Late Mayo’s Amputee Golf Event Still Going Strong

A unique golfing event is taking place in the Welsh valleys.

If you take a close look at each of the more than 50 golfers taking part at the Bryn Meadows resort near Ystrad Mynach, you will see that every one is missing some part of their bodies.

That’s because it is the annual Amputee Golf event, organised by the British Amputee Golf Association and founded by the late Brian Mayo, with golfers from all over the world taking part.

The BBC website interviewed one of the players, American John Novak, who lost an arm more than two decades ago after an accident. Novak, who uses a prosthetic arm, said:

“I was doing a power line inspection and I got electrocuted. I fell 60 feet into the water and some fishermen pulled me out, they saved my life.”

The tournament was first started in 1989 by Brian Mayo, who lost both his legs. He had licked a golf ball contaminated by weed killer and contracted meningitis. Mayo died in 1999 but his family has carried on the tradition of the tournament.

Apparently, Mayo was in the habit of picking up his golf ball off the green, licking it and then wiping it clean before taking a putt. That incident left him in a coma for 11 days and doctors said it was due to the weed killer.

The BBC quoted Mayo’s son Gary as saying that his dad was inspired by World War II pilot Douglas Bader, who also lost both his legs. Gary said:

“My dad read a book (about Bader) after he had his legs amputated and also met Bader and he inspired my dad. He was my dad’s hero. He was back on the course six weeks after he came out of hospital using his Mercedes as a golf cart!”

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