Jeff Klauk

AvE Ambassador

Jeff Flauk graduated from Florida Southern College in 2000. During his last three years at FSC, Jeff won the NCAA Division 2 National Championship. Jeff was also fortunate to win the Individual title his senior year. After graduating, Jeff turned professional in the fall of 2000 and the following year he qualified for the Tour. In 2003 he won his first professional golf tournament at the Wichita Open, which was one of two wins during his Tour career.

In 2006 things really started to change. Jeff experienced his first tonic-clonic seizure. It happened on a Friday night after he had finally played well the first two days of a tournament. Jeff was forced to withdraw from the event. About one month later he experienced his second tonic-clonic seizure. This seizure forced him to go home, undergo medical testing, and start prescribed medication. That was when he was diagnosed with having epilepsy. Thankfully, with the proper medication, Jeff’s tonic-clonic seizures were controlled.

In 2008, Jeff finished third on the money list and earned his PGA Tour card, a dream he had since he was a child.  Jeff had one win and three 2nd place finishes in 2008 that helped him qualify for the PGA Tour. In 2009, during his rookie year on the PGA Tour, Jeff had three 4th place finishes allowing him to retain his exempt status. Jeff eventually finished 71st on the money list. He was able to play in The Players Championship, another life-long dream. Halfway through the 2010 season, Jeff was forced to have back surgery that ended his season.

Then, on Christmas Eve, as Jeff and his family where headed to church, he had his first complex partial seizure, which came as a shock to his family. The complex partial seizures didn’t happen every day, but they would happen several times a week that would last 1 to 2 minutes each. Jeff started 2011 on the PGA Tour, but after eight events, he realized that he needed to come home, figure out what was causing these seizures, and get some help.

Jeff tried many different medicines and had many tests done but was unsuccessful in finding a medication that could control his seizures. Finally, in April of 2012, Jeff underwent intracranial-monitoring surgery at Emory Hospital to locate the place in his brain where his seizures started. The 17 days he stayed in the hospital were longest days of his life.

The monitoring revealed that Jeff’s seizures were originating in the left frontal lobe, which is the part of the brain that controls motor skills. He decided not to proceed with a second surgery that would remove the spot in his brain where his seizures originated because of its location. He eventually tried a different medciation called Vimpat, which is says changed his life and has controlled his seizures.

After a successful and long career in golf, Jeff recently announced that he will retire from the sport and focus more on his health, family, and charitable initiatives around epilepsy. His commitment to the Epilepsy Foundation’s Athletes vs Epilepsy initiative has given him reassurance that those living with epilepsy can overcome any challenge and strive to live a seizure-free life.