Peter's story: Playing golf with PF

Peter is living with PF and with some adjustments is still able to play golf, the sport he loves.

Regular exercise is important for physical and mental wellbeing. It builds muscle strength, improves sleep and helps you to stay a healthy weight. Whilst PF can significantly affect your ability, any level of exercise you can do is beneficial, check out our exercise and pulmonary fibrosis page for more information.

Peter has always lived an active life, spending most of his working life as a builder. Since receiving his diagnosis of PF, Peter remains an an avid golfer, and is a member of the South Kyme Golf Club in Lincolnshire. Here’s his story:

In August 2019, following a routine visit to the GP for blood tests, I was taken to hospital by ambulance because my breathing was so poor. Then followed a week’s stay in Lincoln County Hospital.

Later that year in November, after experiencing further breathing problems at home, I was once again taken to hospital, this time to Pilgrim Hospital Boston. During this stay, the Respiratory Team told me I had Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).

Since my diagnosis of IPF, the impact on my life has been massive. I was first put on oxygen in January 2021 which at the time I found terrifying. Now the oxygen machine is an extension of my body. Without it I would be able to do very little other than sit in a chair, it gives me a better quality of life.

Increasing breathing difficulties has meant I’ve had to accept my limitations and adjust so I can keep as well as possible and play golf.

One adjustment was adapting my golf buggy, which helps me cover ground at the golf course. When you rely on oxygen, you must accept that where you want to go so does your oxygen machine. So, I had a carrier made to measure and fitted to the dash of my buggy to safely hold my oxygen machine with hooks to hold the line, giving me easy access to oxygen between swings.

Peter in his golf buggy

My wife Jane is a great support, not only does she do the house and garden work, and help me at home, but she also enables me to play golf. She drives me to the club and gets all my gear ready whilst I wait in the clubhouse. Then when I’m done playing, I give her a call and she packs it all away – I’m incredibly lucky to have her. The management, staff and members of South Kyme Golf Club are also extremely supportive.

Peter and his wife Jane

Both Jane and I attend the Boston PF support group, run by Clare Verrall-Champion and her colleagues from the Respiratory Team at Pilgrim Hospital, which meets once a month.

Clare regularly arranges speakers, and we have an outing during the summer months and a Christmas dinner. The group have even visited my golf club for a putting competition and afternoon tea.

The support of this group is vital to us, without the friends we’ve made life would be very lonely. Find your nearest support group.  

Members of the Boston PF support group on the course

In August last year I won the Seniors Monthly Medal off the white tees, I came in with a score of 10 under par which was 1 shot off equalling the course record. I also qualified for a place in the South Kyme Golf Club Masters, but three days before it was due to take place I tested positive for COVID-19, so unfortunately, I was unable to play.

However, despite this disappointment, I remain incredibly grateful that I’ve got the support structure and adaptations in place which allow me to keep active whilst still playing the sport I love.

Peter eyeing up his next shot