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 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.


Brian Orfall said...

Thank you so much, Neil. I really appreciate you featuring ParkinTour on Armchair Golf Blog. I am looking forward to reading your book on the 1955 US Open. One of my best friends gave me a copy of Ben Hogan's book that he'd had for a long time when I first began to take the game seriously almost eight years ago. My two-year-old son's middle name is Hogan, so in a way, he's named after Mr. Hogan and in a way he's named after one of my very best friends who I have known since we in college together at UC Santa Barbara almost 25 years ago. You are already #strongerthanparkinsons but I'd be honored if you'd record a swing for the ParkinTour #strongerthanparkinsons Golf Swing Challenge. Thank you.

Rosna Delucca said...

Way to go Brian!!!

The Armchair Golfer said...

It was my pleasure, Brian. I wish you the best with ParkinTour and raising money for PD.