Bruce Hooper, Blind Golfer, Age 60, Macular Degeneration
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Losing Sight, Losing Golf
NARRATOR: A brown-haired man wearing a light blue golf shirt.
BRUCE: I equated golf entirely with the thrill of watching the ball in the air, watching it land, watching it go in the hole.
NARRATOR: A picture of Bruce and his wife on the golf course.
BRUCE: I thought that was all there was to it, and if you couldn’t see it, you certainly couldn’t enjoy it. And, uh… so I… that’s why I quit. My wife saw this, said, “You can’t quit.” She started searching the Internet, and she found blind golf associations on the Internet. And I said, my gosh, you know, I can see a whole lot better than they can, and they love golf and they can’t see anything, and they were actually incredibly skillful. And so I… became inspired myself, and I said, “If they can do it, I can do it.” So I went back to working at it.
Golf… Without Sight?
BRUCE: Well, I see it in… I see it up here now.
NARRATOR: Taps his forehead.
BRUCE: I see it in my mind. We take more time to analyze a situation– well, slightly more time–we don’t try to delay the game, but we take more time to analyze our situation.
NARRATOR: A picture of Bruce and his wife using measuring tools on the golf course.
BRUCE: We know how far we are from the hole.
Winning Tournaments Again
NARRATOR: Picture of Bruce holding a trophy.
BRUCE: In 2003, I… won the national championship in Portland, Oregon, and that was the first championship that I won, but then this year, we went over to Japan, we played in the world championship. There were 56 golfers, nine countries represented, the best blind golfers in the world. I ended up winning that on a very difficult golf course in the rain in the cold in Tokyo, we shot 82/80. But that 82/80 felt like it was in the 70s. And then I came home and played in the senior men’s here in the city of San Antonio, the senior men’s championship–sighted tournament–shot 79/79, finally broke 80 in a competition for the first time and finished 24th in the city of San Antonio.
Advice to Others
BRUCE: I don’t think I’ll ever play golf as good as I did when I was sighted, but I might. I really think I might.
NARRATOR: Pictures of Bruce and wife, hand in hand, smiling on the golf course.
BRUCE: So I’d say to people, keep trying. Use your talents, love what you’re doing. It’s a wonderful life.