INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — You don’t have to know a thing about golf to understand hitting a golf ball straight takes some practice.
Hitting it long and setting a record requires some skill.
And hitting a golf ball while wearing prosthetics takes more than practice.
Evan Mathias is a graduate student at Marian University Indianapolis … and a golf fanatic who has worn prosthetics most of his life.
“I had congenital defects, basically no limbs. They basically did reconstructive surgeries. I had a couple of toes,” Mathias said.
Mathias played college golf at Marian and won the Georgia State Amputee Golf Tournament three years in a row.
A few weeks back, he was invited to The ParaLong Drive Cup in Mesquite, Nevada.
“I had seen it the last three or four years. Just kind of out there, had some friends I had met at other amputee tournaments that were going it,” Mathias said.
He had not trained for the event and borrowed a driver. The clubs used at those events are not standard golf clubs.
His record came on the first day of the three-day event.
“I knew it was long when I hit it,” Mathias said. “I hit the ball 398 yards on one of my shots on the first day.”
It was the third-longest drive recorded in North America by an amputee and the longest for anyone without knees.
“So, the record that I beat was the above-knee amputee record I think it was 330 (yards) before I beat it.”
His reward was a huge trophy belt.
“Yeah, I get to keep it. It is different. It is different than any other trophy I have won at a tournament. I think it is cool to have all the sponsors on here.”
The drive could change the trajectory of his career. His undergraduate degree is exercise science, and he’s working on a master’s degree in pastoral counseling. Mathias said he ultimately would like to work with fellow amputees on golf courses.