Former baseball prodigy Manuel de los Santos was on the verge of becoming a Big league player with the Toronto Blue Jays…until he lost his leg in a motorcycle accident in 2003. One day Santos saw the movie, The Legend of Bagger Vance and noticed how similar the golf swing was to the baseball swing. It changed his life. So why is de los Santos different from thousands of other amputees who play golf? Unlike most, de los Santos doesn’t wear a prosthetic leg. He balances his weight on one leg, pounding the ball over 300 yards.

Manuel holds a golf handicap of 3, but carries a far greater physical handicap of just one leg. Despite his ‘disadvantage’, his golf game is sharp thanks to his belief in hard work, dedication, and passion.

“I decided to devote myself 100 percent to golf ” Santos said. “I felt ready to consider a new life and start a new struggle to get results.” When he took up the game, he hit 2,000 balls a day. A friend of his said he once saw Manuel practicing out of a sand bunker, came back that afternoon, and saw de los Santos in the exact same bunker, working on his short game like a tour professional.

After watching this film I was inspired. I’m sure you will be too.

Golf Tip From de los Santos

“Do 100 crunches a day to maintain a strong core. I have to hop through the swing to lessen the great momentum I produce at impact and a strong core is the key to my swing.”

People dog golfers all the time because of their supposed lack of athletic ability. People say it isn’t a sport, that it rivals bowling on the athletic checklist. These pessimists forget about guys like de los Santos. Golf is one of the few sports that can allow people to not only keep playing the game against all odds, but play it well enough to beat you and me. Of all the moves and golf tips and lessons and “Oh, what were you thinkings,” you have a game that can give a man like Manuel another shot at competition. –From Wei Under Par

“Ahh yes, I have one leg. When I hit ball, I forget my problem. In golf I feel like…superman.” When I feel bad, I go to the golf course, I find my second leg. I forget my problem.” –Manuel de los Santos

 

With that said, I will see you on the first tee.

Jiro Nakazaki, PGA
About Jiro Nakazaki
Jiro Nakazaki is a PGA Golf Professional and a full-time golf instructor and blogger with a background in psychology. He is a specialist in golf education and believes that a great golfer is built from the inside out. "It's easy to become a great golfer, if you have a strong golf education." Make sure to follow @Golfeneur on Twitter!

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