Friday, May 20, 2011

Casey Martin, 10 Years Later


Ten years ago, one of the most popular names in golf wasn't Tiger Woods or Ernie Els. It wasn't David Duval, Phil Mickelson or Justin Leonard. The name was Casey Martin, and the reason was a point or argument.

Casey Martin was a stud at Stanford, and would eventually become a PGA Tour member, but he will forever be remembered for suffering from Klippel-Trénaunay-Weber syndrome, a birth defect in his right leg. Martin sued the PGA Tour because he wanted to use a golf cart, and it really turned the golf world upside down. A lot of big names in golf opposed the idea, speaking up against Martin and his golf cart.

At the time, I was in 11th grade, and was hoping to play college golf myself. A east Texas kid, I didn't know much, but I quickly realized how ridiculous it was that names like Arnold Palmer were speaking up against Martin, saying it was unfair that he might be using a golf cart instead of walking like the rest of the tour.

Ten years later, it still makes me shake my head. You know what's a lot tougher than using a golf cart instead of walking 18 holes? Having a leg and a half instead of two. Martin used to talk about how his career could end if he stepped in a hole with his right leg, because it was that fragile and weak. But he kept on pursuing his dream because he loved the game and was damn good at it. And the whole time, there weren't guys cheering on the sidelines for him because he was doing something exceptional. For the most part, fellow pros were upset he was out there riding in a golf cart because he was suffering from a disability.

In my opinion, the whole Casey Martin saga was one of the darkest moments in golf history. People can sit and debate how much of a "sport" golf is day in and day out until the sun sets, but the fact is, a guy with an extremely brutal disability was able to compete if given the chance, and it never seemed that his peers wanted to give him that chance. If Casey Martin would have been given the option of having a fully functional leg, but the rest of the PGA Tour would be using golf carts instead of him, he would have signed off as quick as his hand would move. But that wasn't an option. Sometimes we dance with who brought us, and unfortunately, his right leg was his ugly date he had to tango alongside.

Over his career, Martin made 20 of 42 cuts on the PGA Tour, highlighted by his 2000 season that included 14 of 29 cuts made. Now the coach at Oregon, the good news is Martin will be able to give advice to players that might not have been implanted in some of the players growing up alongside Casey. He can teach about equality and understanding and playing your game, not worrying about how everyone else is getting around.

It sure wasn't easy for Casey, but he did it. And still to this day his actions impress me more than any major of Tiger's, or any PGA Tour win of Phil's. He did all of that on one leg, with everyone else screaming at him in a sport you're supposed to be quiet at. That's guts.

5 comments:

diane said...

As a Pac-10 guy, you should know it's Stanford University, not University of Stanford. Was the error an intentional dig for some reason?

ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 08.10
nike free, christian louboutin outlet, chanel handbags, nike outlet, louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, kate spade outlet, coach outlet, longchamp outlet, burberry outlet online, kate spade handbags, coach factory outlet, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, tiffany and co, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet, louboutin outlet, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, longchamp, michael kors outlet, coach outlet, tiffany jewelry, gucci outlet, coach purses, oakley sunglasses, replica watches, prada handbags, louboutin, oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, tory burch outlet, true religion jeans, burberry, michael kors, nike air max, prada outlet, michael kors outlet

ninest123 Ninest said...

nike blazer, ralph lauren pas cher, vanessa bruno, ralph lauren uk, ray ban uk, abercrombie and fitch, hogan, vans pas cher, hollister pas cher, north face, michael kors, michael kors, lululemon, converse pas cher, tn pas cher, nike air max, hermes, nike air max, air max, hollister, michael kors, nike free run uk, air jordan pas cher, timberland, longchamp pas cher, mulberry, true religion jeans, louboutin pas cher, oakley pas cher, true religion outlet, nike air max, new balance pas cher, nike free, true religion jeans, sac guess, sac longchamp, burberry, air force, north face, ray ban pas cher, nike roshe run, lacoste pas cher

ninest123 Ninest said...

nfl jerseys, mont blanc, oakley, soccer shoes, reebok shoes, north face outlet, bottega veneta, herve leger, baseball bats, longchamp, new balance, mac cosmetics, nike roshe, insanity workout, vans shoes, hollister, ghd, jimmy choo shoes, p90x workout, mcm handbags, chi flat iron, nike trainers, north face outlet, nike roshe, iphone 6 cases, lululemon, wedding dresses, soccer jerseys, instyler, nike air max, beats by dre, valentino shoes, nike huarache, asics running shoes, ferragamo shoes, hollister, timberland boots, abercrombie and fitch, birkin bag, giuseppe zanotti, celine handbags, babyliss

ninest123 Ninest said...

ugg boots, ray ban, louboutin, hollister, juicy couture outlet, montre pas cher, karen millen, coach outlet, toms shoes, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, wedding dresses, juicy couture outlet, ralph lauren, thomas sabo, pandora jewelry, replica watches, ugg boots, vans, converse, swarovski, bottes ugg, ugg boots, hollister, supra shoes, swarovski crystal, pandora charms, lancel, links of london, ugg boots uk, pandora charms, ugg boots, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, nike air max, uggs on sale, ugg pas cher, converse outlet, marc jacobs, gucci
ninest123 08.10