ENDICOTT, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – In less than 2 weeks, events surrounding the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open golf tournament will get underway, including a pair of Pro-Ams.
This year, the Thursday Pro-Am will include a local amateur who’s using his game to raise awareness.
Logan Knowles of Horseheads walks differently and speaks differently. He was born with cerebral palsy and has spent his life upending people’s expectations.
“I had golf clubs when I was in a walker and couldn’t even walk. So, I’ve been golfing since before I could walk,” he says.
In fact, Logan’s parents were told when he was 18 months old that he would never walk without a walker. Now, he’s walking 18 holes.
He and his father Bill recently played a practice round at En-Joie Golf Club, home of the annual Dick’s Sports Goods Open, a stop on the PGA Champions Tour.
Tournament Director John Karedes tells NewsChannel 34 that the open is beyond excited to see what Logan can do on the golf course. Logan says golf is an inclusive sport.
“Somebody with a disability can move up a couple tees because they can’t hit it as far. That makes the playing field even. So I can go out with my friends and compete with them and not feel like I was at a disadvantage.”
Another sport that Knowles excels at is downhill skiing. He got his start with Greek Peak Adaptive Snow sports and now is in the development program for the U.S. alpine paralympic team with the hopes of qualifying for the 2026 Paralympic Games in Italy.
Besides the rewards of competing and winning, Knowles says his goal is to demonstrate all of his capabilities and the abilities of others.
“I’ve been able to educate so many people through sport about my condition and I feel a lot of people can do it that way. Because they realize that we’re here for the same purpose, the same cause, to go out there and have fun and play your best.”
Knowles says he usually shoots in the 80’s but recently broke 40 on the front nine for the first time.
And people would be foolish to underestimate him. He may be a scratch golfer in no time.
You can follow Knowles’s efforts on his website http://LKnowlesski.com.