Blind golfer Gilford aiming for world glory

Blind golfer Andy Gilford is aiming for world glory
Blind golfer Andy Gilford is aiming for world glory

A blind golfer from Worthing has qualified for the World Championships and is hoping to improve on his growing success in the sport.

Andy Gilford, who has been registered blind since birth, has enjoyed a successful career - recently qualifying for a shot at world glory in Rome later this year.

Gilford was part of the Rest of the World team that took on North America in the Vision Cup, won the Irish Open in his sight category, as well as winning the West Hove foursomes competition with partner Tim Ingram to cap an impressive 2017.

The 45 year-old first picked up a club when introduced to the sport by his friends.

Gilford struggled with a number of other sports due to his sight.

He said: “I was never any good at sports in school because of my sight - as I’ve been registered blind since birth. I used to carry the golf bags for my mates that used to play and they said to me that I should give it a go.

“They helped me to line up my ball and watch where the ball went, they also helped line me up on the greens when putting. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to join blind golf in 1998.”

Andy’s wife, Melanie, acts as his guide but funds have always proved a problem for the pair.

A lack of funding for the duo has forced Andy to miss out on a number of international competitions in the past.

He added: “Your guide is your eyes on the golf course, so it’s the cost of paying for two people and that’s why I have had to pass my place to the next person because I couldn’t afford it. Sponsorship would help with my funding for international events and anyone sponsoring me will get exposure’m in the media. It would be great to play in all the international events, competing across the world against some of the best players on the planet.”

If you are interested in sponsoring Andy, contact andygilford28@hotmail.co.uk for more details.

Andy is also seeking funding ahead of the World Championships in Rome later this year. Visit www.gofundme.com/world-champs-international-events to donate.