Frisbee Golf Appeals To All
For some it's a relaxing way to spend an afternoon, for others it's a serious sport. Disc golf is a sport that combines precision and accuracy, but in Charlie's case, he relies on trust. Charlie Bauersfeld isn't your typical disc golfer.
"I have about four percent vision in my right eye and one percent in my left," said Bauersfeld.
Bauersfeld is blind. He has retinosa pigmentosa, a condition that will make his eyesight continually gets worse. Since he began disc golfing he's had to rely on his caddy, Annie Humphery to navigate the course.
"She's got a lot of patience, and he'll do what she tells him to do," said Chuck Lairdon, Bauersfeld's playing partner.
But seeing isn't necessarily believing. Bauersfeld had to overcome critics on the course."When I first started playing, a lot of people didn't believe I was legally blind. And then somebody would say 'there's that blind guy Charlie, and I said, what blind (guy)' ," said Bauersfeld.
Even in his first tournament, the competition couldn't believe what they saw.
"Well, the first hole the guy says your about 110 feet out and I threw it and it went in, he didn't believe I was blind, and he said from this point on you will not get accurate distance from me," said Bauersfeld.
"I saw the shot and I was playing with the advanced women, and I yelled over there and said "Hey, do you guys believe he's blind", and of course that didn't help matters much," said Humphrey. But Bauersfeld has still found success. He finished fifth in his age group at the World Championships in 2004. As a top amateur, Bauersfeld's skills are helping him travel the country.
"I've played in two World Championships, so I know guys from Coast to Coast" said Bauersfeld.
"You see him on the course and you just want to go throw with him, cause he's fun to be with, he's a nice guy," said Humphreys.
She counts out the distance and she also gives Bauersfeld a playing partner he can always count on.
"Every Saturday, Sunday, and after work, unless it's cold, he doesn't like the cold," said Humphrey.
"I just love playing disc golf and competing, its just like playing ball golf, all it takes it two or three great shots, and you can't wait to come back," said Bauerdfeld.
Charlie had never played in the Mid-America Open before. He said he's going to continue working at his game to shave some more strokes off his average.