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A.D.D. and Golf

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Wow.  I am 55 and just got very serious about golf after being a 2 times a year golfer for years.  I took some lessons and became a devoted student of the game.  I practice like mad - short game, long game, all of it.  I am also ADHD, but out of meds (ritalin).  I wasn't seeing improvement in my scores like I thought I should see.  I was shooting high 40s, low 50s on 9s but in practice was hitting gorgeous shot after shot.

Then I found an old prescription of ritalin and took some before my last 4 rounds.  OMG!!!!!!!  My pinball brain became calm.  I started to strike the ball well consistently.  Approaches were hitting greens and my putts started falling.  And my scores?  It is absolutely dramatic.  I am now shooting low to mid 40s past 4 rounds.  I am hitting greens, making pars and most importantly, not falling apart and letting my pinball brain take my game away from me.

I don't believe ritalin is considered performing enhancing if it is prescribed.  Not sure.  It shouldn't be.  My doctor always told me that for an ADHD person to take ritalin is like a near sighted person wearing glasses.  It brings the world into focus.

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Wow.  I am 55 and just got very serious about golf after being a 2 times a year golfer for years.  I took some lessons and became a devoted student of the game.  I practice like mad - short game, long game, all of it.  I am also ADHD, but out of meds (ritalin).  I wasn't seeing improvement in my scores like I thought I should see.  I was shooting high 40s, low 50s on 9s but in practice was hitting gorgeous shot after shot.

Then I found an old prescription of ritalin and took some before my last 4 rounds.  OMG!!!!!!!  My pinball brain became calm.  I started to strike the ball well consistently.  Approaches were hitting greens and my putts started falling.  And my scores?  It is absolutely dramatic.  I am now shooting low to mid 40s past 4 rounds.  I am hitting greens, making pars and most importantly, not falling apart and letting my pinball brain take my game away from me.

I don't believe ritalin is considered performing enhancing if it is prescribed.  Not sure.  It shouldn't be.  My doctor always told me that for an ADHD person to take ritalin is like a near sighted person wearing glasses.  It brings the world into focus.

I think if the USGA tried to call ritalin or other ADHD drugs performance-enhancing, they'd get slapped with a pretty big lawsuit and lose on a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. As they should. ADHD is now an officially recognized condition in official medical journals. Your metaphor of a near-sighted person wearing glasses is apt.

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I have ADD. I tend to lose focus on things. I've had it for years. I tended to self-medicate with 3 to 4 cups of coffee a day. And back in the 1990s there was this stuff called "Ripped Fuel" from Twin Labs that was just awesome, but you can't get that anymore. Doctor wouldn't give me ritalin or adderall because of some other stuff.

Honestly I'd love to get my hands on the stuff. I lose focus on the course at times and make a bad course management shot and those cost me. I've pulled out my pitching wedge and chipped with my 6 iron - yes you read the sentence correctly. It's lapses like that. My ball hits my target exactly and rolls off the green on the other side. Then I notice the club felt a little long. :cry: Plus adderall is an appetite suppressant.

Anyway it is considered a PED if you are ever going to compete in any USGA sanctioned championship where they're doing drug testing. You won't have any problem with it playing at your club level. Drugs prescribed are also under medical exemption. If they're doing drug testing you also have to be marijuana clean, too, even if it is legal in your state, and even if you have a letter for medical. Since I'll never compete in anything like that due to cost of entry, travel, and hotels, etc., I don't really have to worry about that stuff.

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Yes I have been diagnosed with ADD and take medication.  I also have a background of nearly 30 years as a caseworker.  ADD is normally more of an issue during routine or non interesting activities.  Hyper concentration during activities that are interesting is considered common in people with ADD.  I actually play better without my prescription, but I am a pain to people around me.  I seem to get to caught up in the details and over think when using  medication.  But since I am not that good it doesn't seem worth the social cost.  I would be leery of attributing golf performance to ADD.  Concentration is dependent on many factors.  I would look at other parts of your life and make sure you consult with DR. possibly one with a wider background than a GP or Internal medicine.  Depending on severity and the individual there are many different possible responses.  Diet, lifestyle, different medications can all be helpful if diagnosed ADD or ADHD.

