I Lost both legs below the knee in 2015, through diabetes. (Ignorance and self neglect, alcohol dependency and bad luck). This changed my life as I have taken the second chance at life and improved myself beyond belief.
I'm now three and a half years 'Tea-Total'; healthy living and well on my way in becoming a mentor for fellow disabled peers. Golf and Positive Mental Attitude have taught me a coping-mechanism and core motivation which has given me values in life I never taught possible. I can honestly say I'm loving every day and looking for new challenges to get under my belt.
I started golfing in my 40s which consumed me. I finally won a club competition scoring 38 points an my peak. However, 2013, things started to go wrong. Sparing you the uncomfortable detail, I was faced with a choice - "Eat healthy, stop drinking, lose the legs and wise up or die". The visit from the grim reaper, who rattled my hospital bed post, gave me the inspiration I needed to make the choice to fight. A nurse had said to me as I was being prepared for my 9th and potentially terminal surgery " I'm sorry, but you'll never hit a golf ball again, don’t get your hopes up! " This was like a 'Red rag to a bull'. The following recovery was hard and painful. My friends at Manchester Prosthetics Centre,in Wythenshaw designed a pair of prosthetic legs tailored for the game of Golf, enabling me to learn to play again. My determination came good and I hit a ball again unaided before the end of summer 2015 I now can actually hit the ball better than I could with biological legs!.
The Professional and kind members at Denton Golf Club and Houldsworth Golf club helped me to develop a modified swing, manage the obstacles on the course and leant me the patience and steadying hand I needed to get where I am today. I am regularly complimented on my determination and strike fear into other amateur golfers who are not sure about getting beat by a guy with no legs!
The future frightens me to the core, when the day will come where my disability finally beats me and I have to quit the game. The ominous prospect of eventually becoming wheelchair-bound is sadly, an inevitability, only to be hastened by giving in and choosing the easy alternative of becoming an 'Armchair-Golfer'. I'm not ready for that yet .I have the determination to keep this grave future at bay, yet sadly, not the finances. I understand that being able to play golf is not essential, but to me it is critical to preserve my mobility, mindfulness, fitness and most importantly, it drives me to become both a better golfer and better man.