Who Says You Must Be Able to See to Play Golf?
How many golfers can say they shoot in the 80’s---for 18 holes of course? National Golf Foundation statistics state only 1 in 4 can do that consistently. Did you know one of those making up that 25% is a Masters Leadership Program (MLP) Graduate? And would you believe he has been legally blind for over 25 years?
Yes, Bruce Hooper, one of the world’s best blind golfers, lives right here in San Antonio and is a proud graduate of MLP Class XII. Back in his high school heydays, he was one of the stars on the Alamo Heights Golf Team that won the State Tournament in the early 1960’s. In 2006, Bruce won the World Blind Golf Championship in Tokyo, Japan, and holds the title to three Canadian Opens and 19 U.S. National Blind Golf Championships.
Bruce and his wife-coach, Judy, who serves as Bruce’s eyes on the course, have traveled all over the world playing in charity events supporting non-profits, having raised over $1M for the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind (SALB) alone. Awards like SA Business Journal’s “Spirit of Giving” and “Board Member of the Year” and the Gordon Hartman Foundation’s “Excellence in Caregiving” are just a few of the recent recognitions this non-profit, power couple have received.
“MLP is amazing.” says Bruce! “I met amazing people, amazing non-profits and amazing leaders in our community. Nowhere else can you get the exposure to the movers and shakers in our city and get connected to non-profits desperately seeking board members to ensure the longevity of their missions. You can’t do much better in matching need vs. resources.”
To further reinforce his give-back passion, Bruce is currently serving his second, six-year term on the SALB Governing Board and was a key player on last year’s CEO Search Committee that screened over 200 applications prior to making the final selection. Communities in Schools feeds another of his passions, mentoring high school students. As you might expect, he is also committed to blind golf, having co-founded American Blind Golf, a national non-profit devoted to encouraging visually-impaired individuals to take up the game.
Chalk one up for MLP and people who don’t let their physical challenges hold them back.