A world-leading blind golfer from Morecombe is driving towards international success after securing a major sponsorship boost from Specsavers.
Thanks to the Morecombe store’s £2,000 sponsorship, Peter Osborne, 48, from Carnforth, is preparing to pack his clubs to compete in tournaments across the globe throughout 2014.
Registered as top three blind golfers in the world
Peter, who lives with his wife and three young children, is one of the top three registered blind golf players in the world and has a handicap of 11 and falling.
He is registered with Bull’s Eye Maculopathy, a genetic form of age-related macular dystrophy, which was discovered in 2003 during a routine check-up at Specsavers Holloway.
Peter’s faultless swing, expert putting and overwhelming love of competing have established him as one of disability sport’s most inspiring success stories.
Peter is at the top of the amateur sport even though he only took up golf around four years ago. However, he is not automatically entitled to funding or grants as blind golf is not due to become a Paralympic sport, despite golf being a high-profile new event at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Tour sponsorship is a timely celebration
So with ambitions to take part in competitions held as far and wide as South Africa, Australia and the United States in 2014, Morecombe Specsavers store director Stephanie Sewell says the tour sponsorship is a timely celebration of not only Peter’s success, but his 15 years as a Specsavers customer and contact lens wearer.
Stephanie says: ‘I’ve known all about Peter since he hit the national headlines in 2011 for hitting only the fifth hole-in-one ever recorded by a blind golfer in the world at Glenrothes in Fife.
‘He truly is an inspiration for blind and disabled sport so we’re honoured to be able to say he is a regular Specsavers customer. ‘We hope this sponsorship will help him continue to raise the profile of the sport and by doing so, encourage more and more visually impaired people into sport.’
Relying on peripheral vision only
As a result of his condition, Peter, who plays on the Scottish Disabled Golf Partnership and the European Disabled Golf Association tours while also competing in an array of British blind golf events, has virtually no central vision, relying upon his peripheral vision only.
He uses a bright yellow golf ball and describes his vision as ‘living in a small fuzzy world of about 30 to 50 yards’. Peter says: ‘I’m extremely grateful to Specsavers for this kind sponsorship. ‘Despite being among the very best in the world in my sport, having very limited sponsorship as well as a mortgage to pay has put my travel plans on hold.
Looking forward to competing across the globe
‘Thanks to Specsavers, I’m incredibly excited to be looking forward to competing across the globe and raising the profile of blind and disabled golf. ‘While I enjoy the competition of playing against blind golfers and those with other disabilities, I hope to provide inspiration to other blind and visually-impaired people, who have endured the same life-changing trauma as I have.
‘I am now working with disabled charities to encourage disabled people of all ages into sport.’ He adds: ‘In terms of golf, lining up is a problem, as picking a line is rather difficult when you cannot see the flag or the green. I use a range finder that allows me to pick out an object such as a large tree or a building directly behind the flag and fire away, hoping I have the right club.’
Read more about Peter, his results, charity work and Bull’s Eye Maculopathy.