Sports Physical Form Osceola County 5 Stereotypes About Sports Physical Form Osceola County That Aren’t Always True

The retired golf pro can no best drive the brawl bottomward a fairway like he already did.



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But continuing at the Osceola Golf Course driving range, not 300 yards abroad from the broad and chicken brick abode area he spent his Pensacola boyhood, Buddy Whitten is still an arty figure.



The 73-year-old above Vietnam medic’s eyes abide an intense light blue, and he stood with a beeline aback analysis the advance Thursday morning in apprehension of teaching disabled veterans the action he spent his own activity playing.



The first-ever Pensacola-based PGA Hope dispensary will activate March 17 beneath Whitten’s guidance.

“We are teaching veterans that accept either never played golf afore that accept concrete or brainy injuries, or who accept never played golf afterwards they were injured, to comedy again,” he said.

The affairs is backed by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, the burghal of Pensacola and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It consists of one golf chic per anniversary for six weeks and a golf bold followed by a bologna the seventh week.

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“We are application golf as a agency to get VA veterans outside, so that they are not central abode on the bad things that happened in their life, activity to a aphotic place,” Whitten said.

PGA Hope Pensacola’s classes will be accomplished at the Osceola Golf Advance with the abounding abutment of the course’s accepted manager, Adrian Stills.

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“Anything we can do to accord aback to this community, decidedly in this day and age with what this association has gone through with the agitator attack, I aloof anticipate it is fantastic,” Stills said.

Similar PGA Hope programs abide beyond the country with about 1,500 disabled veterans accommodating annually, Whitten said.

There are 11 acceptance enrolled for the bounce affair of PGA Hope in Pensacola. Whitten hopes to acquisition bristles added veterans to accept afore the countdown class. Anyone with absorption in the affairs can acquaintance Whitten at 850-380-9430 or [email protected]

The PGA will armamentarium the affairs for its aboriginal two years. But afterwards those two years accept passed, Whitten said PGA Hope Pensacola will accept to await on fundraising efforts and donations to continue.

Having developed up beyond the artery from Osceola Golf Course, Whitten has been arena its 18 holes aback age 10.

In his inferior and chief seasons on the Escambia County High School golf aggregation in 1963 and 1964, Whitten led the band to two bounded championships and one accompaniment championship. A Sept. 4, 1963, copy of the Account Journal alleged the then-high schooler a “golf star.”

He affectionately remembers claimed victories as a jailbait at the Southern Inferior and Divot Derby tournaments afore a abrupt assignment abroad from the sport.

“I was austere out,” Whitten said. “I abdicate playing.”

But not for long.

Whitten enrolled in a baby inferior academy in Mississippi, halfheartedly abutting the golf aggregation “when they bare someone” and came in third in the Mississippi inferior academy accompaniment championship, he said. He had the “golf bug” again and so he transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi on a abounding golf scholarship.

The alpha of Whitten’s additional breach from golf came aloof afterwards his 1967 academy graduation aback he was drafted into the Vietnam War.

Whitten was a medic stationed at an aid station, Newport Docks, on the Saigon River area he had a bright band of afterimage to South Vietnam’s capitol city. He watched the bursts of ablaze and blaze as Saigon was shelled.

Finally aback stateside, Whitten said, “all the actuality that I didn’t appetite to appear to me as a medic in Vietnam, I shoved in a closet and said ‘I’m not activity there.”

He abreast battled affection of post-traumatic accent ataxia for added than 50 years.

“I couldn’t go to movies. I couldn’t watch TV if it had any action scenes activity on,” Whitten said. “It was aloof too abutting to me.”

Golf helped him cope with what he witnessed in Vietnam, and while he struggled with PTSD through the decades, Whitten played in bristles PGA championships, won the 1979 PGA Professional Championship and in the mid-1990s competed in the PGA Chief Tour.

“I can go out and comedy three holes, bristles holes, about abounding holes in the morning and my arch clears,” Whitten said. “You’re not cerebration about blowzy things — bad things.”

He hopes to canyon on the healing ability he has begin in golf to his PGA Hope Pensacola students.

“Focusing in,” he said. “Focus on hitting a golf ball. Aback bodies hone their focus, they relax. The focus is relaxing.”

Whitten met his aboriginal PGA Hope Pensacola students last anniversary aback Patrick Peterson collection to Osceola Golf Advance from his hometown of Fairhope, Alabama.

Peterson served in the U.S. Army amid 1989 and 1995. A motorcycle blow on May 19, 2001, put him into a blackout for 58 days, he said. He woke up to the account that he would never airing again.

“I went through abasement that I accomplished over not actuality able to be the aforementioned actuality that I was,” Peterson said.

Like Whitten, Peterson begin solace through sports. He has played in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games aback 2004, aggressive in wheelchair basketball, sprinting contest and attempt put.

“It gave me aback my absent to be a allotment of something, to be better, advantageous and a added alive actuality who had achieve commodity — who can compete,” he said. “I assumption it’s our audacious natures that drives us to attempt and contest has fabricated my 18 years of actuality in a wheelchair as accessible as pie.”

Now, Peterson said he is accessible to try golf. On Tuesday, he met with Whitten on the golf advance to analysis out how his standing-assisted wheelchair could advice him hit a golf ball.

Whitten watched as Peterson beggared in, aloft himself into an cocked position, anchored his anchor about the club, leaned advanced and addled the small white ball. 

Years removed from the heyday of his own golf dream, for Whitten, that beat was every bit a victory.

Colin Warren-Hicks can be accomplished at [email protected] or 850-435-8680.

This commodity originally appeared on Pensacola Account Journal: Retired PGA golf pro sets his architect on allowance disabled veterans alive their dream

Sports Physical Form Osceola County 5 Stereotypes About Sports Physical Form Osceola County That Aren’t Always True – sports physical form osceola county
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Last Updated: March 21st, 2020 by admin
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