Dec 06

Morgan Hoffmann Will Continue Playing

Five-year Pro Hoffmann is Fighting MD, but Keeps Swinging

The odds are long for anyone who tries to compete at an international level in a physically demanding game or sport. Few things in competition require the kind of finesse and fine motor control that golf demands, and the weeding out process is harsh. However, in the case of Morgan Hoffmann, the five-year pro on the PGA Tour, the odds are harsher than they are for most, and as Hoffmann matures as a golfer, they get worse. In 2016, Hoffmann, who is still waiting to win on tour, detected some weakening in the upper body. His swing speed was slightly decreased, and he was stumped. Taking swift and positive action, he visited twenty-five doctors in a search for the answer. Finally, one of them reached a diagnosis, and it was a shock to the twenty-eight year old golfer – muscular dystrophy, or to be more specific, fascioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. A gradual disintegration of skeletal muscle, this form typically affects the chest, back, neck, arms, and on occasion, the legs.

What Hoffmann noticed was a change in his pectoral muscles, and as of this winter, the right one has almost disappeared, with a slight degradation of the left. Even with such gradual diseases, there is no absolutely precise way to predict the rate of disintegration. Hoffmann is not going to sit around thinking of things that way. He’s playing golf, and intends to continue his dream of winning on tour. Aside from that, he admits that it isn’t all about golf anymore. His appreciation for other aspects of life and the people in it has taken a noble course. He wants to see himself as a successful step in the search for a cure, for anyone who gets it in the future. Children are a very real priority as he establishes tournaments for charity at his home course, the Arcola Country  Club of Paramus, New Jersey.

Hoffmann’s strategy is not based on a false sense of hope, nor is it in any way an irrational sense of belief. We live at the beginning of the genetic age, and work with stem cells and other procedures are increasingly demonstrating real viability. Hoffmann is holding off the diminishing musculature in every way a person can. His organic diet is impeccable, with a high consumption of water, good vegetables, helpful carbs and protein. He works regularly with a wellness coach who is also a good friend.

Golf was not Hoffman’s first idea. At 6′ 1″, he played hockey for several years, and earned his pilot’s license.  He eventually played for Oklahoma State as a teammate of Rickie Rowler and other golfers currently on tour. Since joining the PGA, he has established a clothing line that debuted at the Masters in the same year he did. His best result on the course was a tie for second at the Honda Classic. His scoring average has centered around 71.6, and just a stroke lower could conceivably put him in contention for numerous events.

Hoffman theorizes that the disease of MD will probably shorten his life somewhat, although he makes no prediction as to how much. With the advent of an entirely new field of medicine that makes old approaches seem antique, there is much potential for miracles. At this point, through older research, no cure exists for what is happening to his body, but that older reality could be turned on its head at any given time. In the meantime, he has held on to his PGA card, his devotion to perfecting his game, and to his dream of succeeding on tour. All of that makes perfect sense, and as he advances against his own disease, he will advance on behalf of all others who suffer from it.

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