Nicky (right) with fellow EDGA players Aimi Bullock (left) and Heather Gilks (centre)
Nicky (right) with fellow EDGA players Aimi Bullock (left) and Heather Gilks (centre)

Golfing Journeys – Achieving success on and beyond the course

Women golfers who refuse to be defined by their disability

No: 2 Nicky Weeks

Around 25 years ago, the then amateur jockey Nicky Weeks was thinking that, at the age of 27, another sport might be safer than tearing around on horses at 40 miles per hour.

Her first lessons were with Alan, the PGA professional at Windlesham Golf Club, which is in Surrey, not far from London. “Alan was a really big influence on me starting to play golf. Every time I walked away from the lesson, I felt really buoyed and quite happy with how I was progressing.”

Nicky played for a few years but, around 15 years ago, when studying for her final examinations to become a qualified accountant, Nicky started to feel unwell. “My arm was really aching, but I thought that was because it was on a day when I had been writing a lot. Then, over the weekend, my face went numb, my leg went numb, my whole arm was numb, and I was not really with it either.”

A hospital MRI revealed MS-type scarring. It all hit home to Nicky and her husband Chris after speaking with the neurologist. “He said that I might take a year to get better, and even then, I might not get back to what I might consider better. That was the first time that I think it struck both of us, just how huge it was.”

It was a very difficult, uncertain time. “It took about six months before I had a day where I was feeling OK to go out and do something other than just make it to the end of the garden and back without being exhausted.”

Nicky hits at Woburn in Rose series

But today Nicky is able to live well, relishing family life, and she loves playing golf again. She has learned how to best help herself in managing fatigue, heat, cognitive load, medication and stress, using coping strategies and careful planning. “I have to really consider every day… The cognitive problems are that I’m extremely forgetful. I do brain training exercises on an app and have seen a speech therapist, because if I’m really tired, then my speech just goes to pot. I even make up words sometimes, which is quite amusing for the rest of my family. You do have to laugh at certain things. I eat well, I do keep myself fit.”

On her return to golf competition, Nicky’s first tournament on the EDGA (European Disabled Golf Association) calendar was revealing. “What I wasn’t expecting was the warmth from everybody. That was the one thing that I’ve come away with, feeling part of a community rather than competing against other people with a whole range of disabilities. It was that genuine warmth and everyone talked with me, which was really quite uplifting.”

Nicky is keen to promote golf as a wonderful sport for anyone with a disability, as they can play at any level to suit them. “If you want to have a challenge, or if you want to meet people, or if you want to just get some fresh air, golf ticks all the boxes. It really gives you that self-confidence and achievement that I think makes a positive difference in anybody’s life, whatever they’re facing.”

– Watch/listen to profiles of EDGA players at

– Learn how to get involved at

By Tony Bennett