Stroke survivors enjoy new golf scheme

Pictured at the golf sessions at Tenby Golf Club


Pictured at the golf sessions at Tenby Golf Club are (from left to right) Rhys Harry, Marlene and Bob Smith, Mike Clancy, Gilly Reason-Jones (Stroke Association Volunteer), Paddy Pratt, Joan, Alan Jones and Ian Powell. Not pictured is Kim O’Doherty.

A new scheme has been set up in Pembrokeshire to enable people who have experienced a stroke to try golf or get back into the game they love.
The golfers have been meeting up every week to learn or improve their skills in sessions tailored specifically towards their abilities.

Partnership pays dividends

The sessions have been organised by Sport Pembrokeshire - Pembrokeshire County Council’s sports development team - in partnership with the Stroke Association’s Stroke Community steps project.
They are funded by Wales Golf through the New2Golf scheme and run at Tenby Golf Club with coach Rhys Harry.

Paddy loves her ‘Life Saver’ . . .

Among those taking part in the golf sessions Paddy Pratt, aged 84, formerly of Orielton and now of Pembroke Dock. She said the sessions were a ‘lifesaver’.
“They’re a godsend,” said Paddy, who used to work at Lloyds Bank in Pembroke before becoming a registrar with Dyfed County Council.
“A while ago I tried taking it up; I bought golf clubs and had a go, but once I had the stroke I thought I’d give them away.

. . . And loves her weekly sessions!

“This time I’m taking to it much better - perhaps because I know it’s so good for me. I’m always looking forward to the next week, to see if I can do better.”
Paddy had a stroke four years ago followed by an illness which affected her spine and delayed her recovery. She said the golf had made a huge difference to her feelings of wellbeing as well as giving her the satisfaction of improving her skills week on week.
“The main thing is it makes you feel included, rather than sitting back and watching,” she said. “My family can really see a change in me, mentally and physically - in fact my daughter says I’m a different person!
“I would like to thank Rhys and Alan for their tremendous support and encouragement to all of us, and especially to Gilly Reason-Jones from the Stroke Association, without whom we would not have been introduced to the scheme.”
Bob thinks it’s brilliant . . .
Bob Smith is a former tug skipper and member of Milford Haven Golf Club who suffered a brain haemorrhage and a stroke just 12 months after retiring from Svitzer five years ago. He said he was also really enjoying the sessions.
“The course is not too crowded, it’s laid out right and nothing is too much trouble for the people running it,” he said. “I’m very fortunate to be involved. I had a lot of trouble with balance and co-ordination after the stroke, but I’ve found swinging the golf club seems to have improved it no end.
“It’s also a way of getting back to normality. We’ve all got our own experiences, but when you talk to each other, you realise how similar your experiences are.”

. . . And wife Marlene is also involved!

Bob’s wife Marlene, who retired from working at Pembrokeshire County Council at the same time as Bob, said they both look forward hugely to the weekly sessions.
“What they’re doing is amazing,” she said. “When he had his stroke he lost his confidence and didn’t think he’d be able to play golf again, but they’re all coming on really well.”  
Alan is aiming high for the sessions
Alan Jones from Sport Pembrokeshire said it was great to link up with the Stroke Association and Tenby Golf Club to offer the sessions and they were really pleased with the progress of the participants.  
“Golf can help improve strength, balance and coordination and much more,” he said. “The level of improvement has been fantastic, from chipping and putting to hitting full golf shots on the driving range.
“It would be nice to think that this programme will demonstrate how accessible golf is for all abilities.”

Co-ordinator Julie is so grateful for sponsorship support

Stroke Community Steps, the Big Lottery Funded new project launched by the Stroke Association in Wales earlier this year, aims to support both stroke survivors and their carers to become fully-engaged in their local communities.
Julie Price, the project’s coordinator for Pembrokeshire, said:
“We’re so glad Paddy and Bob have enjoyed these sessions. 
“Many stroke survivors have told us that they would value support to get back out into their communities so that they don’t end up prisoners in their own homes.
“We listened and now through ‘Stroke Community Steps’ we plan to support many more people to grow in confidence, be it getting out for a game of golf or meeting up with other stroke survivors. 
“The carers of stroke survivors are also welcome to all the activities and we intend to speak to them directly, to find out what support they too need.’

More courses are Sport Pembrokeshire aim

Sport Pembrokeshire are hoping to run more golf courses for people who have had a stroke, if they can secure funding.
·         If you would like further information on any possible future golf courses, please contact Alan Jones on 01437 776191 or email
·         If you’d like to find out more about the Stroke Association’s Stroke Community Steps project, visit
Pictured is Paddy Pratt, one of the participants on the course.

Pictured is Paddy Pratt, one of the participants on the course.