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PGA Tour Golfer Takes On Tourette's

PGA Tour Golfer Takes On Tourette's

Posted Thu 19th May 2022 at 09:33
by Ben Shipp

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Ben Shipp shares his story from TS diagnosis to professional golfer

I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome when I was 15-years old. Tourette's and golf do not sound like the ultimate pairing considering the level of emotional control required to execute on the course - however, abandoning my dream of playing on the PGA Tour was not an option. Like every challenge life throws at us, I faced this new chapter head-on and went to the course the next day to evolve my game. My tics are random, and there is no real way of predicting which ones are coming. Naturally, high-pressure situations can make my tics harder to control, but being on the golf course is different; I feel most comfortable, the most in control.

Quitting was never an option for me. Instead, I found a way to use what could have been construed as a negative as motivation to find a way to handle it. I practiced and, over the years, have developed general strategies to calm myself down and lower my stress level. As a result, what should have been a weakness of my golf game has now grown into a strength.

My diagnosis has provided a larger calling in my life. Sharing my story and inspiring others to share theirs has been a highlight of my career. Don't get me wrong; I am competitive. I am playing to win, but more importantly, I want to inspire golfers on all levels - professional, amateur, and social, to not take a backseat despite their diagnosis - whatever that may be.

Earlier this year I qualified for PGA Tour Canada starting June 2022, marking my professional debut. It is a 12-event season with the top 5 players gaining PGA Korn Ferry Tour status. Enroute to fulfilling my professional golf dreams, I now have a platform to continue sharing my story and spreading awareness through golf. On this journey, I am looking for sponsors and/or corporate partnerships to amplify my outreach and continue to break barriers to the limitations of Tourette's. As Jack Nicklaus famously said, "The game of golf is 90% mental and 10% physical."

 

Please follow along with my golf career @golfmanben. If you would like more information on how you can support my golf career and continue inspiring others to follow their dreams, please reach out to me at: ge@resolute-sports.com.


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