What do blind golfers Karen Larson and Julie Moroney both love about golf? The opportunity to continually improve.
Blind Golf Competitions are returning in 2022. Karen Larson and Julie Moroney are preparing for Blind Golf Competitions, which have not taken place since 2019. Karen and Julie recently took part in the 2022 BC Golf Provincial Training Camp – Western Blind Golf, which was held at Westwood Plateau, Lago Golf Academy in Coquitlam.
These are their stories:
Karen Larson’s Golf Story
Karen started golfing when she met her husband, Roy. Roy was a very good junior golfer and loved to play. She golfed socially with friends and with business associates. Golf fell by the wayside as she raised her children.
Karen took up golf again as her eyesight diminished. “Golf is something I can do,” she says. She loves that golf allows her to improve, socialize, and travel. There is always a way to get over hurdles. Her advice to other golfers:
“Trust yourself. Believe in yourself. Get out and practice and play. Nobody is going to do it for you. Set a goal and get better!” – Karen
Karen receives a lot of support from local CPGA professionals Kevin Maffioli and Noel Veitch at Christina Lake Golf Club. She is currently working on her weight transfer and increasing her clubhead speed. Roy helps her with target alignment, ball spotting, and putting weight. Practicing together is very important as she has to trust both his verbal cues and her skills.
She was very impressed with the BC Golf Training Camp. Her highlight was being treated like a professional golfer. She enjoyed the technical analysis from the simulator room. She improved her chipping stroke with a special teaching wedge, which had an extension that helped limit her wrist action.
She is looking forward to competing at the Western Canada Blind Golf Championships held this year at the Inglewood Golf and Curling Club in Calgary.
Julie Moroney’s Golf Story
Julie grew up hitting a 7-iron following her father around a golf course in Manitoba. She played golf throughout her life until she began to lose her vision. Reluctantly, she told her husband to sell her clubs as she couldn’t imagine herself ever playing again.
That changed after reading about Blind Golf. Julie and her husband Pearse decided to give it a go and haven’t looked back. Pearse is her caddy. He assists her with club selection and alignment. They play most of their rounds with friends at Cordova Bay GC.
Julie admits she is nervous to play with new people. But every golfer she meets is positive and supportive. The social, mental and physical benefits are good for her overall health. She enjoys that golf gives her the chance to better herself. It gives her something to strive for and an opportunity for self-achievement.
“YES! It is possible to continue to enjoy golf once vision loss takes over.” – Julie
Julie is competitive. In 2019, Julie won the BC and Western Canada Blind Golf Championships. She was runner-up in the national championships, losing by one stroke.
At the training camp, Julie was able to improve her weight transfer. She also improved her chipping confidence. And she changed her putting pre-shot routine. She pays more attention to pacing off her putts. She adds it is fantastic to have BC Golf support blind golfers.
This year, Julie has added two more events to her itinerary. She is travelling to the Spanish Blind Open. She is playing on the North American team for the Vision Cup. The Vision Cup is a Ryder Cup format tournament (Europe vs North America) that will be held at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course. A busy and exciting schedule!
If you are or know a blind golfer who wants to compete, get involved here.