Seeing The Game Through His Eyes

USGA supports programs for blind golfers

By Michael Lippert
December 19, 2010

Blind golfer Carlos Ramirez (right) gets help lining up a putt from Sertoma Club voluneer Rich Schlueter at Cherokee Ridge Golf Course in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Michael Lippert/USGA)

One in five Americans has a disability. More than almost any other sport, golf provides exceptional recreational, competitive and rehabilitative opportunities for those with disabilities. 

With the belief that golf can enrich and empower people of all abilities, the USGA supports programs that serve blind golfers, amputee golfers and individuals with developmental challenges. For some of the more than 50 million Americans with disabilities, golf has the power to change lives.   

Carlos Ramirez wasn’t able to watch his putt on the first hole, but he had the same lament as many typical golfers.  

“Sometimes I hit it too hard, the next shot I leave it too short,” Ramirez said.  

Ramirez is one of 20 members of the golf team at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. Ramirez was born in Mexico and has been unable to see since birth. He moved to Colorado at age 2.  

Considered an excellent student with a particularly keen sense of humor, Ramirez was determined to learn to play golf.  

“A lot of people think totally blind people can’t get out on the golf course and play golf,” Ramirez said. “I learned how to play mini-golf when I was a little kid, and I wanted to learn how to play real golf. I got interested and I signed up for it.” 

Since 1997, the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind Golf Team has operated with the help of USGA funding and the support of USGA Fellows, who volunteer to help Ramirez and others with the intricate process that each stroke entails.  

For each shot, Ramirez receives help lining up his feet by putting his toes on his cane. A volunteer then aligns his club with the ball before he swings. For Ramirez the game is not always about making birdies. It’s the simple pleasure of golf that makes the experience enjoyable.  

“I know I may not hit the ball so well on every shot,” Ramirez said. “It doesn’t matter too much to me, though. It’s so much fun to get out of the dorm and experience the great weather.”  

Ramirez plans to attend a local university after he graduates. While not sure exactly what he wants to do for a career, Carlos envisions himself starting a small business with some of his classmates.  

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The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

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Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

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IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website,, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit

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Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit

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Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit

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