Blind Docs Diary January 2019

Well, I am another year older, ten pounds heavier, and I am still blind. What a year!

Well, I am another year older, ten pounds heavier, and I am still blind.  What a year!  Upon reflection, last year at this time, we were trying to get visually impaired and blind children from the TN School for the Blind interested in golf and benefitting from our charity, AVID—A Vision in Darkness.  I can not express the joy that our volunteers, my wife, and I have enjoyed over the past year.  We started with nine children in February of 2018.  We worked with them two days a week for two hours each day on learning the game of golf.  With our PGA Teaching Pro and best friend, Andy Church, the children received excellent instruction.  We focused on several areas of the golf swing using a simple acronym-GASP.  This helped the children and our volunteers focus on the Grip, Alignment, Stance and Posture.  These we feel are the four fundamental concepts to a successful golf swing.  Also, we emphasized manners, respect, and having a wonderful time.  After twelve weeks, we had our first intra-squad match.  This was a three-hole match (video can be seen under the video section).

We had excellent volunteers from the school and from the community.  The children were able to get the adults to learn how to play golf from the school.  In the fall, we started again with twelve children.  Through donations to AVID, each child now has his or her own clubs, bags, hat and accessories.  The children of the Tennessee School for The Blind have taught us way more than we have taught them over the past year.  There enthusiasm for life and being with people is infectious.

The United States Blind Golf Association (USBGA) donated $2,500 at the National tournament held in Nashville in August to the AVID.  This money is being put towards a hitting, chipping and putting area on the grounds of the campus.  We hope to have it completed by February, 2019. 

Along the way, AVID was blessed with several partners.  Top Golf has been an excellent reward for the children who have been working hard on their golf swing.  In addition, we were blessed to have Miss Lisa join our group.  It was a “God shot” that we met one day.  Once she heard about the children, she has not slowed down.  Every great cause needs great support.  In Miss Lisa, we have loving support.  She truly loves the children as much as my wife and I.

Lastly, I want to thank my wife, Patricia, for her help in supporting AVID with her time and energy over the past year.  I could not have done it without her.  We have been married for twenty-four years, have worked together for the good of children through several venues, but I feel this is one of the best ventures we have launched.