announce right at the start. Sam, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Yeah certainly, mornin’! And just to start thank you to KYMIRA for giving me the opportunity to be an ambassador, it’s something that I’m looking forward to doing, working with you guys.
So, I’m a professional golfer, I play the Alps Tour which is basically what it says, a tour situated around the Alps. I play a little bit of Challenge Tour as well which is a tour kind of above that but below the European Tour. I’ve been doing about…well 2006 I turned Pro so, a long time!
Had some injuries through along the way, 2011 had a back injury and had a lot of time out. 2 years ago I started playing full-time again. That’s kind of a short brief about what I do.
Brilliant! Well, you mentioned the Alps Tour there and I’m sure over the, what, 15 years or so you’ve gotten around. Lots of people would kill for that experience out on tour. In that time is there a single event or moment that you remember fondly or treasure most?
There’s a few I think! I’ve always had a couple of good results on the Alps tour and then kinda away from the Alps I played with Colin Montgomerie at the final British Open Qualifying up in Scotland which was a nice experience. He kinda grew up playing near Glasgow Gailes so that was pretty special. Like I say, a few wins around the way and then played with a couple of the bigger French guys at their home course once and there were 5,6,700 people walking around so that was kinda a nice experience.
That all sounds nice! But more recently how have things been in the past year or so with everything going on?
Yeah it’s been a tough year I think for everyone hasn’t it? But, golf and travelling has been tough and expensive with obviously all the testing you need to have now to and from, and during events. But, last year I had a really good year! It was obviously interrupted by the COVID break we’ve had, but I managed to finish 5th with a merit on the Alps Tour which was good. In a normal year that would have promoted me to a full Challenge category but because of COVID it got changed to the top 3 which was a little bit…disappointing…
Well congratulations! Congratulations regardless!
Sam is an Alps tour aficionado and his placement of 5th was mighty impressive, I thought it only fair he receive some glory when the COVID situation changed the category to just the top 3! I think modesty in sportsmen is something we see a lot of in these interviews when really, the achievements are worth a little hype.
Yeah! And then the last, well this year has been really tough. Obviously we didn’t play through the winter with the lockdown situation until kinda April time. And then I had a couple months back playing…and then I tore all the ligaments around my ankle which bought me to meet up with you guys in a roundabout way.
Golfing Injuries can be simple, but brutal
Yeah I sort of understand that happened in amongst all this, you managed to take an injury. So, what exactly happened with your injury?
Sam paused slightly and his eyes darted to below his camera, I’d almost call it shame!
I’d like to tell you a really cool story of how I did it but, I literally just fell over walking around the putting green!
We both begin laughing, Sam probably more out of embarrassment than anything.
Just went down! You know how you kinda go over your ankles sometimes? But, I’d obviously done it in a way that I kinda tore those 3 different ligaments around my ankle and the small bones at the back of the heel came away from the bone as well. Kinda did a really good job on it…”
It’s not always a rogue golf kart or getting hitting in the head by a golf ball it does happen. It’s these little things.
They’re even worse the ones you just can’t do anything about
It was a simple slip-up and one that could happen to anyone. But in a way, I’m glad Sam regaled us with such a simple story. These sorts of injuries that really do take a chunk out of someone's career and force them to recover, they aren’t always dramatic or an 86mph car crash (Looking at you Tiger Woods). As much as it’s a good laugh hearing how minor the event was, the effects are nonetheless pretty brutal. Torn ligaments and dislocated bone are serious issues, even if a very comical thing caused them. It’s in talking to Sam like this that I realised the simplicity of some injuries is probably where the simplicity of KYMIRA comes from. The gear is worn over the area of recovery and that’s that, it begins its work and holds you up, holds you together. In the same way that injuries aren’t always big climactic events, recovery isn’t always expensive surgeries and procedures.
Sam Robinson on recovering from a golfing injury
And once that had happened you obviously wanted to get back into it as quickly as possible so how’s the ankle doing now? Have you used anything specific to help you recover?
Yeah it’s good now. I’m back to just playing 9 holes, just mid-irons to break it in gradually and building back up to where I need to be. I spoke to Sam Vickers who’s my strength and conditioning coach around 2 months ago if there’s anything I can do to speed up the process or *try* to speed up the process of getting back playing. He mentioned that he’d been in touch with KYMIRA and kindly passed on Michael’s number and I gave Michael a call, and he kindly sent some of your knee length socks and leggings out to me. So I’ve constantly worn the socks. Slept in the leggings. The socks have been fantastic because there’s been noticeable difference in less pain when I’m walking in them no question, and more mobility when I’ve had them on vs when I haven’t had them on.”
A month ago we spoke in an article here about Muscle Groups and how golfers really cover the whole spectrum. Hearing Sam taking the initiative to limit himself to 9 holes, and taking the simple strokes of an iron over pushing himself as far as he could, is a perfect example of the respect and care we suggested every golfer have for their body. You put it through a lot out on the course and it deserves respect. With the help of KYMIRA and being able to take it slow on the course Sam has helped his own recovery hugely.
