Why a Golf Tournament?

Leigh Bader, PGA

A Message from Leigh Bader, PGA

We all know that Golf is often used as a platform for all types of fundraising events, but there is a more significant connection to the Game when it comes to this particular fundraiser.  There is also a more personal reason for my involvement with this tournament which I feel it is time to share.

I’ll Start With the Personal Part-My Diagnosis

In 2015 I began to experience some unusual symptoms. Nothing too alarming, just a mild tremor, but enough to cause me to reach out to my primary care physician who referred me for further testing which ultimately resulted in a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease.  This is not something I have shared publicly until now.

My Connection to Dr. Anne-Marie Wills

After my diagnosis, I sought treatment at Mass General Neurology Department and came under the care of  an outstanding physician who held a leadership role in the department. Some months into my treatment he shared with me his plans to retire. Naturally I was a bit taken aback given the high degree of confidence I had in his abilities and the good rapport which we had built.

My doctor assured me that I needn’t be worried in the least since he had personally matched me with another doctor in the Neurology Department in whom he had the highest confidence and with whom he suspected I would be a perfect fit. That doctor was Anne-Marie Wills. I quickly discovered for myself that his confidence was well-founded and that he was spot on in the doctor-patient matchmaking.

Dr. Wills in one of the most dedicated,  knowledgeable and committed people I have had the good fortune of meeting. I am honored to have her as my physician and I am pleased to be helping to raise funding for her research through this tournament.

Early in my treatment, Dr. Wills invited me to consider participating in a clinical drug trial for Parkinson’s patients. After screening determined I was indeed a good candidate I enrolled in the study and remain in it today.

The Birth of a Study on the Effect of Golf on Parkinson’s Patients.

As part of ongoing patient evaluation, Dr. Wills always asked me what kind of exercise I was doing. Exercise is widely considered by Parkinson’s experts to be one of the few effective ways to slow progression of the disease. Being a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and daily living activities, along with having a potential neuroprotective effect, exercise is a major contributor to better outcomes in Parkinson’s Patients. My answer was golf. And lots of it.

Soon after being diagnosed I implemented a self-imposed calisthenic regimen built around the game I love, golf.  I was hitting 100-300 balls a day on average and increasing the volume and frequency of playing and I was feeling great, overall.)

Dr. Wills shared that she had long noticed that her patients who golf seem to have a slower motor progression and was excited to test whether this was “cause or effect” related. Dr. Wills suggested that that this could be worthy of a study. I enthusiastically agreed and offered my help.

Dr. Wills worked with the team at our club fitting facility to develop a protocol to study the effect of Golf on Parkinson’s Disease gait and balance.

We offered the use of our facility and our trained PGA Professional staff to administer the activities and exercises to those who participated in the study.

The results of this golf study will be announced on the evening of the tournament 5/13/19


About Leigh Bader

Leigh Bader is a PGA Professional and co-owner of Joe & Leigh’s Discount Golf Pro Shop, The Pine Oaks Golf Course and Joe & Leigh’s Golf Performance Center. Each of these local businesses has been nationally recognized including being named one of the top 10 nine hole golf courses in by the Boston Globe and Golf Digest Top 100 Pro Shops in America 15 times over. Leigh is the co-founder 3balls.com one named one of the top 500 grossing websites in North America by Internet Retailer Magazine. Leigh is Executive Vice President of Global Value Commerce and sits on numerous golf industry boards.


Enjoy a day of unforgettable golf at the world class The Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth Massachusetts, home to two championship courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Rees Jones. This is your opportunity to play a round on this highly coveted course. You can expect outstanding conditioning since the course will host a USGA qualifier in the week leading up to our tournament.



This day of fun and learning is designed for more than just avid golfers. Golfers of all skill levels (including those with Parkinson’s Disease) will have access to several PGA Professional led worskshops. Attendees are invited to attend the networking dinner to follow which will feature a silent auction.



This flagship event is intended to fund vital research. Philanthropic support from corporations and generous individuals will advance the fight against Parkinson’s and empower patients with PD. Please consider sponsoring at the highest level possible.



Have an item or service to donate for the Silent Auction? Please reach out using the link below to make arrangements. Unable to attend or sponsor? Please consider making a tax deductible donation in any amount to help advance this vital research.


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Will you help us get the word out about this wonderful event and the important work of Mass General Neurology? Please take a moment to share this page along with a brief message encouraging your friends and associates to join in with support of this worthwhile cause.

Questions? Contact Us!

Tournament Sponsors

Premiere Sponsor:

Premiere Sponsor To be Announced Soon.

Gold Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors To be Announced Soon.

Silver Sponsors:

Silver Sponsors To be Announced Soon.