Golf....and PD


I was diagnosed last year. My golf suffered badly and helped me get the diagnosis. I then took 3-4 months off to get used to the medication. Initially after some time I was back to normal…82-85 and feeling ok but recently have struggled to hit a ball!

I have tinkered with dosages and timings of medication and am getting incredibly frustrated. I am a English dude living in Singapore.

Feel free to keep in touch and pass on any tips to improve my current shocking golf.

Hello peterhone … I too was an obsessive golf nut. I am 69 & I got diagnosed with Atypical Parkinson’s following a positive DATscan 6 months ago. In hindsight I have
had Parkinson’s issues for at least a few years. I played in the UK 6 months of the year & then 6 months in Florida.

My first problem was walking. I could walk for 14 holes then hit the brick wall. First 14 holes in 8-10 over par, last 4 holes in 8+ over par. So I started riding a golf cart.

Then my putting went. The first time I noticed it I was playing a pairs better ball medal & we were doing well. I was on the 9th hole green, a par 5, in 3 shots. My partner was off the green in 5 shots so picked up. I started to shake standing over my 10 foot birdie putt. 15 putts later I was in the hole for 18.

Another instance I was literally one inch from the hole & putting for a birdie. I had terrible shakes & had to back off 3 times before finally holing the one inch putt.

I did master putting by using a mid length putter with a hands apart grip. I was having around 36-40 putts a round, a considerable improvement. My 10 handicap had gone to 24.1

As things have progressed I have gone from 5 rounds a week [with golf cart] to only being able to play 1 round a week.

Sadly I game a week became too difficult & I gave up a few months ago.

There is another gent at our club who has the normal Parkinson’s who was off 11 & is now off 36. He can walk the course & plays 3 times a week & thoroughly enjoys it.

I have taken up indoor bowls & yes I do miss my golf. Sorry the story doesn’t have a happy ending.

Playing good golf & Parkinson’s are not happy bed fellows.

My advice would be to carry on playing for enjoyment & forget your competitive instincts.

Best wishes

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I appreciate your honesty, it is really helpful. I need to be grateful and you just reminded me of that. I really appreciate it.

Thank you

Good morning peterhone. May I ask what golfing problems Parkinson’s gives you?
Mine towards the end was body fatigue on the whole, where I’d find I literally could not swing the golf club. I also had issues of freezing, standing over a putt or another golf shot. I sort of semi got round this problem by counting. I had to the count of 3 to have made the shot or the putt. I made up my mind what I was going to do before I got to the ball. No practice swings or practice putts. Stand over the ball, line up the shot & hit the shot.

I would also suggest putting in lots of cards for your handicap, so your handicap is what you can play to.

Playing in Florida I was a member of a Private Members golf club with two golf courses. There are invitation games with a shot gun start at 1pm every day. There would be about 60 players [$15 per man & team cash prizes]. We would be divided into “flights” … 15 lowest handicaps are the captains flight A. Then the next 15 lowest are flight B & so on. So each team would have one player from each flight. I was in flight D. The fairly unique thing about golf in the US is that you can choose the tee you play off. There are 8 tee boxes. The number 4 tee is the equivalent tee to the UK white tee. If you choose to play off a forward tee you lose shots off your handicap. Last year I played off the number 7 or 8 tee [around 5,200 yards]. My handicap off the number 4 tee would be 21 & about 12 off the number 8 tee. So I lost 9 shots but I could get on every hole in regulation which made it more fun & good for my ego.

Best swishes

Initially before diagnosis, it was a complete downhill slide due to a lack of coordination between the brain and the limbs. Everything was out of synch. My shoulder muscles were so weak the club released from my grip on swinging, but over the last year I have used a rowing machine every day to rebuild the weakness.
With Mardopa it was under control, then they added Selegiline and it was awesome…shooting 80-85. Then they added sifrol (agonist) and it started to drop off, lack of coordination, could swing clubs but right side stiff and hence all shots went wildly left.

I have started to take Thiamin which also helps the muscles to be less stiff…over the next few weeks I will monitor the progress.

will let you know how it goes

Hi, sorry I don’t play golf but used to be able to play pool fairly well but now it’s literally hit & miss due to muscle stiffness and balance. Any enjoyment is taken away by PD sadly.

I have had some good results recently as the thiamine is working well.