Harpenden pro golfer set to resurrect career after freak accident left him paralysed

Finlay Mitchell with Sab Bhandal of Harpenden Smiles, who are sponsoring the Harpenden golf pro

Finlay Mitchell with Sab Bhandal of Harpenden Smiles, who are sponsoring the Harpenden golf pro - Credit: Archant

A golf pro from Harpenden, who lost the use of his arm for nine months, is taking his first steps back on the PGA tour – after playing for the last year with no feeling.

Finlay Mitchell, the professional at Harpenden Golf Club, qualified as a PGA pro at 18 but his dreams of playing with the world’s best were almost ended after a freak accident left him with no feeling in his arm.

The former Wood End and Roundwood Park student said: “I had a spiral fracture of my humorous which cut a nerve and paralysed my left arm for about a year.

“I was arm-wrestling with a friend. I was doing a lot of gym work and fitness to help with the golf and basically my muscles had got too strong for the bone.”

That was three years ago and it has been a long road to recovery,

It includes two operations, the second of which came four weeks ago, and has helped to restore the feeling.

He said: “I have been playing tournaments for the last year with no feeling in my arm, which is not the easiest thing in the world.

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“But it ended up I started coaching Marco Sinisi, the head of biggest nerve department in Europe.

“He sorted out the operation for me, private health care, everything, all free-of-charge, which is fantastic.

“He’s a top guy so that was a massive help.”

Mitchell is also getting help from another coaching client, Sab Bhandal of Harpenden Smiles, who are helping him with travel expenses and other costs.

He said: “The sponsorship has been really helpful because it takes the pressure of the coaching.

“His idea is to support the community.

“That happened six weeks ago and has spurred me into action.”

And the 22-year-old is now looking at getting his career back on track.

He said: “I played a few holes two weeks ago and I’ve just been hitting half-an-hour of balls each day after coaching to ease myself back in.

“I’ve got my first tournament in two weeks to see how it goes and see what I need to work on for the rest of the season.

“I’ve got the Open qualifiers in May which is the big one.”