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)