Wednesday, March 2
Brian Orfall: Golf and #strongerthanparkinsons
(From the ARMCHAIR GOLF inbox, with some editing.)
My name is Brian Orfall.
In 2005 I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease (PD). PD has taken a lot from me (my job, my ability to play music, from time to time, my ability to tie my shoes).
(Brian was a history teacher and a graduate student at Florida International University. He also used to play jazz on an electric bass and guitar.)
One thing I won't let it interfere with is my love of golf.
Last year I played golf every day and raised over $1,600 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. I played well over 6,000 holes, around 70,000 swings, with more than 50 birdies and two eagles.
I went through four pairs of golf shoes, over 500 golf balls and well over 1,000 tees. I had nine visits to the chiropractor and three massages.
I played with people from as far away as South Africa and as close as three blocks from my house. I played in ideal, sunny Florida weather, driving rain and wind and temperatures that hovered around 40 degrees in the hills of Georgia and South Carolina.
I call my creation ParkinTour.
All of this affirmed my belief in humanity, golf and life itself. It made me #strongerthanparkinsons. It also made me certain that I must do more.
This year, I am challenging my fellow golfers to be stronger than Parkinson's too. I am challenging them to participate in the ParkinTour #strongerthanparkinsons Golf Swing Challenge.
The way it works is simple:
A golfer 1) records his or her best golf swing, 2) uploads the video to the social media website of their choice using the hashtag #strongerthanparkinsons, 3) donates $5 or $10 to the Michael J. Fox Foundation at www2.michaeljfox.org/goto/parkintour and 4) tags some of their golf buddies, challenging them to do the same.
I encourage all golfers to be as creative as possible and, of course, to use their best judgment.