Feature

A miracle on the green

Don Vickery is the only golf pro in the country who&rsquo;s also a double amputee, says Bill Pennington in <em>The New York Times.</em>

Don Vickery is the only golf pro in the country who’s also a double amputee, says Bill Pennington in The New York Times. Vickery lost his legs in 1989, when he wandered into a restricted area of the Fort Gordon, Ga., Army base with his dog. “Either he stepped on something or I did, but there was an explosion,” he recalls. “I woke up a couple of weeks later, happy to be alive.” As Vickery slowly recovered, his prosthetics specialist, Ray Price, suggested he take up golf as both therapy and exercise. “I said, ‘Ray, I’m having a hard time just learning to walk again.’ But I wasn’t doing anything else. So I tried it.” Vickery not only learned to play, but became extremely good. So he got a job in the pro shop at the Wilmington Island Golf Course in Savannah and worked toward becoming credentialed. A few months ago, he passed the Professional Golfers Association’s credentials test by posting a 36-hole score below 155. “Everything in my life at that point, even the simple things, had become hard,” he says. “And here was this very difficult game of golf, but there was an honor to it. It became a model for life. It’s the mind-set that changes everything.”

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