I was diagnosed with ADHD and came here to say this. For things I am interested in or enjoy I would actually consider ADHD an asset (other than the fact I can become consumed with things like golf at the expense of other responsibilities). When I go play golf my mind is still interested in playing long after my body is ready to call it quits.

The only things I would consider a negative about my ADHD when golfing is that I can get in a rush if I am playing with slower golfers or behind a slow group, and I tend to forget about what the other people I am playing with are doing. For example I hit my tee shot and am so focused on thinking about what I am going to do next that I drive my cart up to my ball and then notice that I am parked 20 yards in front of someone else in my group who needs to hit their ball before me. Or I'm in a foursome with two balls on the green and I make a great chip shot and walk up and take the flag out and then am asked to put it back in so the 4th in the group can see the hole from off the green. Luckily the people I play with are used to me being in my own world and tease me more than they get upset about it. I do care about course etiquette and try to follow it, but sometimes I just get tunnel vision on my game and do stupid stuff.

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For those citing golfers known as ADHD , besides Bubba Watson, another major winner with ADHD was Payne Stewart. Fwiw I believe professional golfers with OCD would be more common than ADHD . Slow play and complicated pre shot routines could have at least occasionally be reflections of OCD. I doubt the correlation is that strong, as there are way less people with the disorder than the number of golfers exhibiting those behaviors.

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Wow.  I am 55 and just got very serious about golf after being a 2 times a year golfer for years.  I took some lessons and became a devoted student of the game.  I practice like mad - short game, long game, all of it.  I am also ADHD, but out of meds (ritalin).  I wasn't seeing improvement in my scores like I thought I should see.  I was shooting high 40s, low 50s on 9s but in practice was hitting gorgeous shot after shot.

Then I found an old prescription of ritalin and took some before my last 4 rounds.  OMG!!!!!!!  My pinball brain became calm.  I started to strike the ball well consistently.  Approaches were hitting greens and my putts started falling.  And my scores?  It is absolutely dramatic.  I am now shooting low to mid 40s past 4 rounds.  I am hitting greens, making pars and most importantly, not falling apart and letting my pinball brain take my game away from me.

I don't believe ritalin is considered performing enhancing if it is prescribed.  Not sure.  It shouldn't be.  My doctor always told me that for an ADHD person to take ritalin is like a near sighted person wearing glasses.  It brings the world into focus.

Welcome to TST.

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I have ADD. I tend to lose focus on things. I've had it for years. I tended to self-medicate with 3 to 4 cups of coffee a day. And back in the 1990s there was this stuff called "Ripped Fuel" from Twin Labs that was just awesome, but you can't get that anymore. Doctor wouldn't give me ritalin or adderall because of some other stuff.

Honestly I'd love to get my hands on the stuff. I lose focus on the course at times and make a bad course management shot and those cost me. I've pulled out my pitching wedge and chipped with my 6 iron - yes you read the sentence correctly. It's lapses like that. My ball hits my target exactly and rolls off the green on the other side. Then I notice the club felt a little long. Plus adderall is an appetite suppressant.

Anyway it is considered a PED if you are ever going to compete in any USGA sanctioned championship where they're doing drug testing. You won't have any problem with it playing at your club level. Drugs prescribed are also under medical exemption. If they're doing drug testing you also have to be marijuana clean, too, even if it is legal in your state, and even if you have a letter for medical. Since I'll never compete in anything like that due to cost of entry, travel, and hotels, etc., I don't really have to worry about that stuff.

Everything that you describe fits, to a tee, what I was going through on the course.  I could lose focus on a swing IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SWING!  I too made poor course management decisions, rushed shots, behaved impulsively.  But mostly it was my brain that just felt like a pinball game was going on in there.  It was humiliating and frustrating.  And I knew I was under-performing score wise - by a lot.

Rediscovering my ritalin has calmed me down for golf and put me on an even playing field with other non-ADHD golfers.  There is sadly still a stigma about ADHD and needing medication.  I don't tell anyone I play with that I have this disorder and am still embarrassed about it.  But I definitely plan to go see my doctor and get a renewed prescription - that is if my health still allows for it.  I am considerably older since I last went to see the doc for this...

But in any case, I have never really noticed the measurable ways ritalin helps me until I got serious about golf.  wow!

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