According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4 percent of American adults have been diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder (ADD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In the eyes of PGA Tour winner Robert Garrigus, though, that percentage may be much higher among the best players in golf.
'About half,' Garrigus said in an interview with Golf.com when asked how many of the top 125 players on the PGA Tour have either diagnosed or undiagnosed ADD or ADHD.
The report includes comments from several players potentially affected by the disorder, including a pair of major champions.
'We can all guess I probably have it,' explained former Masters champion Bubba Watson, who reportedly has sought neither diagnosis nor medication, while Keegan Bradley added, 'I think we all might have a little ADD in us.'
While ADD often has negative connotations in society in general, the report indicates that golfers perhaps succeed because of – rather than in spite of – the disorder, with players especially equipped to focus in situations of extreme pressure.
'Golf is the ideal ADD sport,' noted psychologist Edward Hallowell. 'You get a fresh opportunity every time, so it's one surprise after another. The combination of structure, novelty and motivation, wherever you find that, the mind tends to focus. When you set up to a golf shot, you've got all three.'
For Garrigus, who admittedly self-medicated with marijuana earlier in his career but now turns to fishing and working out, his ADD has become an asset during his playing career.
'I always say it's bad for (school) teachers,' he added. 'But good for golfers.'