No barriers to golf

Game adapted for blind players


Caddy Kevin Munce and blind golfer Des Lean-Fore get ready to tee off. Picture: Angelo Velardo

GOLF can be a frustrating game to play at times, but just imagine how you’d go if you were blind or visually impaired.

Padstow resident Des Lean-Fore is legally blind and has been playing golf for 37 years.

Last Thursday and Friday he competed in the 2017 Vision Australia NSW Blind Golf Open Championship at Bankstown Golf Course.

In blind golf, players are graded by their level of vision from B1, totally blind, to B3 which is at the higher level of legally blind or vision impaired. Mr Lean-Fore is classified B3 and has some peripheral vision.

The NSW Open attracted 24 players from across Australia and three from England, Ireland and Canada. It was won by ex-Padstow resident Rod Mills.

Mr Lean-Fore said each player had a caddie to find the ball, line it up for the shot, estimate distances and line up putts on the green.

“The rules and equipment are exactly the same, except we are allowed to ground our club in a hazard,” he said.

Mr Lean-Fore also played in the ISPS Handa Australian Blind Golf Open Championship at Royal Sydney Golf Club on Sunday and Monday.

He urged players to join his group at Barnwell Park Golf Club. Call 0401 245 403.