Hole In One: A Real Block Buster

The Bay Observer, May 2023 – Tim Nolan

At the PGA Golf Championship tournament last weekend Michael Block scored a hole-in-one on the par 3 15th hole at the Oak Hill Country Club. While remarkable, it was not exactly an unusual event for a pro golfer, after all it has happened many times before. What was unique is that he was able to see the green and the flag but he could not see the hole from the tee box. An underdog, he was jubilant, to say the least.

Now, imagine standing at a tee block, not being able to see the hole, flag or green? Try to imagine not being able to fully see the fairway, trees, grass or even the tee block on which you are standing. Well, that is what it was like for  Jacob Detmar, 18 of Brantford, last August during the practice round of the Ontario Visually Impaired Golf championship. Detmar, a novice who was there only to get some volunteer time for his high school credit, picked up a club and got a little practice then played with assistance from his grandfather Doug Fletcher. The hole-in-one was scored on the 160 yard par 3 second hole at the Greens of Renton Golf Club near Simcoe, Ontario.

Now that is a real Block Buster, if ever there was one!

Detmar, can claim being a part of a very elite “hole-in-one” club. For him, it is an 8-iron club. That club is now shared with Michael Block. What an honour.

What makes this truly possible is the, no pun intended, vision of blind and visually impaired golfers in Ontario, Canada and everywhere for a more accessible place in which to live around the world. Their vision is that being blind or visually impaired is an opportunity to come together through golf and demonstrate to others that anything is possible. This is what accessibility is all about.  People have come together to ensure the opportunity for blind and visually impaired people to golf is a reality. These include the golf clubs,  volunteer coaches, friends, family  and golfers everywhere.

Detmar, following his graduation from high school this June, will pick up more of the game and travel to Nova Scotia in August to play in the Blind Golf Canada championship then return to Brantford for his first crack at the Ontario championship. Detmar’s mother, Mandy, says that he will take a year off from school after graduation to figure out what he wants to do. If his prowess at golf is any indication, the sky’s the limit. And, with more opportunity through accessibility in so many ways, there are no limits to what Jacob Detmar can achieve. So, let’s keep up the effort, everyone, so more young people like Jacob Detmar can achieve their potential and become a true “Block Buster”!

Tim Nolan is a lifetime Hamiltonian, a former member of Ontario Visually Impaired Golfers (Ontario Blind Golf) and represents the Accessibility Hamilton Alliance (AHA)


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