Having had the fortune of traveling around the world attending the best golf tournaments and having played with real figures like Jon Rahm, Sergio García or Manolo Piñero, who signs these lines had few experiences to live in this environment. Therefore, it was a blessing to have the possibility of playing a tournament with a blind person as a partner. The sensations experienced were indescribable.
The day before the celebration of Open daikin, which brought together a hundred adapted golfers from all over the world at the National Center of Madrid, a curious Pro-Am format tournament was held. But, instead of a professional and three amateurs, a disabled person was at the top of the team. In this case, Marc Oller was very funny on the tee of 1, with his impeccable golfer plant and his faithful guide Bernardo next door.
From there, everything was pure sport. Competitive to the maximum, he was adding birdies to the card and with his encouragement he spread to others. "I love seeing him on a golf course, because here he moves freely and has no limits," said his mother, one of his most faithful followers. Sorry, I have not commented yet that Marc is blind because of a degenerative disease that began to lose vision six years ago. Now, with only five percent, it barely distinguishes lights and shadows. "I used to carry a cane, but for a year I have my dog and it has changed my life," he acknowledges.
He was born in Madrid, of Catalan family, and has lived in France, United States and England, "but I already have a great accent to live in Jaca," he jokes. As I am also a Paralympic skier, in the Pyrenees I am in glory, ”he says with great passion. And it was precisely that desire to excel that led him into golf. Although he had given some balls as a child, he returned very recently when he realized that “the strongest kids were coming on the ski and I was not the fastest; However, in golf I am young and I have more possibilities, ”he acknowledges with his wide smile. Golf gives me life; It is a dream to feel competitive and notice that I improve every day ».
The need for a guide
As in other sports for the blind, such as athletics, we must have a guide to help with the orientation work. Well, as if from a co-driver of rallies will be, he is the one who is singing the distances and the peculiarities of what is found ahead: the meters to the hole, the dangers that are on the edge of the street, the slopes or falls around the greens … Then, with all that information and the routine worked a thousand times on the practice court, already get to put the ball where most amateurs with two healthy eyes do not. "Marc is an athlete, a wonder of nature," says Maria Corrales, founder of the Spanish Association of Golf for the Blind – and we have to take advantage of its quality so that this modality is developed in Spain. "
The main problem that is presented to them is that there are very few practitioners (only five) and that they are not protected by the sports structure of the ELEVEN"They consider that they do not form a significant mass of players and prefer to continue with their usual disciplines," says Corrales. Given this situation, he decided to create his own group and join the international association IGBA. Thus, since last year Spain is fully recognized and it is said that next year it will receive the first blind tournament sponsored by Handa. «It is an important patron and it will be great news to be under his cloak. It is always said that great figures are needed to take off sports and we have it with Oller. It is the Rahm of the blind ”, he concludes.
Thanks to the effort of Marc, Álex de Miguel and Raúl Fernández (This last Paralympic medalist in cycling and judo), the Madrid Golf Federation has opened a special school every Thursday. "For us it is a priority to facilitate things and help them improve so that they set an example to others who do not know him yet," explains Pablo Cabanillas, the person in charge.
When they do, they will surely not be able to leave. Feeling the flight of the ball and the noise it makes when embocar are a great motivation. Although it is not seen.
. (tagsToTranslate) golf (t) blind