Blind golfer Peter in drive to conquer the world

The Westmorland Gazette: Peter Osborne in swinging form. Photo - Mark Pickup Peter Osborne in swinging form. Photo - Mark Pickup

A BLIND golfer from Carnforth is teeing up to compete in a series of international competitions - despite only taking up the sport four years ago.

Peter Osborne, who is married with three young children, is one of the top three registered blind golf players in the world with a handicap of 11.

The 48-year-old is registered with Bull’s Eye Maculopathy, a genetic form of age-related macular dystrophy, which was discovered in 2003 during a routine check-up at Specsavers.

Now the optician’s Morecambe branch is one of the sponsors helping Peter to compete in a series of international tournaments throughout 2014.

Peter, the only blind golfer to score five holes-in-one, says he has ambitions to take part in competitions as far away as South Africa, Australia and the United States this year.

“I’m incredibly excited to be looking forward to competing across the globe and raising the profile of blind and disabled golf,” he said. “I hope to provide inspiration to other blind and visually-impaired people, who have endured the same life-changing trauma as I have. I am now working with disabled charities to encourage disabled people of all ages into sport.”

Peter, who plays on the Scottish Disabled Golf Partnership and the European Disabled Golf Association tours, has virtually no central vision, relying upon his peripheral vision only. He uses a bright yellow golf ball and describes his vision as ‘living in a small fuzzy world of about 30 to 50 yards’.

“In terms of golf, lining up is a problem, as picking a line is rather difficult when you cannot see the flag or the green,” he said. “I use a range finder that allows me to pick out an object such as a large tree or a building directly behind the flag and fire away, hoping I have the right club.”

Specsavers’ Morecambe branch has signed up to sponsor Peter to the tune of £2,000. Store director Stephanie Sewell said: “I’ve known all about Peter since he hit the national headlines in 2011 for hitting only the fifth hole-in-one ever recorded by a blind golfer.

“He truly is an inspiration for blind and disabled sport so we’re honoured to be able to say he is a regular Specsavers customer. We hope this sponsorship will help him continue to raise the profile of the sport and by doing so, encourage more and more visually impaired people into sport.”

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