Players included Stan Bembenek, who plays on one leg and without a prosthetic limb and is regarded as one of the best, most disabled golfers in the world. He lost his leg through pelvic cancer and plays off a handicap of 27.Indeed, it was Bembenek’s Disabled Golf Society team, comprising captain Mark Walters, an above knee amputee from Kent (Hcp 16), Keith Dolman, an above knee amputee from Essex (28 handicap), and Challenge Tour player Farren Keenan, who won the Pro-Am with a stableford score of 85.
The British Amputee and Les Autres Sports Association was represented by Andy Gardiner of Banbury GC (Hcp 6, leg amputee), Mike Wraight of Foxhills GC (Hcp 10, leg amputee) and Richard Saunders (Hcp 17, Phocomilia) and they came in second place with 83 points having played alongside local European Tour player Jamie Moul.The On Course Foundation, which brings together injured soldiers from the Armed Forces to play golf, was represented by John Dodds, Jason Evans and Stuart Ellis, who played with Luke Goddard, finishing in third place on count back with 83 points.
In fourth place was the English Deaf Society, who were represented by Kevin Whalley of Mill Green GC (Hcp 12), Michael Roberts of Knole Park (Hcp 6) and Marc Murphy of Birchwood Park (Hcp 6) and played alongside Graeme A Clarke.Sean Jacklin, son of former Open Champion Tony, was the final pro and he played with Peter Priscott (Hcp 28), Robert Paul (Hcp 7) and Darren Masters (Hcp 16) of the Society of One Armed Golfers. They amassed 70 points.
Jacklin was among the many players who were quick to sing the praises of the disabled golfers who played at Stoke by Nayland, saying: “They are more talented than half of the guys on The European Tour or the PGA Tour. The fact that they can hit the ball so far using just one arm or on one leg is absolutely unbelievable.”
Keenan, meanwhile, tweeted his admiration for his playing partner Bembenek, saying, “Wow! Amazing. Great to see what can be overcome!!”
To watch a BBC News report about the Disabled Pro-Am, please click here.