Blind golfer’s win­ning vi­sion

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

A former Pil­bar­ian turned ris­ing blind golf star is look­ing to the UK as he heads off am­bi­tions to be­come a cham­pion in his cho­sen field.

David Martin’s vi­sion was im­paired in a work­place in­ci­dent on a tug­boat in the Pil­bara in 2012.

Mr Martin has just one per cent pe­riph­eral vi­sion with no chance of im­prove­ment.

He now has his sights set on the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Blind Golf Open in June with a view to be­com­ing a world cham­pion.

“I thought a lot about dif­fer­ent things, dif­fer­ent jobs, even tried to go back to do an of­fice job,” he said.

“Blind golf is pretty much the same as nor­mal golf ex­cept we have a caddy who lines us up.

“When you’re put­ting you walk up to the flag to work out how far away you are from the ball and then you’ve just gotta know how hard to hit it.”

Dur­ing his 10 years in the Pil­bara Mr Martin barely vis­ited the golf course, pre­fer­ring the in­door cricket nets in­stead.

Mr Martin said he had loved his time in the Pil­bara and would still be here if ad­e­quate ser­vices were avail­able.

Since be­com­ing blind Mr Martin has con­tin­ued his pas­sion for cricket and cur­rently rep­re­sents WA.

He was also mak­ing tracks in blind ten pin bowl­ing, but has put that on hold to pur­sue his golf­ing am­bi­tions.

“One of the guys, Ron An­der­son... sug­gested to come try out for golf, so I went down and had a game,” he said.

“They saw po­ten­tial so they got me some lessons and I thought I may as well throw ev­ery­thing behind it. It can be hard be­cause ev­ery­thing is self-funded so all the tour­na­ments I have to fundraise for my­self.”

Mr Martin came sec­ond in the Aus­tralian Blind Golf Open in 2016 for his sight cat­e­gory.

He said any­one with vi­sion im­pair­ments could take up golf, es­pe­cially if they got in while they still had some vi­sion left.

Pic­ture: David Martin

David Martin, cen­tre, with Ron An­der­son and Malcolm El­liot.

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