#WhyIGolf 2020 – “I’m me, I play golf and I enjoy myself.” Aimi Bullock on living with MS

Her natural modesty means that she might not like it said, but Aimi Bullock is truly an inspirational figure for others to follow.

A keen hockey player and a road cyclist, at the age of 36 Bullock began to lose the sight in her left eye.

Four years later she was diagnosed with MS and it was tough to comprehend.

But if it knocked her sideways for a spell, it didn’t come as a knockout blow.

In fact, it led her to adapt and change sporting pastimes – and now she is devoted to golf and helping other women with impairments find enjoyment in the sport.

As an ambassador for the European Disabled Golf Association and a member of The R&A’s Leadership course, Bullock refuses to accept that disability means she is disenfranchised.

Now Bullock works alongside fellow coach Leah Roelich with a dream to set up classes for women with disabilities in every county in England. Her story is one that should act as a beacon of light for anyone dealing with dramatic changes to their routines and life.

“I re-discovered golf when I was diagnosed with MS,” confirmed Bullock.

“It was life-changing for me.

“Before that I had dabbled in the game as a fair-weather player. I was big into hockey and road cycling, but when you lose sight in one eye they become dangerous.

“I’d bought golf clubs and a friend suggested one day that we should go and play for a bit of a laugh.

“It was more than that – it was such good fun and within three weeks of paying that green fee I’d joined Sunningdale Heath Golf Club.

“I’ve met so many people through my golf and had so much enjoyment from it that I can’t contemplate it not being in my life.”

Funnily enough given her passion for the game now, Bullock first picked up a club at the age of 14 and decided it wasn’t for her.

Not the game, you understand, but the actual club itself.

“I’m right-handed, but have since discovered I’m better playing golf left-handed,” admitted Bullock. But I didn’t know that at the time and when I was handed that right-handed club at a school lesson I hated it.

“Now I make sure that I have a selection of clubs both right and left-handed when I coach others – I encourage them to pick up whatever club they want and go for it.”

Adapting to new challenges and diversifying is a thread running through Bullock’s sporting career.

When the full MS diagnosis came in 2017 and she got her head round it, Bullock embraced the challenges full on.

Now as an EDGA ambassador she is happy to focus on the opportunities that women with disabilities can grasp rather than only seeing hurdles to be cleared.

Last year, Bullock played in the Diversity Cup as a prelude to the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles. Recently she took part of the Rose Ladies Series at The Shire and once again proved to be a role model for all golfers with a disability.

Now she has a real determination to make a practical difference to others who are coming to terms with changes in their lives, but who share the desire to do things to the max.

“I’m me, I play golf and I enjoy myself,” added  Bullock who is eager to get back to playing in major EDGA events in 2021.

“I had a dream before lockdown that I could set up a centre in every county in England to help women with disabilities learn for themselves how much fun golf can be.

“The idea would be for the women to bring a friend so that everyone integrated and had fun and learned together.

“I hope we can get that up and running in September and take it from there.

“I face practical difficulties playing golf with my sight, and, at times, I get tired easily in a round or the brain fog descends for four or five holes.

“But I’m determined and stubborn and I use my trolley to help with stability and work hard on core exercises to help me with issues of balance.

“In everyday life, the lessons I learn on the golf course help me deal to day-to-day situations.”