“Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies” – Bobby Jones.
A game that requires ultimate patience and honesty, golf is widely regarded as one of the truest tests of character.
Juan Postigo, a 22-year old professional from Mexico, has a gorgeous golf swing. A scratch marker, Postigo’s swing is just as one could imagine; balanced, controlled tempo and an all-round excellent technique. There is, however, one slight difference from he and the majority of golfers who play off scratch around the globe – Postigo only has one leg.
He takes out his driver from his bag and chucks his crutches down. Hopping to the tee, he places his ball and tee in the ground and begins his pre-shot routine. He hops forward to the ball. He smashes it 260m down the fairway. He puts his driver back in his bag, picks up his crutches and begins the enjoyable journey down the fairway.
Postigo was one of 13 golfers who took part in last week’s Australian All Abilities Championship, which was staged within the Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Course in Sydney.
In a world first, it was the first time that an All Abilities styled tournament had been held within another tournament.
Players, both fully able and those with a disability, shared the same dressing rooms, shared the same tees, played the same format and played in front of the same golf loving fans. Unsurprisingly, the decision by Golf Australia was universally supported for its dedication to include disabled golfers among the main attraction.
Before the tournament commenced on Thursday, Postigo had the rare opportunity to play a few practice holes with two-time Australian Open winner and Aussie golfing icon, Peter Lonard.
“It was quite an extraordinary experience. As far as golf I thought I had seen everything, but I got to say, that was a special afternoon,” Lonard told the ABC.
“At the end of the day us golf pros chase a little white ball around but in terms of what these guys are doing, it’s quite incredible.”
Although Postigo didn’t take out first place as he had hoped, the Spaniard took home a lifelong memory.
“This is something that has not been done before. They had the brilliant idea. “We are going to get coverage that we would not usually get, and I think fans will really enjoy.”