The Blind Golf Champion | In Focus | Topgolf

The Blind Golf Champion | In Focus | Topgolf


[MUSIC] I don’t know of the exact age, but I have
been golfing since I was a little kid. [MUSIC] I started playing competitively in middle
school, played three years varsity in high school, and I played every Sunday from
when I was 12 till I was 17 with my dad. [MUSIC] Golf for me was something that I
could continue getting better at. It’s something I was really
passionate about and something I could play
competitively the rest of my life. [MUSIC] I remember I was walking
around on campus one day and noticed that I had to squint to read
a sign and for me that was abnormal. In a matter of two months my sight
went from perfect 20/20 to where it is now.>>[APPLAUSE]
>>I’m now legally blind with no central vision. [MUSIC] My vision is very similar to a donut. I have complete peripheral vision. I’m missing what the donut’s missing. Whatever I look directly at
is completely blurred out. And that’s why I’m unable to read,
drive or distinguish faces. [MUSIC] I was on top of the world,
everything was great and then in two months to go legally blind
due to a rare genetic disorder I had no idea I had called LHON Leber’s
hereditary optic neuropathy. It was extremely tough. I went through the stages of grief,
I went through denial, anger, bargaining, depression. It was by far the toughest challenge
I’ve ever faced in my life and unfortunately it has no treatment and
no cure. What really helped me get through it and
what I think it helped others is for me it’s easy to just break it down
to four Ps, purpose, passion, perspective and people. That’s what we need to
get through these things. [MUSIC] Now you can’t go drop me off at Topgolf or golf course by myself and
say go have fun, Jeremy. I would be lost. But every blind golfer has a guide, someone who helps them
out on every single shot. And for me,
that was an easy choice, my dad. If I can inspire a kid who’s legally
blind or blind to get out and play golf, or pursue their passion, whatever it
may be, that gives me so much joy. We won together in 2010 in England
in our first World Championship. We went into a playoff against one other
guy from England for that championship and we had a little chip shot,
just a short little shot. And what my dad does for
the short shots on the golf course, is he’ll stand in between me and the hole. And I line up to my dad and then I
tell him he’s good when I’m lined up, he moves out of the way,
and I hit the shot. Blind golf has taken me around the world,
and that any of them could pursue blind golf or any other sport, hobby,
that can take them around the world, or take them to places
they would never imagine. I’m just a legally blind guy who
pursues his passion of golf and plays at a high level and
just enjoys the experience. Wow!
>>I see it, I see it!>>So if Tiger Woods wins a golf
tournament it’s, congratulations Tiger, how does it feel? Whereas I don’t win golf tournaments,
my dad and I win together as a team and that’s what’s so amazing for me with blind
golf is that I get to share this bond and this experience with my dad forever. [MUSIC]>>[APPLAUSE]
>>To me the purpose of life to be
able to inspire others and get others to pursue their passions and
find joy in something, it’s exciting. Go Joseph. [MUSIC] Fabrizio, what you think? When’s your birthday?>>July 17th.>>That’s right. Give me a high five. Give me a high five, yeah. Hey, Fabrizio, I miss you buddy.>>I miss you too.>>No. [MUSIC] Can I sign your forehead? He thought about it, though. He thought about it.>>It’s gonna wash off.>>That’s the answer. [MUSIC]

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