The Truro Golf Club is hosting the ISPS Handa Canadian Open Blind Golf Championships that will bring golfers from across the world to town from Aug. 14 to 17.
This will be swiftly followed by the Brian MacLeod Memorial tourney at the Mountain Golf Course on Aug. 19 and 20, honouring a well-known local blind golfer who passed away three years ago after teeing off around the world.
“Brian MacLeod was actually the person who started the Nova Scotia Blind Golf Association and he was from Truro. He used to do the organization of these – that is why a lot of [these tournaments] are in Truro,” said golfer Boyde Stewart, who was friends with MacLeod for 10 years.
He said that blind golfers play in three categories: B1 for totally blind players, B2 for those having five per cent of vision and B3 with those having 10 per cent.
Stewart himself is a B3 player, saying that his sight was likely damaged from a toxoplasmosis infection caused by a cat scratch, a rare occurrence.
Every golfer has a guide to line up the ball for them. As most B3 golfers like Stewart can see the ball on the green, their guides will watch where the ball goes.
All told, roughly 60 players from Canada and abroad will be in Truro next week for both tournaments.
When asked what he enjoyed most about playing a Blind Golf tournament, Stewart’s response was unequivocal.
“[It’s] the camaraderie, the friendships we develop. We train all over the world, I’ve been to tournaments in England and the States,” said Stewart. “Everyone has the same thing, they all have vision problems, no-one whines about it. We get together and forget what’s wrong.”
Visiting players will be housed at the local Best Western Glengarry Hotel on Willow Street. The Nova Scotia Blind Golf Association will cover hotel charges for players who partake in both tournaments between Aug. 14 and 21. For players only coming for the Canadian Open, hotels will be covered from Aug. 14 to 18.
The Milford Lions Club is picking up golfers landing at Stanfield Airport and D & G Taxi will take them back there after their tournaments wrap up. Ride shares to and from the golf course will be organized.
For any queries or more information, please contact Boyde Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org.