Sticking the course - Former farmer overcomes crippling injuries to produce golf aid

Sticking the course - Former farmer overcomes crippling injuries to produce golf aid
 Brad Faxon with his ProFitStick

Brad Faxon with his ProFitStick

Five years after suffering terrible injuries in a farm accident, an enterprising Irishman has reinvented himself and created a state of the art training aid that can help you play better golf — the ProFitStick.

A flexible pole that can be used with other resistance products, it’s the brainchild of entrepreneur and inventor Richard Weldon whose Aim2Golf start up plans to bring more Irish innovations to the market over the next few years, including a putting aid and a massage roller.

Described as a “go anywhere” fitness aid, the ProFitStick was created by Weldon with his life-savings after he lost the use of his left arm in a farm accident in 2011.

“We built a harvesting machine for taking crop out of the ground — it was built on tracks, a 10 tonne machine — and I got caught up in it one morning because my mechanic was on holiday and I was trapped for two hours,” he said of the accident that took his life in a new direction and forced him to wind up his highly successful, 400 acre horticulture business

“I went back to playing golf after two years, playing one handed and tried to develop this to help myself recover.

“That developed into a warm up tool and when I realised I couldn’t work any more at what I was doing, I moved to Kilkenny and I have been working on these projects ever since with the help of Enterprise Ireland.

“So I am where I am now and things are good, thank God. Hopefully we can get the word out and bring our other ideas to the market too.”

Recommended by GUI and European Tour physiotherapist Orlaith Burkley and used by a host of sports people including soccer star Robbie Keane, the ProFitStick can be also be used as a warm up tool before your usual round of golf or and aid to recuperating from an injury or surgery.

Working with leading Sports Chartered Physiotherapists, more than 100 ProFitStick exercise programmes suitable for children to seniors have been developed.

“I could immediately see the simplicity and versatility of the ProFitstick, including flexibility, stability, postural benefit and power,” Orlaith Buckely said.

Professional footballer Stephen McPhail, added: “I use it for 20 minutes to help mobilise and stretch ahead of training, great warm-up tool and also a great tool to help with core strength."

Weldon (57) hopes to attract investors so he can take this lightweight and totally portable product to the next level and given the interest that’s already been shown by golf retailers like Halpenny Golf and McGuirk’s, this €29.99 invention could be about to take off.

See http://www.profitstick.com for more details on what could be a great stocking filler for Christmas.

This piece first appeared in the Irish Independent's Tee to Green supplement in October 2016