22 Aug 2022 | Feature stories |
Next stop World Championships for Niciejewski
by Golf Australia
By Matisse Shields
Glenn Niciejewski has been chosen as one of the world’s best B1 golfers. Glenn is currently playing off a GA handicap of 35 but impressively plays the game with no light perception and only the assistance of a caddy to aid in lining him up.
After spending the majority of his life being able to see, Glenn’s life drastically changed when he was involved in a head-on collision at the age of 22. From that day on Glenn had to learn to live with no sight or light perception.
Glenn, an avid golfer, refused to let his loss of sight defeat him and committed to relearning the game he loved.
"Even though I have lost my sight, I have not lost my vision,” said Niciejewski
"In 2010 I got involved with the Australia Blind Golf Circuit and competed in a plethora of tournaments such as the Victorian Open and the Australian Open."
Each player is allowed to have a sighted coach who describes the hole, assists with club selection and then will line up the club in the right direction.
“Blind Golf is almost the exact same as the game of golf most people know. I hit my own balls and play off a handicap which at the moment is 34.5, I cannot even go a week without picking up a golf club and practising,” said Niciejewski.
“My favourite thing about playing golf as blind person, is going out and beating all the sighted golfers. It's really funny when they say, ‘oh wow a totally blind person just outdrove me.”
After just the first year Glenn was ranked in the top 10 and did it all again in 2011.
Glenn has recently qualified as one of the Top 4 international B1 (Totally Blind) golfers to take on the US/Canada team in a Ryder Cup style Championship. Glenn will also compete at the ISPS Handa Vision Cup, taking place in Florida USA at TPC Sawgrass in September.
"My coach made it my goal to make it to the World Blind Golf Championships. Through hard work I have now ranked high enough to play in the World Championship," said Niciejewski.
“When I got the call, I almost fell off my chair. It is such an incredible honour to be the only Australian invited to play.
“I am beyond excited to play, I am going to go out, as I usually do, in the brightest top and pants I can find.
“Even though you have a disability you can play a sport. Golf found me. I called the local driving range and talked to the PGA professional and talked about how I could play.
“All you need to do is start. Start from where you are and see where you can go.”
Golf Australia’s Diversity and Inclusion Manager Christian Hamilton said Glenn’s story is a clear reflection of how golf can be a sport for all.
“Glenn has reimagined the way he plays golf and is a real inspiration to anyone who wants to give golf a go,” said Hamilton.
“Glenn’s international success is an exciting example of what people can achieve no matter their circumstances. Stories like Glenn’s are shaping the future of Golf in Australia.”
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