Coweta golf brings back local family

by Bradley Hartsell


Newnan’s Eliza Lyles and her son, Max, live with Marfan Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder affecting the body’s connective tissue. the lyles moved back to Newnan last august so fifth-grade Max lyles could play golf, the only sport he can play, in a substantial golfing community. 

Last year, the Lyles family looked all over for the right place to move.

Living in Boca Raton, FL, the Lyles, formerly of Newnan, wanted a place with a substantial golfing community. Max Lyles, a fourth-grader at the time, had been diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome two years prior, a rare genetic disorder affecting the body’s connective tissue, rendering him unable to participate in sports — except golf.

With Marfan Syndrome, the body’s connective tissue is so thin any strong impact to the body can tear the tissue, possibly causing internal bleeding. Before Lyles was diagnosed, he played soccer and was about to sign up for football. Eliza Lyles, Max’s mother, knew it’d be hard for her son to not play football, living in the South with football fans on the father’s side of the family.

But Lyles took to golf and the family finally settled on the right destination to foster Lyles’ ability to excel at the sport — Newnan.

Since moving to the Golfview community last August, living next to the sixth hole, the Lyles have taken to the area, thanks in part to Canongate, Orchard Hills, SummerGrove and White Oak golf courses, to name a few.

“This is great place for golf and the community around it is phenomenal,” said Eliza Lyles.

Recently, Max Lyles organized a fundraiser to raise awareness for Marfan Syndrome, as the Lyles often find people haven’t heard of the rare disorder. Lyles sold more than 400 golf balls he retrieved and cleaned out of the creek from tee shots gone awry. The family was overwhelmed by the response they received.

“The guys [in the golf clubhouse] ended up saying we need to organize an annual Marfan golf tournament,” Eliza Lyles said. “We went from nobody knowing what it was to everyone talking about a golf tournament. That’s amazing.”

Max Lyles, now in fifth grade at The Heritage School, has lived in multiple places in his young life, but his mother knows Newnan was the right decision for the family. Now, her son never wants to leave.

“Max always says, ‘I’m never leaving Newnan, Newnan is my home.’ And I felt that [during the golf ball fundraiser]. It renewed my spirit and solidified our choice to come to Newnan.”

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