Client Allan used innovation when seeking to achieve his goal of returning to his beloved game of golf after some 28 years of not playing. For Allan to play he needed to have a golf caddie, which he did not have. Support Worker Katrina, having never before played golf, was willing to undertake the 6 month course to become a golf caddie for a vision impaired golfer (VIP) and assist Allan to reignite his passion for golf.
Allan and Katrina play twice a week but Allan wanted to be able to practice more without always needing Katrina’s assistance. So the pair put their DIY skills into action. Together they set up a putting area, including safety netting in Allans back garden, enabling Allan to practice any time he wishes.
Allan is one of seven B1 totally blind competitive golfers in the world. The pair now compete regularly at competitions against both sighted and vision impaired golfers. Their next goal is to compete in the State, National and World Golf Open completions.
“I hope our story inspires others that no matter what the obstacle, you will always find a way to do the things you truly enjoy,” Katrina said of the pair.
Allan said: “Katrina acted as a beacon light for me. She showed her willingness to keep coming back each week, facing those who looked down their noses at her and by extension, myself and took on board the rules of golf and the way they affected vision impaired people. I am totally blind where a lot of the others have some sight.
“So I hear you ask how does a blind person play golf? How do I even hit a ball?”
The answer is simply… with a great partner. You must have excellent communication and seamless teamwork. As my hearing is also deteriorating I now have hearing aids and use a Rodger Pen for Katrina to communicate through on the course. Her encouragement is very important, she keeps me positive, focused and engaged. We have a great time with lots of humour and laughter. I’ve hit a few kangaroos along the way but Katrina has assured me that they were ok. There have also been a few screams along the way too as poor Katrina would be surprised by a cheeky blue tongue lizard on the course.”
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