Traden Karch with Rory McIlroy

The Traden Karch Story

In a society often filled with darkness and negativity, stories of hope and inspiration restore our faith in humanity. Steve Mitchell, publisher of this magazine, is one of those stories. Here in the writing room, we call him “Superman.” After a horrific diving accident that left him paralyzed and unable to breathe on his own, he is doing squats and getting close to rising from his wheelchair soon.

Traden Karch is another of those inspirational stories. If Steve Mitchell is Superman, Traden Karch is “Boy Wonder.” On February 23, 2016, Traden was struck in the head by the raised bumper of a pick-up truck that plowed into his granddad’s mini-van. It wasn’t a high-speed accident, but the impact put Traden into a vegetative state. He was just fourteen years old, a promising young golfer with a bleak prognosis. His family feared paralysis and brain damage.

Rory McIlroy, Traden’s favorite golfer, got wind of the story and filmed a private message to Traden, praying along with countless others that the young man would wake up soon. Defying the odds, Traden did reagin consciousness a few weeks later, but he didn’t recognize Rory. Traden Karch, a straight-A student with a promising future, was suffering from aphasia, the inability to formulate or comprehend language.

Rise Up and Overcome

There are those who believe that sports are not important. When school systems look at areas to cut costs, they far too often eliminate athletic and music programs. Some parents believe that academics without athletics is sufficient. Golf is a common casualty. Thankfully, Traden was not a victim of that misguided thinking. His love of the game was cultivated and it became his salvation.

Traden Karch had to learn to speak again, but his golf game miraculously never left him. Two years after the accident, in 2018, he finished in the PGA Junior Tour Top Ten six times. On Saturday, April 27, 2019, CBS Sports did an hour long story on PGA Junior Golfers that featured him, and his friend Rory McIlroy. Together, these two amazing golfers now inspire others to rise up and overcome.

Send Us Your Stories

October Golf Magazine is not just about golf. Yes, we sponsor the Steve Mitchell Golf Classic, and we’re going to publish lots of articles to help you improve your game, but this publication is about hope and inspiration. Do you know someone who has overcome adversity? Send us your story and we’ll publish it for you. The world needs hope. Use the form below to submit your story.

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