Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Junior golfer won’t let adversity keep him down

Noah Turner, an up-and-coming golf great at only 11 years old, continues to be an example of what can be accomplished with a perseverance and spirit that won’t be defeated.
If starting his career at age 7 is unusual, the fact that his success hasn’t been hampered by having type 1 diabetes is amazing.
According to his father, Brian, additional challenges lie ahead. As a juvenile gets older, he said, his condition changes drastically due to the effects of weight and height. Even weather can start to make a difference for Noah.
“He knows how his body feels, and needs to be ready to address a change in his blood sugar immediately when it’s 100 degrees and he’s walking six hours,” Brian said.
To combat the effects that he says he can tell in his swing, Noah carries a variety of carbohydrate-rich foods that allow him to manage his blood glucose levels.
At all times, his golf bag is stocked with Yoo-hoo chocolate drinks, fruit roll-ups, peanut butter crackers, apples and bottled water. “He drinks water when his sugar is high and Yoo-hoo when it’s low,” Brian said. “He’s always carb-counting in his mind.”
On the course, Noah uses a glucose meter to check his level every three holes.
Noah’s effective methods have been a help to other junior golfers as well. “He has shown other juveniles, even children older than he, what he carries and how he adjusts,” Brian said.
Unlike Noah, Brian said, most of these children have just been diagnosed with diabetes. “A lot are struggling because they’ve lived eight, nine or 10 years without it, but Noah can’t remember a time he wasn’t wearing an insulin pump.”
Noah was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 8-months-old, but has never let the challenges affect his positive attitude, according to his father. “He says it’s just a speed bump. You do what you need to do and roll on.”
He also has picked up on the awareness of other difficulties many face, and curtailed his golf attire in a show of support. He wears the corresponding color to major tournaments, such as pink for breast cancer awareness in October, and blue in November for Diabetes Awareness Month.
Noah received a special opportunity this year when he was able to accompany his favorite professional golfer, Ian Poulter, at the RBC Heritage Tournament in Hilton Head, South Carolina, during April, where he was playing after the Masters Tournament.
His schedule includes a minimum of four hours of practice daily, but he also must maintain his academic standing. He is homeschooled and starting his sixth-grade studies. “He is testing 4.0 in all his subjects,” Brian said. “He wants to do well because his education has to stay on top to keep playing.”
The Blackthorn Club at the Ridges is Noah’s home course, where he continues to be guided by his longtime coach Graham Enloe.
Brian said they wonder at times whether Noah is going to hit a point in his love for the game that would require taking a step back. “Rather than plateauing, he wants to do more. We have to slow him down,” he said. “In 2015, he’s already played 40 events.”
And his family will continue to support his involvement. “When he showed a passion for this game, he knew he was going to go against the grain, but he wanted to be like everyone else,” Brian said.
And Noah doesn’t receive special treatment because of his diabetes. He can’t ride on a golf cart and must walk the course as all the others do. Brian believes the physical requirements have helped to keep him healthy.