Are you severely sight impaired or registered blind? Have you thought about playing golf? And no, I am being quite serious, as I did not believe it was possible either until I signed up with England and Wales Blind Golf as an absolute beginner.
The club is made up of registered blind people ranging from the totally blind (known as B1) to those with varying degrees of sight (B2 and B3). For details of sight categories please click here. All are intent on playing and improving every bit as much as those with 20:20 vision.
When I joined I was helped with advice on what I needed to buy and where and, just as the tournament professionals have caddies, our players have guides/aides who do all the basics as well as help with things like distance and alignment.
The aim of the charity is to provide a blind person with a chance to belong to a group of sympathetic fellow golfers, with a chance for everyone to show their potential in a sport that perhaps, like me, they never thought possible.
There is no ‘home’ course with our competitions played on courses as far afield as Cornwall and Yorkshire. These competitions start at the end of March with occasionally a training weekend, followed by a range of tournaments, usually one a month, played from one to four days and ending in October.
Towards the end of the year there is an annual match against Scotland and as golfers improve there are opportunities to play some international events on wonderful courses all over the world against other registered blind golfers.
So how much is this all going to cost? Well, there is a small fee for each competition put towards green fees, and often, accommodation. However, the association will cover most of the travelling expenses. As a registered charity it relies on the goodwill of golf clubs and their captains for much of the finance.
Why not give it a try? It could open up a part of your life for a game in which you never expected to take part, and you will also gain a whole new batch of friends whose great interest in life is playing golf and not the normal problems of the blind.