Teed off – Call out for more blind golfers

A group of lady blind golfers dressed in pink shirts on a golf course

Ron Anderson, who lost his sight overnight in 1973 established the WA Blind Golf Association (link opens in new window) in 1987.

Since then dozens of blind and vision impaired golfers have been taught the game and become blind golfers.

Blind golf follows the same principles as sighted golf, but golfers have a caddy to offer support. This caddy assists the golfer in describing distance, direction and characteristics of the hole. Their job is also to align the club behind the ball, prior to the stroke. From that point, the golfer is on his own, and it is their skill which determines the resulting stroke.

Blind golfers in WA

While the sport has been popular in WA in the past, Ron Anderson, Captain of the WA Blind Golf Association, says the future of the organisation is now in doubt.

“When we first established the group it was very busy. Since we started the club we’ve had over 200 members but in recent years membership has dropped off,” Ron explains.

“We’re now at a point where if we don’t have more people coming through we’re at risk of closure. We need more members to be able to continue as some of our group are ageing and will be retiring from blind golf,” he adds.

Ron says if just 1% of the vision impaired or blind people in WA committed to the Association it would guarantee its future. Of course, while everyone likes to participate in the game, there’s also a social side to the team. Ron is a talented guitarist and organises a busy  program of events and activities throughout the year.

Free taster session

A blind golfer lines up a shot while the caddy places the club head in line with the ballThe Association is now holding a ‘Come and try experience’ on March the 17th at Lake Claremont Golf Club. The day is free of charge. Players will be introduced to basic techniques like chipping and pitching.

“This is a fabulous opportunity to meet people and experience blind golf. Once you have developed the basic skills of blind golf you can move on to the next level. Our more experienced players meet on a Friday at Wembley Golf Club.”

Ron says it would be a real shame if this club didn’t survive. Fees to get involved are minimal.The yearly subscription is just $40 with volunteer caddies paying $20.

If you want to come along on March 17th email or call Ron – Secwabga@gmail.com or phone Ron Anderson on 92461709.

Don’t forget if you want to find out more about the leisure programs at VisAbility take a read on what’s on offer with our Leisure, Sport and Recreation Services.