Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers sent ESPN’s Jason Wilde a text last week.
“There’s no story, dude. He’s an amazing story. I was just golfing with a friend of mine.”
Rodgers met World Blind Golf Champion Jeremy Poincenot on Sunday at Pelican Hill Golf Club in Newport Beach, Calf. Poincenot was there representing the Challenged Athletes Foundation and speaking at the annual ROTH Conference.
— Jeremy Poincenot (@JeremyPoincenot) March 14, 2016
And Rodgers is right. Although he took time to get to know Poincenot and help him line up a shot, it’s Poincenot that’s the story.
We went one-on-one with the 26-year-old San Diego native in January, who told us about the rare genetic condition that took his sight when he was 19 years old. By 20, he became the world’s best blind golfer.
His first round out after losing his sight? He shot a 99.
So, how does he do it, exactly? With the help of his father, he told us.
On the course, Poincenot’s dad functions as both his caddie and his eyes. He tells his son the length of the hole and then they discuss which club to use.
“He’ll point in the direction where he wants me to hit the shot. He points down a line and I’m not able to see exactly where he’s pointing, but I get a sense of which direction to hit it,” Poincenot said.
After a few practice swings, his dad stands directly behind him, which is something caddies are prohibited from doing in fully-sighted golf. Then, he tells his son to angle a little more right or left depending on the hole.
“For putts, I’ll walk the amount of paces or yards it is from the ball to the hole, and feel with my feet if it’s uphill and breaking left to right,” Poincenot said. “I go back to my dad and confirm ‘uphill, breaking left to right’ and he’ll either agree or disagree.’ I take practice strokes with that in mind.”
Take time to read Poincenot’s story. You’ll find that even more impressive than his golf game is his ability to turn tragedy into triumph.