Lions Club sponsors blind golfers

  • Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Summerville Evening Lions Club will host a burger cookout at Summerville Country Club on May 5 to help two visually impaired golfers raise money for a tournament.
Summerville native Jim Gilstrap and his golf teammate, Peter Alan Smith, are both legally blind due to a rare eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa.  While Jim has only blurry vision and limited distance ability, Peter has almost complete vision loss. Despite their reduced vision, both men remain active in a variety of sports including golf.
One might think that golf is impossible when the player cannot see the fairway, let alone the ball; but it is possible through the use of a sighted “coach”.  The coach helps to position the blind golfer, place the club head, and then gives the yardage so that the golfer knows how hard to swing; and of course, helps to locate the ball after each shot.
Both men have signed up to play in the Charleston RiverDogs golf tournament on May 7 at Wild Dunes. This tournament will benefit the Storm Eye Institute at MUSC. Funds donated at the cookout will be tax-deductible through the Lions Club and will be used to help Jim and Peter pay the tourney’s registration fee.
The public is invited to attend the cookout from 5-7 p.m. The cost is $12 per person for the famous “Miler Burger,” fixings and side items.
Additional information about golf for the visually impaired can be found at AmericanBlindGolf.com.

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