The Paragolfers, including amputees and blind athletes, will show the skills demonstrated at last week's inaugural Pilot Travel Center /Flying J Amputee Long Drive Championship at Tennessee National Golf Course in Loudon, Tennessee.
"With Mesquite as the renowned home of Long Drive Golf, we hope to grow this aspect of a sport which is the top rehabilitative activity for athletes," said Dean Jarvis, founder of the Amputee Long Drive event from Knoxville, Tennessee. "We've seen Mesquite’s events on national TV and know that as a Long Drive venue, it will attract some of the top golfers in the country and eventually the world."
The star of the first Amputee World Long Drive Championship was Jared Brentz, who won the Open and Multiple amputee division with a drive of 367 yards. Alan Gentry, of the North American One-Armed Golfers Association from Louisville, won two divisions.
According to Jarvis, the Long Drive competition was complimented by a demonstration by David Meador, of the U.S. Blind Golf Association, and Brad Clayton, a PGA Master Teaching Professional. One of the highlights of the Select Shot Scramble was when Clayton, an arm amputee, stuck his approach shot close to the pin on a Par 3 and tapped in for an unassisted birdie at the Tennessee National course.
There was a technical and science component as well, with displays of adaptive sports equipment for amputees. Jarvis said a display by White House Science Fair project winner, Easton LaChappelle, included a mind-controlled prosthetic arm (using brain wave concentration and eye blinks), showed a glimpse of the future for adaptive sport athletes.
"We hope to see the growth of premier sporting events for athletes bouncing back from a severe difficulty, such as a war injury, birth defect or accident, to compete against the top athletes of similar challenge," said Bryan Dangerfield, director of Mesquite NV Athletics & Leisure Services. "We also want to provide opportunities for recreational adaptive sport athletes and those who want to eventually compete at a higher level."
Dangerfield said there is a local organizing committee consisting of experienced Long Drive Championship staff from Mesquite who will manage the event.
The event will be free and open to the public. Spectators, participants, volunteers and sponsors may find additional information posted at www.amputeelongdrivechampionship.com andwww.MesquiteNV.gov or facebook page for "Mesquite NV Sports and Event Complex."