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Stroke Survivors Work on Their Golf Strokes as a Form of Rehabilitation

A group of stroke survivors decided to join together and work on their golf course at the J.W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort this past Thursday, thanks to the American Heart/Stroke Association’s event, “Saving Strokes”.

Former Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy Tracy Suitt says when he had his stroke in December of 2015, he lost his entire right side. He plans on working on his recovery with each and every day to come—he knows his brain must re-learn basic things such as how to operate certain parts of his body.

“The brain will learn. You can continue to improve as time goes on,” Suitt said. “To get back to where I am, it’s been 2 and a half years. I’m still improving, I still see changes every day. You have to be patient. I mean, if you try to push it and rush, you’re going to get frustrated, get angry, and probably stop going through with the treatment.”

Those who organized the event say golfing can be used as a legitimate rehabilitation tool for stroke survivors, as it provides them with an opportunity to practice gross and fine motor skills, as well as experience a positive state of mind.

“There’s a lot to just being able to stand, swing your arms, maintain your balance, weight shift, and get your power behind the club,” said McHailey Haeflinger, HealthSouth Director of Therapy.

In order to learn more about swing mechanics as well as the game, a few golf instructors helped out the participants.

“To get them out here onto the golf course, and start working on things like balance and swinging the golf club at the same time is doing nothing but positive building for those fine motor skills,” said golf pro David Lee.


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