The next time you drain a putt from downtown and your buddies pay you a left-handed compliment with that old saw, “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while,” you might want to share with them the story of Colin Chandler.
Chandler is a 53-year-old from Reading, England, who got into the game little more than four months ago and has a swing many experienced players would envy. No one would ever mistake Chandler’s motion for the smooth stylings of Fred Couples or Ernie Els, but, then again, neither of those PGA Tour stars is blind.
Due to choroideremia, a rare degenerative disease that steadily degrades one’s vision, Chandler’s eyesight has been progressively worsening since he noticed a problem at the age of 15. He credits golf as the reason he gets out of bed in the morning.
“Golf is my life,” Chandler, who has become something of a Twitter celebrity, told us via e-mail recently.
To hit the ball, which is just a blur to the golfer whether it’s on the tee, fairway, or green, Chandler relies on feel, muscle memory, and alignment help from coach Joe Templer.
“He points me in the right direction,” said Chandler, who practices his game at Reading Golf Club.
Truly an inspiration to anyone who’s ever picked up a club, Chandler has no official handicap but entering tournaments is in his future plans.
In the meantime, Chandler will continue, one tweet at a time, to keep the golf world apprised of his progress in the game for which he has unending passion.
“I just got back from the driving range,” he said recently, “It was a amazing. I hit the ball farther than able-bodied golfers.”
Of that we have no doubt.