Quadruple Amputee Achieves Firsts at Buffalo Amputee Golf Classic
Jim Hunt, a quadruple amputee, never had played golf with other amputees before. That was until he got to Brierwood Country Club Monday, when he got the chance to play with 12 other amputees at the Buffalo Amputee Golf Classic. And what made the event more special for Hunt: It was his first round of competitive golf ever. “It was a lot of fun,” Hunt said. “We had a good time.”
There were 132 total golfers, a sold-out field for the ninth annual classic at the Hamburg club. The tournament featured 18 holes, with the main objective of providing golfers of all skills and abilities the chance to play.
The proceeds from the tournament support Trocaire College student Elizabeth Sparza, the daughter of a double amputee, and Nicole Miller, a below-the-knee amputee who attends the University at Buffalo. The tournament also helps Jackson DeLude, 6, Malachi Taylor, 9, and Brianna Wicks, 18, attend Camp No Limits, the only camp exclusively for children with limb loss and their families.
The classic is associated with the nonprofit Eastern Amputee Golf Association, which assists in the rehabilitation of amputees and provides physical and psychological support.
Hunt was proud of his performance after shooting 77. A native of Canisteo, he was born without arms beneath his elbows and without legs beneath his knees. But he never let it slow him down, and he played a slew of sports in high school, including soccer and baseball.
Hunt began playing golf two years ago after watching the game for most of his life. One of his brothers is a golfer, and he was able to help him out during the learning process. Hunt was fitted with a special attachment to his prosthetics that allow him to firmly grip the club while he plays.
He’s a stay-at-home father with seven kids, but he still finds time to practice at the Hornell Golf Club. Hunt had been looking for an amputee tournament to enter, so when he found out about the Hamburg event it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
Hunt said he was nervous before the tournament began, and although it was a hot and humid day, he enjoyed his time out on the course.
“We showed that we can play and compete with the able-body people,” Hunt said.
He wants to play in other tournaments in the future, although he doesn’t have anything on the schedule quite yet.
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