SOUTH AFRICAN disabled golfer, Curtley Roberts is set to compete in the 2019 Canon South Africa Disabled Golf Open for the 4th time this year.
Describing the Disabled Golf Open as “the best part of the year”, Roberts is up to the challenge of competing against some of the best golfers with disabilities from around the world.
The 2019 Canon South Africa Disabled Golf Open takes place from 13 to 16 May 2019 at the Magalies Park Golf Club. The prestigious tournament has been organised by the South African Disabled Golf Association (SADGA) for 21 years and has been sponsored by Canon South Africa for the past three years.
“My goal for the SA Disabled Open is to work hard and to keep on grinding no matter what the situation. This tournament is one of the highlights of the year for me. The people and golfers are real class acts; they show that disability is only a mindset,” says Roberts.
Roberts, from Pretoria, boasts a 13 handicap and has been playing golf since the age of 13. He was born disabled due to complications at birth.
His collar bone was broken, resulting in nerve damage on his right side which in turn effected his movement and normal functionality of his right hand.
He has about 70% normal functionality in his hand but cannot use his wrist properly. He will compete in the Les Autres category at the Canon South Africa Disabled Golf Open.
Roberts first started playing golf with his friends in the park. Most of them lost interest but he was fascinated by the technical aspect of the game.
He recalls: “I collected old golf books and read them from cover to cover. I grew up across from a park and would regularly go and practice the tips I had read in the golf books. My days were spent going to school, running back home and practicing golf in the park.
“After school, I started working at a driving range in Pretoria. I worked in the pro shop selling buckets, but I would regularly be inspired by the golf pros. I could hit buckets for free as I was employed there. I practiced from 6am in the morning would do my job and then would practice until 10pm at night.
“I started playing disabled golf at the age of 19. Playing golf has taught me so much, especially not to be ashamed of my disability.”
Now 26, Roberts works as a cricket coach at various schools in Pretoria and Centurion.
He was recently appointed as head coach at a cricket club, DACC (Differently Abled Cricket Club), which caters for disabled people playing in a normal Cricket League. It’s the first club of its kind in SA.
Dana Eitzen, Corporate and Marketing Communications Executive from Canon SA, says: “We are thrilled to welcome Curtley Roberts at the Canon South Africa Disabled Golf again this year. We wish him the best of luck in this year’s competition.”
It takes place from May 13 to 16 at the Magalies Park Golf Club.
Image (SA Disabled golfer, Curtley Roberts ready for the Open in Magalies.)