To Perry Parker, a patient advocate for CSL Behring, golf is a “perfect sport” for someone with a bleeding disorder. It’s a physical activity that allows both kids and adults to enjoy the outdoors without putting too much stress on their joints or risking a bruise.
Parker would know. He’s taken part in three U.S. Opens and won five times on the Canadian Tour in a more than 30 years as a professional golfer. Perry continues to be active on the Australian Legends Tour and European senior tours. He also hosts an annual clinic for kids taking part in CSL Behring’s Gettin’ in the Game℠ Junior National Championship, a sports competition for kids and teens with bleeding disorders.
While golf may be an ideal way to get exercise while managing a bleeding disorder, Parker has some advice for those taking up the sport to keep in mind before teeing off.
Stretch: Maintaining flexibility in the joints is a priority for any golfer, but particularly for someone with a bleeding disorder. Bleeds are often experienced in the joints, so Parker says he stretches about an hour a day to make sure he’s loose and ready to swing.
Get Strong: A strong core is key for a strong drive, Parker says, so strength training is an important part of getting in golf shape. “If you get the core working well, that’s going to allow you to hit the ball a lot better.” Plus, strength training has other benefits. “You’ll have less bleeds if you’re in better shape,” he said.
Use Proper Form: Swinging the right way helps minimize risk of injury.
“If you swing the club properly, you’re really swinging with your body. So if you get your core strong and you swing your body the arm swing just goes along.”
Parker adds that a proper swing cuts down on the contact the club has with the ground and also cuts down on the risk of a golfer getting hurt.