Here are a selection of members comments sent into the Disabled Golf Association Website:-
For many years I served in HM Forces. One played golf all over the world- on sand(with “oiled greens), on snow(matting for greens or just smoothed ice) and on some great courses too- and reached the dizzy heights of 18 handicap. However, about 6 years ago, I was found to have Heart failure and other problems such as Shaking Leg syndrome(affecting my arms too!)etc. I did not play any golf until last year when I found out about the DGS- Due to one thing and another I did not play in 2011. However, this year I have managed 2 events so far- Have i enjoyed them- you bet- has it helped me- too right- not only given me a focus, but has meant that golf was the one sport I could play.
I took a few lessons to alter my swing and hope over the summer that my scores will improve(LOL). Without the DGS I would not be able to play golf and meet fantastic people also. The DGS has been life changing- sounds corny -but is is true- to me and I suspect many others. I wonder how many golfers like myself, would love to get back on a course but feel they cannot as they have a handicap- and how many with handcaps would love to take up the game but thought their was no organisation/society to cater for their needs. THE DISABLED GOLF SOCIETY can, and I do not hesitate to support the ideals of the society.
Now I feel good and that my conditions do not stop me playing golf- for that the DGS has my gratitude.
Peter Colson-Osborne, DGS Member – 31st May 2012
Since joining the DGS, Parkinson sufferer Brian Parsons has excelled at the game of golf. Brian is a very pleasant and humorous chap, which when reading his story is hard to believe. However even with his illness he has found something that makes him concentrate and focus his mind on, rather than worry about Parkinson’s. He has won many events and represented his country in the “Auld Enemies Cup” as well as having his handicap reduced from 36 to 16 in less than 1 year. Hopefully Brian’s success will be an inspiration to others who join us.
Here is Brian’s Story.
Well this is how the story goes. After a carpal tunnel operation on my right hand that went wrong, I was under the surgeon’s knife again to try to relieve the swelling from my right hand. The minute I awoke from the anesthetic, after they had operated at my elbow, I had a tremor in my right hand. As a result of this I was referred to the neurology department at Leicester City General Hospital. After months and months of appointments with different consultants, 3 years in total, I was eventually told that I had Parkinson’s disease. After arriving home, about an hour later, distraught, numb, in shock and completely devastated, my wife told my brother that I had Parkinson’s. Within the next hour all my family gathered at our house to give me support.
Well for the first two years it was awful. It came as a shock to my system to stop all of the things I loved about my social life; playing very competitive league darts 3 times a week, rugby on Saturday, football on Sunday plus many other thing I took for granted. The different drugs I was trying were causing me all sort of problems; from water and kidney infections, insomnia through to nightmares. It was absolutely horrendous and many times I thought about giving some unlucky train driver an early retirement. Reaching the lowest point in my life, my beautiful wife phoned the consultant at the hospital and politely told him how I was feeling. After his visit the same day, I was put upon a new tablet fresh from America. Within two weeks I was out of bed, leading a fairly normal life of sorts and doing little things often enough to the best of my ability. Then one Saturday morning upon clearing the garage out, my children found a set of golf clubs.
They said “let’s go into the garden and play with them”.
“I can’t play now ” Was my response.
“Give it a try”
So I did and two weeks later I discovered the Disabled Golf Society.
THE STORY BEGINS with DGS
I was browsing the internet and came across the Disabled Golf Society. After immediately joining online, a couple of days later I received a phone call from Graham Robertson introducing himself to me. I turned up to my first event at Stoneleigh Deer Park golf club and thoroughly enjoyed myself, even though I played awful. Encouraged by this I played several other events and met lots of new members. It was fantastic! Having not played for over 20 years I got something I could get my teeth into with my disability.
Since joining the DGS, I’ve received lots of help from other members with my game, especially one in particular. We were playing together at one of the events and I was hitting the ball shockingly bad. The ball was going in every direction possible (I couldn’t hit the ball to save my life!) and my back was hurting. Ready to pack it all in and throw my clubs away, Kevin Booth advised me to get some bigger clubs with longer shafts and to try this and that to improve my game. Taking his advised on-board (I had to listen for once in my life!), lots of hard work on the golf range and in the net in my back garden, I’m was so pleased with my improved progress. Thanks to Kevin’s guidance and other members I’ve played with at DGS events, I now play off 16 after starting on a handicap of 36.
With all this effort and encouragement, it lead to to one of the best and proudest moments in my life, by far (OTHER THAN WHEN MY CHILDREN WERE BORN AND MARRYING MY WIFE), of which I will take to my grave. I was chosen to play for my Country at Slaley Hall, in the Auld Enemy’s Cup. Even the disappointment of no national anthems being played on the day, didn’t spoil my enthusiasm. I would like to thank Graham, Sue, Kevin, Cerise and everybody else who organised it all. Thank you! Thank you so much for making it possible for me to represent my country and fulfill a lifetime’s ambition.
I now live, breath, eat and drink golf. My wife now calls herself a ‘golfing widow‘, because I can’t wait for the next event to get going so I can improve on my handicap. THE best advice I was ever given, is to talk to your golf balls. If you are nice enough, they listen to you and many members who I’ve played with, will tell you “it works”. ‘Come on noodles’ is the name for my golf ball. So remember ladies and gentlemen of the Disabled Golf Society…… Talk to your golf balls (lol)
Ending at that, thank you to all associated with the DGS, who have helped turned my life around. I would also like give special thanks my wife and children, who are so supportive of me and who allow me to play in these events.
