ADD, the Pro Golfers Hidden Advantage

Payne Stewart who won the 1999 and 1991 US Open had ADD, and he’s not alone.

He always seemed at his best in the toughest events. Therein lies the double-edged curiosity that is ADD…He definitely was able to focus more at the majors

Doctors believe some ADD patients have the rare ability to “hyper-focus” in crunch time, to tune out everything and operate between the ears at the highest levels. In that respect, Stewart was a page-one, textbook example of delivering under extreme duress.

David Moreland, Reilley Rankin, and Hank Kuehne, are other pro golfer who also have ADD. According to Kuehne,

“My ADD helps me a lot at times,” he told the Palm Beach Post last year. “I can hit into trouble and figure a way out a lot faster. Having my mind go a thousand miles an hour, things come a lot quicker.”

In terms of sports offering the highest degree of difficulty for athletes with the disorder, golf arguably provides the greenest of pastures. It can be painfully slow and requires plenty of rote repetition.

It’s important to note that ADDers can not only succeed in a wide variety of environments, but that ADD itself can be a competitive advantage. Tour sports psychologist Dr. Dick Coop, a tour sports psychologist worked with Stewart and had 8 other ADD clients but Stewart was his only client to speak about it publicly. I believe more public ADD success stories make it more likely that people will

a) Get diagnosed and learn to manage it in one form or another, i.e., ADHD coaching, ADD medication, therapy etc.

b) Suffer less stigma and discrimination from others, since some people (including some who treat ADDers) currently just paint ADD as 100% pathology with no positive attributes.

Golf is the perfect sport for someone with ADD,” Champions Tour regular and CBS broadcaster Gary McCord told Golf Digest last year. “You only need to concentrate for a few minutes at a time, as Lee Trevino proved.

What other high profile ADD success stories do you know about where the person:

a) Have publicly confirmed in print or online that they have ADD. I think Robin Williams probably has ADD too, but he hasn’t said so.

b) Are currently alive?

As opposed to “I heard___ has ADD or I think ___ has ADD.

2 thoughts on “ADD, the Pro Golfers Hidden Advantage”

  1. Pete,

    Very interesting thoughts on the pro golfer and ADD! Very good information on how they view ADD as a strenght in terms of finding quick innovative ways to hadle different situation on the golf course!

    Great information Pete.

  2. Thanks Mark,

    before reading this I wouldn’t have normally connected ADD to golf. I guess ADD can come in handy in wide variety of careers.


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