Anthony Kim: 'When Doctors Are Telling You That You May Not Have Much Time Left, That's A Pretty Rude Awakening'

Anthony Kim spoke to the media at length as he prepares for his first US tournament since 2012 at LIV Golf Miami

Anthony Kim stands with a hand on his hip at the International Series Macau 2024
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Anthony Kim spoke to the media at length for the first time since his dramatic return to professional golf following a 12-year hiatus from the sport. 

The American joined Saudi-backed LIV Golf in February and has competed in two of the circuits' events thus far in Jeddah and Hong Kong. Now, Kim heads stateside as he gears up to compete in his first US event since 2012 in Miami.

Earlier in the week, Kim lifted the lid for the first time on several hard-hitting issues in an interview with David Feherty but the 38-year-old has now faced the extended media for the first time since his return, touching on a number of subjects, including his recent injury woes, advice for his younger self and adapting to the modern game. 

Here are five of the main talking points from the press conference.

His Serious Health Issues

In the aforementioned interview with Feherty, Kim touched upon the serious health issues that he developed during his long hiatus from the sport as he struggled with addiction. 

The American remained coy on any details, with many being saved for his upcoming documentary, but did provide a telling insight into how bad his health got at one stage during his time away from the sport. 

"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. 

"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."

He Broke his ankle just eight months ago

Anthony Kim hits a drive

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kim's departure from the sport in 2012 came as he continued to struggle with several debilitating injuries, with the issues leading him to undergo spinal fusion as well as surgery on his shoulder and hand during his time off.

However, the American revealed he suffered a far more recent setback during one of his first times back on the golf course.

"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" he said.

"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."

'I just found out yesterday that Brooks won back-to-back majors'

Brooks Koepka with the Wanamaker Trophy after his PGA Championship win

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kim was frank about the lack of golf he watched during his time off from the sport and admitted he is only now learning about some of his peers' achievements in the past few years.

"I think I probably watched nine holes of golf when I wanted to fall asleep. But I didn't watch much golf," he said. "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."

When asked if he'd seen Tiger Woods' win at the 2019 Masters, Kim noted: "Where I was in my life, I really wasn't focused on golf. I definitely heard that it happened but I mean, you know, going through some of the things I've gone through in my life, I wasn't focused on golf. I didn't care about somebody who won a golf tournament."

Advice for his younger self

Anthony Kim holding a big USA flag at the 2008 Ryder Cup

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When Kim burst onto the scene as a charismatic young talent, the American looked like he had the world at his feet. Now, as he continues his comeback in the sport, he had some wise words to pass on to his younger self.

"I would tell him to be patient, to appreciate what you have in front of you, and really to take your time," Kim said. "Because if I took my time, I think I would have realized a lot more things. But I don't blame anybody but myself for the issues that I've had. 

"With that being said, I was thrown into a situation because I had some success in golf that gave me different opportunities than a normal 23- or 24-year-old, and I took advantage of that. 

"Once you get going down that slippery slope, it's hard to make your way back, and unfortunately, I just kept going downhill and somehow, I've made it through. I'm sitting here in front of you just feeling really honored and blessed to be here because there are a lot of reasons I shouldn't be here right now."

Adapting to the modern game

During Kim's 12-year hiatus, golf experienced a large technological step forward, most notably when it came to equipment. 

The American admitted he is still learning some of the new rules in place but also revealed that the new technology means he drives the ball further now than when he left the sport in 2012.

"The game has changed so much," he said. "I thought that when I first got on to the Tour with titanium drivers. But now it's come to a point where you don't have to hit a ball in the center and you can get the same amount of yardage and accuracy as somebody who does hit it in the center. 

"Obviously not being a huge guy, my advantage was being able to hit the ball in the middle of the face and be in the fairway. But now, everyone's hitting it long. Everyone is hitting it semi-straight. So it ends up becoming a bomber's putting contest."

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He is now a freelance journalist who also works for The Independent, Metro, UEFA and Stats Perform.