Brian Parsons (AKA. BARMY) – 25th April 2012
‘Hello, my name is John Irvine. I was involved in a very serious accident in June 2010 in which I nearly lost my life. My right leg was amputated below the knee and my left leg suffered extensive injuries. Following 9 months of being in hospital and rehabilitation, I finally began to walk again in March 2011 and have slowly made steps to get my life back together again.
Never at any time did I think I would ever get back on the golf course again but thanks to the help, support of my friends, Bedlington golf club where I have become a member this year and the inspirational stories I have read on the DGS website over the summer and autumn of last year, I began swinging a club again in September last year. I got in touch with Kevin Booth around September and thanks to his support and persuasion, took part in my 1st event at Kingswood, Doncaster yesterday (19th March).
I have to admit I was quite nervous having only played about 6 rounds over the winter when I walked through the doors but I was greeted by Kevin and Cerise and within 5 minutes of sitting with the other members, felt like I was ‘one of the lads’, which if you come from the North East like me, you will know what I mean. The banter and conversation was fantastic and it was nice to talk to others who suffer the same problems I have to face on a daily basis. I was paired with David Cooksley and Keith Pickering and I would like to thank them both for their wonderful spirit and support during my round. I very much enjoyed playing but came off a little disappointed with my 27 especially as I was very erratic on the front 9, played really well for 8 holes and then made the proverbial dogs dinner of the last hole !! A massive 220 yard drive and all I needed was a 90 yard pitch over the water and a putt for a massive 5 points. 2 balls in the water later and my hopes gone alas !!
Still I was pleased I did Ok and there are plenty of other events to go in the year ahead. If you are recently joined and deliberating about competing, all I can say is do it, you will thoroughly enjoy yourself.’
John Irvine, Brook Miller South Yorkshire Golf Day – 19th March 2012
‘Just a quick message to say how much Joseph and I enjoyed yesterday’s competition at Kingswood Golf Centre. It was great to meet up with old friends and equally important to meet new ones. I have to add that the staff at Kingswood were very helpful and friendly and whilst the course was extremely wet it played well for Joseph. Finally, Thank you Kevin for your continued support, (and not forgetting your wife too), and expert organizational skills which made this event work for Joseph. We are looking forward to the next event, college permitting.’
John Vanaman, Brook Miller South Yorkshire Golf Day – 19th March 2012
We spent 3 days at this seaside ‘links’ course which was, for the middle of March, in excellent condition. The fairways were sound with a good carry off the tee and the greens were really quick considering the time of year. Although the weather was quite chilly I managed to play 54 holes and found most of the tee’s easily accessible for someone with walking/climbing difficulties. We had excellent accommodation at the Golf and Links Hotel (Just round the corner from the course)which provided a number of comfortable ground floor rooms close to the bar and restaurant. A real highlight was the food served for breakfast and evening meal – truly memorable! The staff in the hotel and clubhouse were excellent in meeting our needs. Overall a great experience to look forward to next year.
Richard Aisthorpe, Sandilands Golf Break – 13th-15th March 2012
‘All the members here who helped have told me how amazed they were at the skill and enjoyment of every one who played, and received instruction. I am hoping that some of the Island entries, who haven`t been playing regularly, will be encouraged to continue what was started last week.’
‘Thanks for the shield you presented to us, I am having it suitably engraved ready for next year.’
With best wishes Peter Hunt, Ryde Golf Club, Isle of Wight”
‘Just wanted to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed today and particular thanks to the (Nifty fifties) this afternoon who all made superb helpers/buggy drivers. I thought the whole day was very well organised and I still can’t quite believe that I managed to win a prize. I am very proud and pleased with that. I am already looking forward to the next (my next local event). Many thanks and very kind regards to you all’
Paul Hammond was attending his first DGS at Birds Hill on 29th March 2011
‘Hello everyone my name is Tom Sampson I am 56 years of age and suffered a stroke on December 5th2007 i attended the disabled golf society’s golf day at West malling G.C near my Maidstone home in Kent slightly nervous of what to expect I pulled into the car park mid morning to be greeted by the ebullient Graeme Robertson welcoming my wife Sandie and I to the days event five other members of the Stoke club I belong to in Maidstone were already in the beautifully appointed clubhouse tucking into tea and toast this was the first time in over three years ihad walked into a golf club so seeing familiar faces helped me relax before my first committment of the day an assessment at the nearby range with ex professional golfer David Llewellyn with total paralysis of my left side David tutored me for twenty minutes on balance and my stance as a single figure handicap golfer pre- stroke his advice was uplifting and telling me firmly to concentrate on what I could do not what I couldn’t was priceless advice. Sheer tiredness and a heavy shower of rain prevented me from getting out on the course but amusing conversation back in the clubhouse and plenty of coffee and biscuits kept the day ticking over all in all it was an uplifting day and I can only congratulate the organizers on a job well done and to Mr Llewellyn my eternal gratitude for his time and patience As i strive to recover my previous good health it will be days like these that will spur me on God bless you all and good golfing!!!’
Tom Sampson re-event at West Malling on Thursday 21st July 2011