Have you ever tried hitting a golf ball? To do it successfully you need balance, co-ordination, control, rhythm, determination and flexibility. Are you one of those people who have found it too hard to even hit the ball – let alone consider taking golf up?
Last week we invited people living with Parkinson’s to join us for a “Golf Day Out” at Rudding Park in North Yorkshire.
By now you will be aware of my passionate belief that golf has so much to offer our ageing population, especially those who need care and support in their golden years.
However, the well-documented challenges people with Parkinson’s face, coupled with research that golf is one of the first activities people give up when diagnosed, made this one of my biggest challenges.
How do you deliver an enjoyable, rewarding and memorable day for people who struggle with balance, co-ordination, stiffness and movement?
You can imagine my dismay when I saw the weather forecast for rain, wind and cold temperatures!!!
Despite the great British weather the day proved to be an inspirational success – Here’s why.
Firstly, Rudding Park has an excellent range of facilities for beginners with an amazing team of customer-focussed people. Secondly, we had a fantastic group of “golfing buddies” from the club’s membership who teamed up with their Parkinson’s guests. Thirdly, a local Parkinson’s group committed to helping people with the disease live better lives. And finally, people with Parkinson’s willing to try something new.
To witness what happened next was amazing!
Within two hours everyone was hitting golf shots as if they’d played the game all their lives. I have so many wonderful and inspirational memories of the day – too many to share in this blog – but all I can say was that it was pretty emotional stuff!
The afternoon tea in the clubhouse was the perfect end to a great “Golf Day Out”. It gave us the chance to relax, socialise and decide when to come back and do it all again!!!
Can’t wait for the next one in June!!