In a heartfelt interview, Kenny Perry revealed he gave up playing professional golf in order to care for his ailing wife Sandy, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The 62-year-old turned pro in 1982 and picked up 14 PGA Tour wins as well as 10 Champions Tour titles but, with his wife’s condition deteriorating, hasn’t teed it up competitively since 2021.
Speaking on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Perry said: “I'll let the world know... my wife's sick. I'm her caretaker and I'm going to take great care of her. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease. When I left the Tour, she could not even follow me on the golf course. I would chase her down going down the wrong hole.
“I was at the Senior Open two years ago, and it was a 36-hole complex and she ended up going off on the other 18 holes. So I realised right then that it's time for me to do something else. And it's all good, she's happy as she can be, she's in great shape, she walks me to death, she's hyperactive. But poor thing, she just cannot remember anything.”
"I realized right then it was time for me to do something else."Kenny Perry's wife, Sandy, is battling Alzheimer's, with Kenny right by her side. He talks about it with BK & John on Katrek & Maginnes On Tap. Hear the full interview on the SXM App.@bkatrek | @johnmaginnes pic.twitter.com/thK0UOreWQJanuary 4, 2023
As the search for a cure continues, the former Ryder Cupper accepts that all they can do right now is try to slow the disease's progress but added that he hopes to join the cause and help others who find themselves in a similar situation in future.
“That’s probably one area I’ll start being a spokesman for,” he said. "I’ll start looking into that and how I can help other people who have the same condition. I’m trying to figure it out.
“I’ve been to every doctor in Nashville and there’s really not a cure for it, it’s just trying to slow it down. That’s all I want to do so she’ll know her grandkids and know me and just enjoy the rest of her life. We’ve worked so hard to get to this point and I’d hate to see it where she can’t enjoy it.”
Get the Golf Monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to the Golf Monthly newsletter to stay up to date with all the latest tour news, equipment news, reviews, head-to-heads and buyer’s guides from our team of experienced experts.
A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.
Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.
As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.
What's in Andy's bag?
Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)
3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)
Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Do You Really Need A Lob Wedge?
Does a lob wedge hinder your game more than improve it? Former mini-tour professional Sam De’Ath shares his thoughts
By Sam De'Ath Published
Is This $13 Training Aid The Secret Behind Scottie Scheffler’s Ball Striking Dominance?
PGA Pro and Golf Monthly staff writer Joe Ferguson examines how a unique practice club could be the secret behind Scottie Scheffler's dominant ball striking
By Joe Ferguson Published