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Stroke Survivor Uses Passion For Golf to Help Recovery

By: Golfshake Editor | Tue 11 Jun 2024

Golf can be the most inclusive of sports, and that fact is underlined by the story of 49-year-old Neal Hume from the Midlands, who suffered a stroke in November 2022, which instantly changed his and his family's life, with his speech and movement in his right side being impacted.

The game has been, and continues to be, a driving force in his recuperation and recovery, with Neal hoping he can get back to regularly enjoying the physical, social and mental health benefits of playing golf alongside his family and friends. 

Neal lives just two miles from Walmley Golf Club in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham. The club has played an instrumental part in his ongoing recovery and rehabilitation, as he utilises their expert facilities and coaching to slowly start picking up a club again and playing the sport that he describes as his "friends and family".  

Neal’s wife Kathryn recalled the difficulties her husband faced in the immediate aftermath following his stroke. She said: "Initially it affected him massively, he had literally no movement at all in his right side, couldn’t really speak, couldn’t communicate very well with us at all. It’s a slow recovery and I think particularly for somebody who was so active before, that’s hard.

"Gradually over time since then, he’s now able to walk, his speech is better, he’s gradually getting more movement in his arm now, but it is a struggle for him really."

Since then the sport has played an instrumental part in Neal’s recovery, giving him hope for the future, as he continues to work hard to get back to playing the game he loves, putting the effects of his stroke behind him and adapting to ensure he can get back to participating in the sport with his family and friends. 

Kathryn added: "Neal has always been one that’s up for a challenge, and a key part of his recovery has been focusing on getting back to playing golf. Adapting the way that Neal will have to play going forward is going to continue to be a challenge, but it’s something he appears to be relishing."

Neal’s story encompasses the impact the game of golf has on people of all backgrounds and abilities. His passion for the game has helped provide respite and enjoyment during his ongoing recovery. Neal encourages everyone to give the game a try and take on the challenge. 

He said: "I would like to recommend anybody to play and really try it out, it’s hard but enjoyment, enjoyment is all I have to say. Golf is my passion and I love playing the game, the sport is for everyone and even though I am finding a new way to play, it hasn’t changed my excitement of getting along to the driving range. I’d encourage anyone to give golf a try, you’ll meet new people and the sport in general is very rewarding."


Sarah Adderley, Associate Director for the Midlands at the Stroke Association, said: "Over 88,000 people survive a stroke every year in the UK and someone will have a stroke every five minutes. However, surviving a stroke is just the start of a long and gruelling recovery journey and every recovery is so different.

"Sport and activity in general can have such a positive impact on stroke recovery - both physically and mentally. Neal’s determination to return to the game he loves is a true inspiration to stroke survivors everywhere and we wish him all the best for the future."

Neal’s inspirational story is the first in a series from England Golf that shines a spotlight to champion individual stories of how players from across the country adapt the sport to suit their needs so they can enjoy the benefits golf brings. 

‘We’re All Golfers’ showcases the physical, social and mental health benefits the sport brings to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. The series is aimed to inspire participation but also highlight the shared love of the game that brings people together across the country to play all forms of the game. 

We’re All Golfers and Neal’s story encompasses England Golf’s overarching Respect in Golf movement, to inspire, promote and create greater understanding and embracement of equality, diversity and inclusion within the sport. The movement is designed to bring people into golf from all ages, genders, abilities and backgrounds.

For more information on Respect in Golf, please visit https://www.englandgolf.org/respect-in-golf.

What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/

Tags: GOLFERS Golf

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