Adam Leasure has a lot of things to worry about on the golf course.
Figuring out how the wind will affect his shot, getting the right distance to the hole and reading the green he is about to putt on are among the aspects of the game that will fill his mind.
But the most important thing to the junior golfer from Riverside, is how he handles the diabetes he was diagnosed with when he was five.
“I have to keep it under control or else it will affect me,” Leasure said. “I can’t do anything if it’s not under control.”
So far this season, Leasure is dealing with the disease effectively, making sure to have access to a sugar-filled object in case he gets a flare up.
“I spend a good amount of time trying to control it,” Leasure said. “I can’t let anything happen to me, to affect getting points for my team.”
The Vikings junior began his year in style, firing an 84 at the Jackman last month at Scranton Muni, the best score among players from the Triboro area. It was a score he felt was a little misleading, considering how he played.
“My goal was to break 80, but two triples (triple bogeys) killed me,” Leasure said. “I played well my first eight or nine holes.
“It could have been worse, or it could have been better.”
The round set the tone for his first few outings, where his game was unable to match how he was feeling.
“I was playing pretty well, but I should have been playing better,” Leasure said. “My short game was off, but I practiced on it a lot.”
Fortunately, the time and thoughts he spent on his diabetes paid off and hasn’t been an issue so far.
“It hasn’t been low or bad this year,” Leasure said. “
Just the mere thought of his disease can get the junior thinking about his diabetes, and thinking about anything except for golf while he is on the course is a worrisome issue. It’s out there, lurking in the dark recesses of his mind.
“It’s also a mental thing. I’ll wonder if it (a bad shot) is because of the diabetes,” Leasure said. “It’s up to me to make sure nothing happens.”
There have been enough times when the diabetes was in control, and the helpless feeling Leasure had was painful enough that he quickly learned the symptoms and how to deal with them.
“I can tell. If I get shaky or see spots, I know I have to get something for me,” Leasure said. “I can tell when I’m off. I know it will have a huge effect on every part of my game. I can’t do anything.
“It’s like I don’t know what I’m doing out there.”
It may be worse if he gets a bad spell in his other sport, basketball, where he needs to be more mobile and alert.
“I’ve been a diabetic since I was 5. I’ve had to control it ever since then,” Leasure said. “I play basketball and I have to keep it under control, or else I can’t function.”
So his golf bag is like your grandma’s drawer of treats, magical in the eyes of young children but a necessity for the Vikings junior.
“I carry a lot of sugar products,” Leasure said. “I put them in my bag in case my sugar gets low.”
By gearing up for a potential problem, Leasure is able to concentrate on improving his game while he’s on the course, driving range or putting green. This year, that meant getting ready for the Lackawanna League qualifier for the District 2 Championships. The qualifier, which was scheduled for Wednesday, was an event Leasure was eagerly anticipating.
“Last year, making districts was a huge goal,” Leasure said. “I missed by three shots. I had a big number on the front nine, a 10 on one hole. If I didn’t do that, I would have been in.”
This year, with his diabetes under control and his game getting better as the season unfolds, getting to districts should have been within his grasp.
But he considers it a victory whenever he plays a round of golf without thinking about his diabetes.