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Area Lions Get "Insight" Into Blind Golf.

By Mike Vrooman

"It was really something to watch", commented Langton Lions President Frank VanLeuvenhage after golfing 18 holes with Hamilton blind golfer Gary Saxon. "He out drove me and kept the ball in the fairway". VanLeuvenhage and representatives from area Lions Clubs (Caledonia, Langton, Port Dover, Simcoe, Waterford and Windham) joined with Ontario Visually Impaired Golfers (OVIG) for a round of golf at Woodside Greens Golf Club west of Simcoe. Graphic - shows Lion  wearing blindfold being assisted by OVIG guide Norris Smith

This was the second time the Lions were guests at the event which is part of OVIG's public awareness program to show that vision loss is not a reason to stop enjoying and participating in sports. This year, the Lions were given the opportunity to experience blind golf in the truest sense.

They (Lions) were asked to observe the interactions of the blind golfer and sighted guide for the first few holes. The Lions then took on the role of guide for two holes as well as having to play their own game.

Graphic - shows Simcoe Lion Doug Sibbett wearing glasses that simulate macular degeneration "That is not easy", said Windham Lion Brian Edwards, "Last year I marveled at how well the golfer and guide worked together, now I can appreciate what they (guides) do".

Now if that wasn't enough, at the par 4 eighth hole, the Lions were given glasses that simulated varying degrees of sight loss. They were then guided to the tee, and with mighty swings did everything from leaving the ball on the tee to hitting it to the extreme right or left.

Simcoe Lion, Doug Sibbett said, " We take a lot of things for granted but having to hit the ball when your vision is restricted makes you realize how fortunate we (sighted people) are".

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