Oct 23rd, 2016
Hole in one for blind golfer
And it's not his first!
Words: John Dean
A legally blind golfer with five per cent central vision has hit his second hole in one in ten years.
It’s thought the odds of Paul Appleyard achieving this feat are several million to one. He even scored an eagle on a par four just two days after the second hole in one.
Paul got his first hole in one in December 2006 and thought that would be his one and only.
However, almost 10 years on, Paul sank his second ace on a tough uphill 180 yard par three in his weekly members’ competition.
“Of course I didn’t see either of the shots go in the hole but took great pleasure in pulling the ball out of the cup,” he said.
“The fun didn’t stop there, two days later I holed out from a similar distance on stroke index two, a long right to left dogleg par four into the teeth of a strong wind.”
Paul visits Japan in November to attempt to win back the World Blind Golf title which he has won three times.
Paul is a member of the England and Wales Blind Golf Association, which supports golfers of all ages and abilities from beginners to single figure handicap players. Since becoming world champion in 2014 at the Nelson Bay Golf Club near Sydney, Paul now runs his own company www.dontwaitforluck.com, giving motivational keynote speeches, advocating the need to aim your sights high and not hold back.
What audiences have called an inspiring story of his journey from diagnosis of a degenerative eye condition at 11 years old to becoming world champion could help any golf club as part of their membership retention and attraction strategy in the changing economic climate, he said.
“Next time you stand on the first tee at your monthly medal, try closing your eyes when addressing the ball, you’ll never moan again about how tough you find the game,” he said. “By the way, don’t try and hit it with your eyes closed, it could go anywhere, including through the captain’s windscreen in the car park!”