Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blind Golf

The first Blind Golf event in Malaysia will be held on Thursday, 15th October 2009 at the Bukit Jalil golf course, in conjunction with the International White Cane Day. Hong Kong will have 8 blind golfers participating in this inaugral friendly golf event.This event is organised and sponsored by the National Council for the Blind, Malaysia, NCBM. The success of this historical golf event in the making, will be an achievement and of great significance to me, personally. As the 'driver' for this golf project, so to speak. This historical day too, will be my first 'official ' golf game outing since the loss of my sight in January 2008. I am getting some jittery feelings thinking of the golf game. Images buzzing in my head : standing on the first tee box, looking out towards the 1st hole but not seeing.., looking down at the white golf ball but not seeing.. hitting the golf ball  without seeing it fly, only hearing the sound created by the golf woods/irons hitting the golf ball following a good shot. It will be an emotional and nostalgic moment for me standing alone at the first tee box, driver in hand and looking out at the world in darkness, and knowing fully well that the day is going to be a bright and a beautiful day for golf.
Preparations are in progress but there is still much to do from now until the big day. It will be a challenge for me to brief our local keen blind and visually impaired first timers about golf, the different golf equipment, basic golf techniques, golf rules, etc.    A couple of visits to the nearby driving range for practices, and perhaps too, a brief coaching tour to a local golf course will be of great help for the local participants as they are newbies to the game of golf.  No doubt I played golf when I was sighted before but in the present time it is a different ball game altogether.  A totally new experience golfing in the dark!!
More challenging times ahead!
Useful information for those keen to know about blind golf..
"Blind golf is an adapted version of the sport of golf created for blind and partially sighted players. While we think of golf as an activity requiring eyesight, that's not necessarily the case. The game is enjoyed by thousands throughout the world who have someone else be their eyes.

The International Blind Golf Association (IBGA) was established in 1997 at a meeting held in Perth, Western Australia. Today there are currently nine member countries in the IBGA: Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the United States of America.

The earliest record of blind golf is from the 1920s in the USA when Clint Russell of Duluth, Minnesota, lost his sight when a tire exploded in his face. He began playing blind golf in 1925, gradually increasing his scores until Clint managed to shoot an 84 for 18 holes in the early 1930s.

A match between two blind Englishmen and two Americans took place before the Second World War. Organized blind golf tournaments have taken place in America since the United States Blind Golf Association was established in 1947.

The first hole-in-one recorded by a blind or visually impaired golfer in a National Open was scored on September 15, 2004 by Jan Dinsdale, a B2 lady from Northern Ireland. It was on the 115 yard second hole at Shannon Lake Golf Club in Kelowna, British Columbia during the Canadian Open Tournament

Blind golf includes only minor modifications to the standard rules of golf.

The principle of playing is that blind or partially sighted golf players have a sighted coach who assists the golfer in describing distance, direction and characteristics of the hole, and helps with club head alignment behind the ball, prior to the stroke. From this point, the golfer is on his own, and it is her/his skill that determines the resulting stroke.

Other than the coach, there is only one relaxation to the standard rules: blind or partially sighted golfers are allowed to ground their club in a hazard.

Blind golf competitions are set in classes determined by the golfer's level of sight, using the same categories as in other branches of sport played by the visually impaired:

B1 No light perception in either eye, or slight light perception but inability to recognise the shape of a hand at any distance or in any direction

B2 From ability to recognise the shape of a hand, up to visual acuity of 2/60, and/or visual field of less than 5 degrees

B3 visual acuity between 2/60 and 6/60, and/or visual field of between 5 degrees and 20 degrees.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Awesome blog, great write up, thank you!