Bruno's Blog


Dennis Walters Golf Show PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   

 

 

 

 Dennis Walters, a Pro V-1 & Arizona Sweet Tee . . . blast off.                          LinksNation photo

 

 

Originally when I started to write about the experience of watching the Dennis Walters Golf show, I thought about describing the show . . . then I realized the man and his journey were even more inspiring.

 On Wednesday, May 11th at Palm Beach County's Osprey Point Golf Course, the Dennis Walters Golf Show came to town. For those who don't know, Dennis Walters is a paraplegic, a victim of a tragic golf cart accident. At age 24, Walters had a dream of playing on the PGA Tour. After finishing 11th at the U.S Amateur, and leading his team to its fourth consecutive collegiate title, his future was bright. Then on July 21, 1974, on a summer day just a few days before Qualifying School was to begin, Dennis was playing in a pro-am tournament at the Bonnie Brae Country Club in New Jersey.  His final 2 shots on the 18th hole of the pro am were an explosion from a plugged lie in the greenside bunker, and a par saving putt. Those would be his final competitive strokes of his life.

That afternoon he decided to play a few more holes at the Roxiticus Country Club. As he drove out to the 15th hole to catch up with some friends, his golf cart swerved off the path and rolled into the trees. Dennis was thrown from the cart. Although he didn’t have a scratch on his body, he found as he lay where he had fallen that he was unable to move his legs. At the hospital, tests revealed that Dennis had suffered severe damage to his spinal cord. He was classified as a T-12 paraplegic, he was told that he would never regain use of his legs again, his hopes of playing on the PGA Tour were over . . . what was next for Dennis Walters?

Would anybody have blamed Dennis Walters if he hadn't resurfaced, of course not . . . but with the resolve to get back to golf and the help of his father & friends, Walters would carve out his own niche in golf. In 1975, he started out hitting balls from his wheelchair and later his father set him up with a golf cart with a swivel seat. From the cart, he could stand up strapped into the side of the cart and hit balls. Dennis learned to perfect this action to the point where he could actually go back to the course and play golf again, but certainly not to the level he once enjoyed.

Over the past 34 years Dennis Walters has not only brought golf back into his life, but he has inspired hundereds of thousands of people to do what they love, no matter the obstacle infront of them. Today he performs over 80 shows a year, and on the day that LinksNation and a hundred or so school children watched the man perform his craft, I realized once again how lucky we all are to enjoy this wonderful game, thanks to Dennis Walter.

 

The show is really beyond words . . . click the promo video link below to get a sneak peak.

 

 Walters, Bucky and the students from the Atlantic Tech Magnet School

 

 

Thanks to Kathy Kelly, the dedicated Phys Ed instructor from Broward Schools (who invited me to tag along) and Jack Barrett from the First Tee, for all they do to help grow the game. 

 

To watch, click the link to the promo video: http://www.denniswalters.com/view_video.php?id=11 

 

For future shows, check his website: http://www.denniswalters.com/index.php

 
A Day At The Tavistock Cup PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   

 

 

Monday in Orlando, the best backyard brawl in golf got under way. The interclub matches known as the Tavistock Cup between Isleworth and Lake Nona has now evolved into a rivalry of four clubs, which now includes Queenwood from the U.K, and Albany Club from the Bahamas. Since Tiger and Ernie are both investors in the Albany Club, they would make the switch from their usual spots (of Team Isleworth and Lake Nona respectively). It was a pleasure to watch these future Hall of Famers playing golf on their home turf, no crowds to fight through here. 

 

If you're lucky enough to get a chance to attend this event, do it . . . its laid back atmosphere and very limited spectator access help to make this event unique. The only golf event that I've attended and enjoyed more was the Masters. The folks at Tavistock do everything here first class, if your credential gets you into the clubhouse (ours did), you are treated to a magnificent spread of gourmet food . . . . . jumbo shrimp , mahi with mango salsa, crab legs, tenderloin, and carved turkey were just some of the delictables offered up. If there is economic strife and natural disasters goin on around the globe, you'd never know it from the grandeur of this party at one of central Florida's most affluent communities, saying that the members at this club know how to live, would be an understatement.

The Big Easy let it rip on the 1st tee at Isleworth                                                                                                Scott Baker photo

 

 

Amongst the groups followed, Ernie's drive on the first hole (a short dogleg left to right) over the corner of the dogleg stood out (David Feherty who MC'd the 1st tee, described Ernie's tempo this way "his swing has the grace and beauty of a snow flake falling from a branch). Retief's bomb on the reachable par4 sixteenth and Henrik Stenson's blast over the Cypress trees guarding the corner of the 477yd home hole was just absolutely crushed . The nature of this event seems to keep the players loose and as a result they play a more agressive style than we might usually see in a PGA Tour stroke play event.

 

After day one:        Isleworth -30                              Final Result :       Lake Nona -43

                               Albany -28                                                           Albany -27

                         Lake Nona  -25                                                        Isleworth -27

                       Queenwood  -16                                                     Queenwood -18

 

The golf course at Isleworth was stunning, in fact it was so impressive that we stayed behind the last group just so we could walk each hole (including the greens) and take dozens of photos to share for a course review in the near future.

 

Oliver Wilson won the Payne Stewart Salver Award presented to the stroke play winner, he shot 65 Tuesday. 

 

 Images from the 2011 Tavistock Cup:

The Long Drive Challenge was won by Adam Scott - 295 yds into the wind                                                                   Scott Baker Photo

  

 

  

 Tiger teeing off at the 9th                                                                                                                                                Scott Baker photo

 

 

 

Team Queenwood players Darren Clarke and David Howell                                                                                                   Scott Baker Photo

 

 Congrats to Tavistock for an outstanding event.

 

 

 

 
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