Host Shan Coughlin welcomes Alan Gentry from Louisville Kentucky, a one-armed golfer and Paralong Drive champion, to this edition of Amateur Golf Talk LIVE! Alan is also one of the co-founders and Director of the North American One-Armed Golfer Association, now in their 15th year, a real estate investor and one heck of a nice guy. He is currently getting ready to compete in the Paralong Drive Cup coming up in Loudon Tennessee at Tennessee National on July 9, 2015 where he will join 10 other competitors for this awesome event. Alan has won several golf and long drive competitions over the years and will be looking to extend that list. The Paralong Drive Cup is one of many events being held across the country to bring recognition to the growing sport of Paralong Drive. This newer sport, just two years old, is the brainchild of above-the-leg amputee Dean Jarvis who hopes to bring it all the way to the Para-Olympics.
As Alan talks with Shan, she asks about an event he has just participated in – The NAOAGA Championships in Louisville Kentucky, a four day event of stroke play followed by match play. There were three divisions this year including the traditional “Unassisted” where golfers use one arm from tee to hole. Jesse Florkowski from Alberta Canada won this year. There is also the “Assisted” division where competitors use a prosthetic or aide that attaches to the club and Claus Slavski from Ontario Canada won this year. And they added a new division in 2015, a “Net Division” for newer players or those who want to compete with their handicap. Alan said this was very exciting and allowed more players to be competitive and to participate.
Alan’s story is very inspirational. He was a very good junior golfer but decided not to play in college even though he had the opportunity and was ranked #2 at the time in Louisville. Following college, he went to work and at 28 years of age, was involved in a drilling accident which took his right arm. As he was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, he told the staff “lookout Don Fightmaster, I’m coming after you.” They had no idea who this was but word got around the hospital and then to a local pro who knew both Don and Alan. When Alan was growing up, Don Fightmaster was a World one-armed champion in Alan’s home town. Alan told Shan that as tournaments would come, they wouldn’t follow the pros, they would follow “this one-armed golfer that hit it so awesomely”. Well, that PGA Professional who heard Alan’s story and who knew him and Don, put them together and together, they have done a lot including create the NAOAGA and the Fightmaster Cup, a Ryder Cup styled event which pits the European one-armed golfers against the Americans. In 2016, it will be the 5th Fightmater Cup.
Hear Alan’s entire interview with Shan by clicking the player above and hear his predictions for the Paralong Drive Cup which includes hitting it far without getting hurt. You can also download this interview for listen on demand and share this very interesting and inspirational story of good golf and good events. Those looking for more information on Paralong Drive and One-Arm golf, go to their websites at amputeelongdrive.com by CLICKING HERE.