Orléans deaf and blind athlete Kevin Frost is not about to let the COVID pandemic slow him down. Despite the many challenges he faces, Frost managed to play 30 rounds of golf over the summer including two rounds at the Chippewa Creek Golf Course in Hamilton, where he finished second in the Ontario Visually Impaired Golf Championship on Aug. 15 and 16.
The result is that much more impressive when you consider that visually impaired golfers were allowed to participated in the championship remotely due to the pandemic. That means they could golf on their home course during the two-day event and their scores would count as their tournament result.
|Visually impaired golfer Kevin Frost poses with his service dog Lewis and some of the hardware he’s won since taking up the game three years ago. PHOTO SUPPLIED
The same system was used a week later for the Handa International North American Championships. The event replaced the Handa iCloud World Visually Impaired Championship, which is normally held in South Africa every year. Because of the pandemic, the organizers decided to hold regional open events in North America and Europe with the golfers able to participate remotely from their home courses.
Frost’s home course is the Pine View Golf Course on Blair Road.
Despite playing his worse two rounds of the summer, he still managed to finish in 11th place.
“It was horrible,” Frost laments “I played at Anderson Links a week later and shot eight strokes better. If I could have used that score I would have finished second.”
With the outdoor season all but over, Frost plans to stay on top of his game by practice at the indoor golf facility at Pine View while working on the technical aspect of his game at GolfTech. Visually impaired golfers play with the aid of a coach who provides them with the distance to the flag stick. From their they depend on feel and consistency using each of the clubs in their bag.
Golfing has been a welcome distraction from the pandemic for Frost, although it has presented some unique challenges.
“Lewis can’t read the arrows on the floors,” Frost points out, referring to his guide dog Lewis and trying to shop in stores that have directional arrows on their floors.
Frost depends on the support of a number of local businesses for their sponsorship and fundraising efforts. SKINS Derma Care plans to raise money for Frost at their three Ottawa locations in November including their Orléans location on Innes Road.