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Sober golf league gives people support, drive to stay in recovery

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Addicted Utah:{ }Sober golf league gives people support & the drive to stay in recovery (Photo: KUTV)

"Living in recovery one swing at a time." That's the motto for the group Good Time Golf, an amateur league of sober golfers that have been playing since 2012.

"The golf course is where business is done, it's where relationships are made," said Michael Orton, a board member. "We think we offer something that's really helpful to the individuals coming in."

Orton organizes weekly play for the group. They often golf at River Oaks in Sandy as well as other courses in Salt Lake, Davis, and Utah counties.

"We've got more people participating this year than we ever have," Orton said.

Each week, Orton mixes up the groups so golfers get a chance to meet new people in all stages of sobriety, find mentors, and establish a support system.

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"I think the key to long term recovery, long term success and recovery, is all about community," said Dylan Doty, who has participated in Good Time Golf ever since he came to Utah.

Doty was used to drinking while golfing--a common activity in the sport. After he got sober, he was scared to get back in the game.

"I didn't think it would be the same," he said.

But when he started playing with Good Time Golf, he found a network of friends in recovery who also loved the game.

"It just made me feel so comfortable to walk into that environment and learn golf all over again," said Doty.

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Weekly play takes place on Wednesdays, and about 30-40 golfers show up to play. But they send out about 300 invites to people every week.

"It's kind of exciting to see how many people want to get out here to play," Orton said.

And each time they come, golfers are learning just how much the game mirrors life in recovery.

"If you learn to struggle with the ups and downs of golf, and how you can overcome that, then with life you can figure out 'Hey, I didn't have the best round today, but we're going to try again next time,'" said Orton.

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Good Time Golf works with the golf courses to get a discounted rate, so people pay between $30-$40 each time. The group may be able to help out with fees when needed.

You don't have to participate every week, and there are about 4-6 tournaments to play in every year.

If you are interested in learning more about Good Time Golf, donating, or playing with the sober league you can visit its website, follow them on Instagram @goodtimegolfutah, or call Michael Orton at 801-830-0866.

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