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2019 Canadian Amputee and Disabled National Open Golf Championship underway in Okotoks
Kristian Hammerback, the president of the Canadian Amputee Golf Association, hopes the first ever Canadian ranking event for golfers with disabilities will pave the way for the sport's inclusion in the Paralympic Games.
Hammerback, who is one of the 40 golfers in the field at this year’s National Open at River’s Edge Golf Course in Okotoks. was born missing his arm below the elbow but he doesn’t really look at it as a handicap. "I haven’t known it any other way so I have nothing to compare it to."
He started playing golf when he was 12 years old. He’s a seven handicap and says his game really turned around thanks to Trotman, a local company that made him a specific golf attachment.
"I think I’ve had it for 15 years and prior to that it was a metal piece, hard plastic. It didn’t really have the action of the wrist and now it’s a game changer for me in terms of playing golf."
It’s been so good for Hammerback that he regularly beats his able bodied playing partners. He says that’s very satisfying. "My buddies refer to my golf attachment as my cheating device because often I’m shooting lower scores than they are. So that’s their excuse," laughed Hammerback.
Hammerback says golf has really helped a lot of the competitors in the tournament. It’s given many of them a new purpose in life. As president of the Canadian Amputee Golf Association, he’d love to see the sport in the Paralympics one day.
"We’ve been striving for that, striving for that goal for a long time”. He added “This is the first ever ranking event for golfers with disabilities to take place in Canada so it’s a major step toward getting golf hopefully in the 2028 Paralympics."
The 2019 Canadian Amputee and Disabled National Golf Open wraps up on Friday at River’s Edge Golf course in Okotoks.