I was going to ask, you’re obviously very acquainted with your KYMIRA gear so when you first got them what hit you first or was most obvious early on maybe the feel or an effect?
I think having not had any experience in Compression Socks or leggings before it was…this sounds silly…but they’re just so tight fitting without being uncomfortably tight fitting. They fit nicely and I’ve slept in the leggings and socks as well which might sound unhygienic but they have been washed!
Not one I’ve come across! But, when you think about it that’s a great idea.
Michael kinda said to me you get more recovery when you’re asleep because you’re not moving when you are asleep. So wearing the leggings and socks helps when you recover most so I’ve taken that and literally had them on.
Even in hot weather, you acclimatise to that. You think with leggings they’re gonna be really uncomfortable and hot but they’re far from it actually which is surprising but obviously brilliant.
Having spent a couple of nights in a stuffy hotel while traveling, as I’m sure many other golfers have, this idea of using KYMIRA’s temperature regulation for sleeping is a stroke of genius! Thanks, Sam!
Yeah the fact that you can physically feel that it’s there on you doing its work is a great thing to hear
Yeah you’re recovering whilst you aren’t doing anything which is, to a lot of people, that’s music to their ears I guess. They don’t have to do anything but yet they are recovering so, people who haven’t got a lot of time to add recovery things it’s a fantastic product.
For me I’d think anyone and everyone would benefit, but especially the older generation that get the niggles more now, the bad backs or whatever it is to pop KYMIRA on after playing golf and sit around watching telly while recovering is pretty good.
We spoke to Darren Stevens recently, Cricketer, and he was saying with the age and renewing his contract every year KYMIRA has really helped with that sort of age effect.
So in terms of specific pains or soreness can you go into any detail on that?
Obviously with my ankle I was wearing a normal grip for the compression but whilst that helped, once I changed to KYMIRA socks it was a complete change to the pain and like I said, the mobility of it. I’ve struggled, like every golfer does, with lower-back stiffness and more so for me - right glute stiffness as well. I’ve trained in the leggings as well and that definitely helped. I haven’t been as stiff in my lower-back training in that and keeping them on for an hour or two after that.
So you mentioned using KYMIRA in training and while sleeping. It seems you really found KYMIRA can be slung on and worn regardless of what you’re doing or your routine…
Yes, like I said I think people that perhaps haven’t got as much time as other people to do things to recover the KYMIRA stuff gets you to recover whilst doing nothing. Which sounds too simple doesn’t it?
I’ll take it!
But it does! I’m not saying that just because I use it. I wouldn’t endorse something I didn’t believe in and as a professional athlete I think you’re always looking for something that gives you 1, 2, 3 percent extra you can do to aid your performance and recovery. As a golfer with your long traveling days in a plane or a car or whatever it may be you pop KYMIRA on for traveling and you’re sat recovering then as well which for me is massive with 12-13 hour travel days. So that’s something else that really appeals to me, as well.
It was a privilege to hear the passion in his voice in defense of the KYMIRA gear. Similarly to how he described his injury so simply, he understands that KYMIRA sounds too simple just in the opposite way! I tried to stay objective throughout but I wasn’t going to turn down such brutally honest praise…
What's next for KYMIRA Ambassador Sam Robinson?
So with KYMIRA helping you passively like that the ankle should be healed up hopefully very soon! And you’re on the mend, so what’s the plan for the coming year?
So I’m going out to Portugal mid-November for some training. Just trying to get the ankle stronger and get back playing. Spending the winter in Portugal getting ready, getting back to some sort of competitive edge with the golf. Probably Alps Tour again starting mid=Feb. The schedule isn’t out until January but, normally mid-Feb to October for the outdoors season and then hopefully 5 or 6 Challenge tour starts mixed in with that would be the plan yeah.
Getting as much done as you can as possible!
Yeah absolutely it’s been a long year without playing! Obviously with the injury and then COVID so I’m eager to get back and start playing.
Golfers have patience and tenacity that shines through in the authenticity of their eagerness. These ambassadors for KYMIRA are all determined and committed sportsmen and women so having the chance to talk through that passion with them is a great experience. The world threw a pandemic, an embarrassing but serious injury, and the months of recovery at Sam but he’s still set on the Tours next year. He spoke like there would never be any doubt, like everything that has happened isn’t a reason to do less golf, but more! As we wrapped up the interview there was an air of real contentment. Having given Sam the opportunity to recover so fast and not have to even think about missing next year, KYMIRA seems to hold a special place in his training (and sleeping!) now.
Well thank you for your time Sam that was a great insight into where you’re at and where you’ve come from, and where you’re heading! So thank you for that, and, I’m glad to hear that with the help of KYMIRA you are able to look ahead to that sort of thing. Thanks very much for joining me.
Thanks for having me and thanks to KYMIRA for helping out and aiding my recovery.
What you said earlier about sleeping in it, gonna have to make a note of that!
Yeah try it! It makes sense when you think about it!