Deaf Mark set for world challenge

DEAFNESS is no handicap for golfer Mark Forrest. For the 40-year-old Lancastrian has been selected by England for the fifth time to play in the biennial World Deaf Golf Championship.

Mark proudy shows off his England bag

Mark proudly shows off his England Golf  golf bag at Oak Royal

And on July 12 he will jet to the United States to compete against 14 other international six-man teams at the Jack Nicklaus designed Grand Traverse Resort in Michigan.

The five handicap member of Oak Royal Golf and Country Club, in Withnell, has already represented his country in Canada, Australia and Scotland but had to rule himself out of travelling to Japan in 2012 through lack of funding.

“England Golf sponsor us and provide a golf bag and shirts but we have to pay our own way and I simply could not afford to go on the last occasion,” reflected the father of three boys who lives in Clayton-le-Woods.

“But this time I’m taking Taylor, my youngest at 14 months, and wife Colette to America,” said the community development officer for Preston-based Lancashire Deaf Services.

Mark’s been crowned England Deaf National champion three times in the last decade but it will be all about the team in Michigan.

“We’ve never won the world title so we’ll being doing our best. The six players will be picked from a squad of eight with the top four gross scores counting over 72-holes,” he explained.

But Colne-born Mark, the only Lancastrian making the trip, enjoyed success at team level last year when he helped England A to win the European Deaf Championship in Finland.

He took up golf a quarter of a century ago, taking an eight-year break for family reasons.

He admits he has a self-made swing. “It’s unorthodox but it works. I driving well and I’m good a scrambling,” he said.

His previous clubs were Fishwick Hall, Preston and Leyland and he joined Oak Royal this season.

“It’s a very challenging nine-hole course, especially on windy days,” he added.

 

England Golf is committed to increasing the number of deaf and disabled people playing golf. If you are interested in getting started then contact  www.englandgolf.org

 

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