Why our focus on the blind?
We did not invent blind golf. There are thousands of blind golfers across the United States and the world. We thank God for that. See United States Blind Golf Association . One of the greatest of blind golfers was Charley Boswell, a WWII tank commander, blinded by an exploding round as he helped his fellow soldiers to escape their disabled tank before it exploded. Charley Boswell bio. I had the pleasure of following Charley during a charity golf tournament in Huntsville, Alabama in the 90’s. I witnessed Charley sink a 25 foot putt after “reading” the distance and breaks with his feet.
For every blind golfer, there is a “coach” or companion who becomes the “eyes” for each shot.
Golfers who are blind or have visual impairments –
Given that the goal of the golf swing is to stand in one place and hit a stationary ball, golf is an ideal sport for those with visual impairments. In fact, there are several areas of playing the game where those with visual impairments are actually more adept than golfers who have good vision. For example, in many cases, individuals with visual impairments have great balance and “body awareness,” allowing them to learn the “positions” of the golf swing very well. For those areas where golfers with a visual impairment are at a distinct disadvantage, the USGA’s Modified Rules of Golf provide accommodations.
Most importantly, blind golfers are allowed to have a coach assist them in judging distance and direction, line up their shot, determine which club they should use and a host of other functions. Many golfers with visual impairments even have their coaches tap the flag-stick in the hole when they are putting and chipping to give them a better sense of how hard to hit the ball.
You might expect it to take considerably longer for a blind golfer and his coach to complete a round of golf than is typical for a sighted golfer. This may or may not be the case, as a blind golfer who has grooved his swing and sharpened his skills may work his/her way through the course in less time than a sighted novice. But the blind golfer acquires these skills more readily by working on a range and getting feedback on his/her performance. This is where our technology comes into the forefront! The golfer hits his/her shots at specific targets, and gets immediate feedback, measurements, averages, and measurements of consistency with each club. This knowledge is transferable to the golf course.
Not only this, but our statistically calculated score of shot groups at a target enable the golfer to measure his/her progress, or lack thereof. A typical 18 hole round of golf will take 3 hours or more, whereas a measured 25 shot grouping at a target will take no more than 30 minutes. Two golfers hitting alternate shots may complete a round of competition in 45 minutes. Four competitors could complete a competition in an hour. Would this be a boon to blind golfers with access to a range with our technology?
Is there a better way to support adaptive golf for the blind? The following is our mission statement from our Articles of Incorporation.
ARTICLE III PURPOSE
The purpose for which the corporation is organized is: To provide systems and methods by which blind and visually impaired persons may receive instruction, practice and competition, using remotely measured golf shots at targets, and a scoring method based on statistical process control. To install systems in strategic locations that may benefit blind and otherwise impaired individuals who will benefit from a golf sport played on a range as a physical and mental therapy. To complement the adaptive golf programs in place by PGA, VA, and other programs conducting adaptive sports projects. To create a Paralympic Golf Sport (measured shots at targets, statistically scored) for the blind and severely vision impaired.
Donate today to support golf for blind!
Gifts by check may be made to Golf For Blind, Inc. and mailed to Golf For Blind, Inc., 638 La Jolla Ave., Sun City Center, FL 33573