PGA Distinguised Service Award
By new2thegame on 8/7/08
By Mallory, oobgolf intern
Not many people have the opportunity to play on the PGA Tour, even fewer have the honor of receiving the PGA Distinguished Service Award. In fact, only twenty reside in this prestigious group. The award, the highest honor given by the PGA of America, has been given to Arnold Palmer, Bob Hope, Jack Nicklaus, and Gerald Ford to name a few. The recipient this year is a 58 year old New Jersey native, Dennis Walters.
Walters never got the chance to play on the PGA Tour because of a severe golf cart injury that paralyzed him at the age of 24. Before his accident, the promising golfer attended North Texas State University on a golf scholarship. He was also the only player to win the State Public Links Junior Championship, the New Jersey State Junior, and the State Caddie Championship (all in 1967). After being told by doctors that he would never golf again, Walters got angry and sought to prove them wrong. After months of rehab that is exactly what he did, becoming one of the best trick-shot artists in the golf world. So although Walters never saw his dream come true, he has joined an even more elusive club and has inspired many people along the way.
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Not to seem sarcastic, but what the heck does Walters do with all the dogs in his bag? Or are they headcovers?
Whatever.... Good for Dennis Walters! If he had not been given the PGA award, they should have made up one for him!!
A friend of mine in Louisville, Kentucky, Buddy Demling, a trick shot artist, never made it on the "Tour", but was elected into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame for all the "promotional efforts" he made for the golfing industry. Although not handicapped, or the caliber of a tour professional, he wanted to do everything within his capabilities to show kids and adults alike what fun golf could be, even if you were not a professional. He, like Walters, was in love with and dedicated his life to golf.
Funny. I just met him about a week ago - my pro Wayne Warms gives him lessons. The poor guy has to be strapped onto his cart and swing almost all arms. He hit the ball well though... probably a 200 yard driver in that condition is truly amazing.
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