|BASIC BLIND GOLF TECHNIQUES|
The game of golf is generally thought
of as a rather challenging and humbling sport. But, what does it become if
you take away the ability to see the ball, the fairway, and even the
green? The answer is "blind golf," and in this article I will briefly
explain the fundamentals and concepts necessary to play the game without
the benefit of sight.
is slightly different, but it applies all of the principals described
above. I like to get my direction and stance while the coach is firmly
holding the club behind the ball. I also pay close attention to my grip at
this point, since my coach will then step behind and give me any
needed as far as directions and normal body address. Since
my grip has been established with the club, any changes in direction, left
or right, will be made in unison, body and club face.
Putting can be approached in a couple of ways, but nothing substitutes for practice. Some players simply depend on their coaches to give the distance required for them to putt. In other words, the coach decides how many feet to add or subtract, depending on the slope of the green up or down. He also reads the break. Walking with the coach from the ball to the flag and back is how some players determine their putts. They count off the steps and get a feel for the slopes. I believe stepping off the distance gives the player a better feel for the speed of the putt and reinforces the mental picture of the distance he will be putting. Good team work, on and just off the green will produce good results:
1. Learning to hit the ball a long way is nice but learning exactly how far each club will travel, and doing it consistently, is far more important.
2. Trick shots and difficult lies are especially hard for blind golfers, so the safest and easiest shot out of trouble will generally save strokes. Lengthy explanations of surroundings, and even hazards, by the coach are not usually necessary. Positive comments by the coach and just the exact distance required for the shot, especially on approach shots to the green, create the best results.
3. Based on the information the coach has given the player it is a matter of preference whether the coach or player select the club
4. Rarely do you find a good blind golfer who putts using the sound technique (IE. Tapping the flag stick with a club or rattling it around in the cup creating a sound target.)
5. Having more than one coach who is familiar with the players game is great; however, having numerous over zealous friends as part time coaches usually leads to frustration.
6. During practice sessions, when a ball is hit well, the coach should estimate the distance it traveled and tell the player, especially the short distances of 10 to 100 yards. This habit helps to continually reinforce the feel of the swing needed to execute precise shots on the course.
To conclude, blind golf is played just like the regular game of golf but with the assistance of a coach. These special people often say they derive as much pleasure in guiding their blind golfer through 18 good or bad holes of golf, as had they played it themselves.
On a local level we try to follow
the motto of the United States Blind Golf Association:
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Foundation. All rights reserved.