As Andrew Stephens describes it, he was “burning the candle at both ends.” The 2018 Kentucky PGA Section champion was battling through a partially torn ligament in his left hand, all while trying to maintain a teaching academy, buy his local driving range and, as he says, “raise the 2040 Masters champion” with his wife, teaching partner and range co-owner, Sara. “It was an extremely stressful time,” he says. “Definitely the anxiety level was up.” So when Stephens came across a booth at January’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando touting a product that seemed to solve all his problems, he was intrigued.
As it turns out, what he found might be the hottest product in golf this year. In fact, it might be the hottest product in any industry this year. Cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound extracted from cannabis plants, is finding its way into everything from droppers of ingestible oils and topical creams to pizza and milkshakes. Its claims of curative powers seem to run the gamut of diseases and maladies, from Alzheimer’s and cancer to first-tee jitters and golfer’s elbow.