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Visually Impaired Golfers Hit the Greens

Kayaks lined up along the lakeshore. 

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Visually Impaired Golfers Hit the Greens

Ten visually impaired Veterans enjoyed a picture-perfect Hawaiian day on Friday at Hickam Air Force Base’s Ke’alohi Golf Course, playing and sharing laughs. Visually impaired golfers play in teams of two, each with an assigned golf buddy who assists in lining up shots. It’s a nine-hole course and the goal, aside from winning, is to shoot no more than double par.

Ludwig Freiseis of Palm Desert, Calif. has been playing golf since he was a schoolboy. He recalls his start caddying — just 82 years ago. Now a sharp, fi t 94 year old, “Lud” moves with a quick, spry step to the green and lines-up his shot with confidence. He’s been participating in VA’s Visually Impaired golf program for two years.

“This is great and keeps you active,” says Millard Reed from Reno, Nev., who’s been playing assisted golf for seven years. “It’s really good to get the word out that no matter what your age or physical impairment, Veterans can still have fun.”

Darrel Chapman served in the Air Force during the Korean War. He’d been playing golf for 30 years before losing his sight fi ve years ago. Chapman, from Grand Junction, Colo., was thrilled to learn of the program and to get back into the sport he loves.

Golfers participating in this year’s NVGAG should consider the National Veterans TEE Tournament in the future, says Sickels. This new national event, just two years old, is held in Riverside, Iowa.