NASHVILLE — The first two weeks of William McGirt’s offseason from the PGA Tour included a trip to Lake Keowee with friends and family and dance classes for his daughter Caroline and her friends, much like most offseasons are for golfers.
He also had an atypical stop this week as he went to Nashville for surgery on his hip that has a torn labrum and femoroacetabular impingement, which has caused bone-on-bone contact in his left hip that has limited his range of motion and rotation in his swing. The issue was first diagnosed in April, and McGirt has played through the limitations to make the FedEx Cup playoffs for the eighth time in his career.
McGirt underwent the procedure Wednesday morning by Dr. J.W. Thomas Byrd of the Nashville Hip Institute, the doctor he saw in April when the discomfort was starting to affect him on the course.
“He developed the arthroscopic hip surgery procedure and some of the tools and instruments used in the procedure if I’m not mistaken,” McGirt told The Robesonian. “He is referred to as the godfather by most in the world of hip specialists.”
The procedure takes 4 1/2 hours usually, according to McGirt.
McGirt said last month he estimates that he will be out for a year recovering from the procedure and going through therapy. Missing a year on Tour, McGirt said the plans are still up in the air, but the 39-year-old still has a year’s worth of exemption after winning The Memorial tournament in 2016 that gave a rare three-year exemption.
“I basically know nothing more than when I started the process,” he said. “My agent is handling that how he deems appropriate. I was told that I will have 27 starts when I return if I miss all of next season.”
Recovery starts quickly for McGirt with a Thursday morning rehab appointment following the surgery.
“I’m looking forward to starting the comeback process,” he said.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.