When it comes to clubbing, former mobile DJ Roger Cole is now just as concerned with what iron to hit as what tune to play.
After being diagnosed at the age of 30 with a degenerative eye disorder which would eventually leave him blind, Roger had to pack away his turntables and find another hobby.
A few lessons at his local golf club in Hertfordshire fuelled his passion for the game.
Now, with the help of a sighted guide who was recommended and has his expenses funded by England and Wales Blind Golf, Roger plays regularly and enjoys both the social and competitive side of the sport.
Ray Jobsz volunteered to take on the role of Roger’s guide despite having only previously played computerised golf.
The two immediately hit it off and are now the best of mates sharing plenty laughs on and off the course.
Roger explained: “The first time we went out together I was playing the second hole with Ray lining me up, a par three, and I holed my second shot with a chip for a birdie.
“It was a fluke but I thought this could be a sign of things to come so we stuck together.
“We both want to do well and enjoy each other’s company. When we do have a good round it makes us both feel proud.
“That’s the thing with blind golf, it needs more people to act as guides because without them blind people simply can’t do it and will drift away from the game.
“And it’s not just about golfers who have lost their sight, it’s about every visually impaired person who wants to take up the game.”
Ray loves being part of a ‘team’ with his mate and would recommend to anyone with some spare time to take on a similar role and help other visually impaired golfers enjoy the benefits of a healthy game played in the open air.
He added: “I first got involved when a young family friend went blind at the age of 21. I guess I wanted to give something back even though I have never played golf in my life.
“For me it’s about teamwork and the satisfaction I get from that. At the end of the round when Roger thanks me for my help I often say to him that there’s no need to thank me, I’m not doing it just for him!”
- Could you help give a new lease of life to a visually impaired golfer by becoming a guide? If so, then please head to the England and Wales Blind Golf website for more details or contact EWBG secretary Andy Gilford on firstname.lastname@example.org