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Friday, January 17, 2014
Norfolk golfer Peter Priscott has a key role to play in this Ryder Cup year –but he will be focusing on events at Stirling Golf Club rather than at Gleneagles.
A couple of weeks before the cream of European and American golf do battle for one of the biggest prizes in team sport the best one-armed exponents of the game from both sides of the Atlantic will be going head to head down the road.
Known as the Fightmaster Cup, the event follows the same format as the Ryder Cup – and as someone who will be taking over as president of the Society of One Armed Golfers in the summer, Swaffham member Priscott will be much more than an interested spectactor when the event gets under way in Scotland on September 12.
The objective of the series, which Europe currently leads 2-1, is to publicise the fact that golf can still be played successfully if a person is unfortunate enough to lose the use of an arm. A golf clinic will also be held for any person only able to use one arm who would like to come along and try one armed golf out.
The Society of One-Armed Golfers was founded in 1932, principally for golfers who had lost an arm in the First World War. But, over the years, it has evolved and is now open to golfers who have lost the use of an arm through road or industrial accidents, birth defects or because of neurological reasons. Priscott, who lost the use of his left arm after suffering a stroke in 2001, said: “Our objective is to provide a level playing field for such golfers and our criteria is that every shot must be played only using one arm and without the aid of prosthetics or other aids.
“The loss of an arm or its use is a traumatic experience and the Society has inspired many people to continue as normally as possible with their lives.”
The Norfolk official has been a member of Swaffham Golf Club since 2004 and was seniors’ captain in 2006. Since suffering his stroke the mobility in his left arm has improved, but still not enough to swing a club properly and he now plays off 28 handicap after getting it down to 15 in his younger days.
“Being a lifelong left-armer having to now do everything with my right has not helped,” he said.
He served as secretary of the Society of One Armed Golfers for five years, is taking over as president in June and is also chairman of the Fightmaster organising committee.
The costs of organising the Fightmaster Cup are considerable and if anyone would like to sponsor the event donations can be made at www.onearmgolf.org/Fightmaster.html