Jenny Abela

Biography

Jenny started playing golf in 2000. Her husband Peter was dying of cancer and she needed an occasional relief from the stress.
Jenny is still playing golf. However, the sport has gone from being an outlet for grief to being an important and positive part of her life.
Such a progression might be routine in a well-sighted person but,  Jenny is blind.
Jenny was persuaded to take up golf by Vision Australia stalwart and volunteer bus-driver, Brian Turner. Shortly afterwards, Jenny found herself taking lessons from Eddie Emerson, a golfing teacher based at St Michael’s Golf Club. She recalls the faltering start with amusement. For example, when she was first handed a putter, she struck an over-the-shoulder pose that might have been used by Greg Norman to blast a ball down the fairway.
16 years later, Jenny has a travel diary that records her many golfing trips all over Australia and as far afield as Japan.  Jenny is still taking lessons from Eddie, whom Jenny describes as a “marvellous man.”
She now has a shelf full of trophies
The obvious question: “How does a vision-impaired person play golf?” While sighted golfers have a caddie to assist with advice on club selection and the lay of the land, the blind golfer’s caddie is also a guide. The guide will perform the additional duties of positioning the ball and positioning the golfer. The guide’s advice on topography has to be a lot more detailed and the teamwork has to be at the highest level.
The thrill of competition and the many light-hearted social moments have convinced Jenny that golf is a sport that could and should be enjoyed by vision-impaired people. The trophies on the shelf are nice to have, but the biggest prize has been the friendships collected.

Inspiration

Her Husband

Nearest Golf Club

St Michael's Golf Club


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