For the third year, the Southwest Amputee Golf Association will bring an amputee golf tournament to The Hideout golf course near Lake Brownwood Oct. 12-14.

About 50 golfers are expected and almost that many guests. “If we get 100 people overall, we’ll be really happy,” the association’s treasurer, Roy McCoy of Granbury, said Monday at the Early Chamber of Commerce. McCoy was accompanied by one of the association’s directors, Jerry Drummond of Manor.

McCoy was injured in the Vietnam War and wears a prosthetic on his right leg.

“Of course we need sponsors to do it, because we don’t hold fundraisers,” McCoy said. “This tournament will be our only fundraiser. We look for new amputees to come out and enjoy themselves. The first time they come, it doesn’t matter if they play golf, if they don’t play golf. They can eat with us, they can enjoy camaraderie.

“It’s all free to the (amputee) first-timers so it doesn’t them anything. Men and women and children, it doesn’t matter. If you’re an amputee it doesn’t matter what your age is.” 

McCoy said he didn’t play golf before losing his leg. “I was in a hospital bed for about two years,” McCoy said. “I’d lost my sense of balance. I couldn’t stand up and had to have braces just to hold me up. One of my doctors — a golfing addict — told me to go to the driving range and hit golf balls, and I’d learn to stand up again and walk again.

“So that’s where I started and just got hooked on golf. It’s always been a challenge for me, because as long as I’ve played it, I’ve had just one leg. It’s different. We can’t turn our whole body. We can’t hit them as far as those big hitters. But as long as we can keep it straight and a reasonable distance we can still score pretty good.”

Some of the amputees score par or even under par occasionally, McCoy said. “But the great majority of our guys, I think, shoot in the 90s, 80s,” he said. “We’ve got some pretty good golfers out there.”

Drummond, who wears a prosthetic on his left leg, said he plays better golf now than he did before losing the limb.

Playing golf is “something to give you a goal to get back into life, and see that you can do things that you want to do,” Drummond said. “I do peer visits with new amputees in Austin and we go see them in the hospital before they’ve even got a prosthetic. They’re amazed that I still ride motorcycles and I play golf, and I do anything I want to.

“It gives them some hope for the rest of their lives, because lots of times they’re laying there thinking their life’s over … especially the people with traumatic limb loss.” 

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