Hy­den on course at Vic­to­rian Open


PETER Hy­den is a lucky man.

It may not seem like it but af­ter be­ing paral­ysed from a mo­tor­bike ac­ci­dent in 2011, he was given a chance to play in the Oates Vic Open Pro-Am along­side a pro­fes­sional golfer and two other road crash sur­vivors.

The TAC con­tacted Hy­den last week — as well as Rod Paykel, of Healesville, and Scott Har­ris, of Macleod — and in­vited to play a round with Western Aus­tralian pro Whit­ney Hil­lier.

The group played at 13th Beach Golf Links — where the Open is be­ing played — in Bar­won Heads on Wed­nes­day, with the sup­port of TAC and Golf Vic­to­ria.

The Rochester Golf Club mem­ber said he had a round to for­get, but a day to re­mem­ber.

‘‘My golf was hor­ri­ble,’’ Hy­den said.

‘‘It was a good course though. I’d never played there so it was the big un­known.

‘‘It was chal­leng­ing more than any­thing I’d say. There were two cour­ses there and we played the harder of the two. We had a com­bined stable­ford score of 71 points and the win­ners had 86.’’

Hy­den, Paykel and Har­ris each play golf us­ing cus­tomised equip­ment, in­clud­ing Hy­den’s mo­torised wheel­chair which is known as a ‘paragolfer’.

It al­lows him to be in a stand­ing po­si­tion to swing a club, which came into great ef­fect on Wed­nes­day.

‘‘It en­ables me to stand up and swing the club,’’ Hy­den said.

‘‘It works for me. There are some good shots and some bad ones, but I might be to blame for that. It goes up hills and down and amongst trees no wor­ries,’’ he said.

Hy­den was left paral­ysed af­ter his ac­ci­dent in Oc­to­ber 2011. He lost con­trol of his mo­tor­bike on a bend on Healesville-Kinglake Road, veered onto the wrong side of the road and was struck by an on­com­ing ve­hi­cle.

‘‘It’s his­tory now, but I was on my bike and fell off and un­for­tu­nately I col­lided with a car,’’ he said.

‘‘I spent two months in hos­pi­tal and then had re­hab be­fore I came home.

‘‘I haven’t got back on a bike since, and it couldn’t re­ally be a two-wheeler any­way (if I did), but I wouldn’t be scared to get back on, I don’t know why I fell off, I don’t have any­thing to blame, so I don’t,’’ he said.

Golf Vic­to­ria’s In­clu­sion Pro­gram as­sists peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties to pur­sue the sport.

With sup­port from the TAC, th­ese golfers have ac­cess to cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy to get them back onto the course.

TAC chief ex­ec­u­tive Joe Calafiore said the part­ner­ship en­ables TAC to help clients re­alise their im­por­tant goal to get back to play­ing and ‘‘get­ting their lives back’’ on track af­ter in­jury.

‘‘We know that for many peo­ple, get­ting back to their ev­ery­day life roles is just as im­por­tant as get­ting back to work, whether they are a par­ent, carer, com­mu­nity vol­un­teer or sports club mem­ber,’’ Calafiore said.

Rochester golf fa­natic Peter Hy­den (sec­ond from right) played a once-in-a-life­time round with Scott Har­ris, pro­fes­sional player Whit­ney Hil­lier, and Rod Paykel at the 13th Beach Golf Links course.

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