Teens don’t let disabilities stop them from pursuing golf

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Every Monday and Thursday at Cherokee Ridge Golf Course, you’ll find a one of a kind high school golf team.

It’s one that not only can play the sport of golf but does so deaf and blind.

“I like playing golf in general,” said Christian Shook. “Like I actually like playing golf.”

Shook has always had an interest in the sport which is why he joined the golf team his freshman year. He’s also just one of 9 members who plays visually impaired.

“I feel like it’s a good experience especially for blind people to at least get a feel for how to chip, how to put, all the stuff like that,” said Shook.

Despite what some might think, Shook says the hardest part isn’t being able to see the ball but rather maintaining balance.

“One part you have to keep your head still,” he said. “You have to technically multi-task in order to actually hit the ball.”

“It was just important that I would learn by my mistakes and just persevere and ultimately you will be successful,” said Katrina Russon.

Russon is also on the team but she competes deaf.

“I learn how to work with deaf and blind collaborating with one another as one solid team,” Russon said. “We learn from each other even though we make mistakes we taught one another and benefited.”

“Golf is a tough game to play much less master and these kids have some challenges that are really quite remarkable,” said Bill Stoner, the program manager for the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind.

Stoner has been a volunteer for the last 11 years and says the visual and communication barriers pose a tough challenge, one that requires more patience.

“It’s really not that bad,” he said. “They pick it up pretty fast, they learn quickly and they’re easy to teach and their eager to learn and really you’d be surprised at how well it goes.”

Whether it’s on the driving range or the putting greens, these kids say their disabilities are simply another part to the game, another challenge to overcome.

“Part of it is also never giving up,” said Shook. “Practice makes perfect.”

“Deaf can do it, blind they can do it,” said Russon. “It’s important that we work together as a team and not isolate anyone.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s