With the best golfers from the US and Europe teeing off against each other this Friday, past Ryder Cup competitors and their fellow pros tells us why – whatever the tournament being played – they fully support Prostate Cancer UK raising awareness of the most common cancer in men through the sport.
Prostate Cancer UK’s drive to save lives through golf has earned acclaim from a clutch of former Ryder Cup stars.
Iain Woosnam and Sam Torrance, who have played and captained Europe in the hotly-contested biannual showdown against the United States, were joined by Ronan Rafferty, Barry Lane and Paul Broadhurst in the field at the recent Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open.
Together with European Senior Tour stalwarts Andrew Murray and Paul Wesselingh – two men who have seen friends and family affected by the disease – the high-profile contingent praised the charity’s work in raising the profile of a disease that will affect one in eight men in the UK.
More stars of the game took part in a fun video to promote our Chipping In initiative, in which players of all abilities can cash in on their golfing gaffes for us, from tee to green, throughout October.
“The stats about prostate cancer are amazing, so it’s great that we are able to help raise awareness. I’m very aware of the disease and have been to the doctor. It’s important that men go and get checked out.”
“Cancer is something we have to get rid of. There are many forms of it and prostate cancer is one we need to help. I was made aware of it around the age of 50 and have been keeping an eye on it since.”
“One in eight is a shocking statistic, as is for us all to be completely unaware of this very curable disease. Anything we do through sport and the game of golf to make all people, let alone all men, aware of this has got to be a good thing.”
“It was shocking to hear about my dad and brother being affected by prostate cancer. Any type of cancer is devastating, but you then have to deal with it as best you can. My dad’s 91 and still having treatment now, and thankfully my brother has got through it.
“There is good treatment for it, and there are options if you catch it early. That family link makes me high risk so I’m very aware of it, and I get tested every six months.”
“It’s a taboo subject with men not being fond of going to the doctors, so we need to change that. It’s scary to think how many people are affected when you equate it to how long a round of golf lasts. It’s really important we get behind this.”
“I didn’t realise how prostate cancer affected so many men, and their families, so I headed straight for a blood test the week after the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open. It’s so simple to do. I advise people to go and see a doctor and have it done. It’s a terrible thing to have it but if you catch it early, you can do things about it.”
“Awareness is so important, and just to think in a four- or five-hour round that four or five people could die of prostate cancer who might not need to is a scary stat.
“Brian Nield [his mentor, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer around six years ago] was the guy who taught me how to play golf when I was 10, and first employed me as an assistant professional. He’s survived and, I’m glad to say, back out on the golf course now and we still speak regularly.
“Men aren’t terribly good about looking after their health, so to be able to get the guys I’ve spent most of my life with on the Tour aware of and involved with the charity is fantastic for me. That’s what it’s about: spreading the gospel.”
You can join the the pros and raise money for us with your golfing gaffes throughout October by signing up to Chipping In and getting your free scorecards!