The eighth International Blind Golf World championships are being held at Belvoir Park Golf Club in Belfast Northern Ireland in August 2008.This event is staged every two years and Australia has been represented in every event since its inceptionn in Perth in 1994. Rosebud Country Club in Victoria hosted the event in 2004. Australia has supplied at least one world champion in each of the seven events staged since 1994 The International Blind Golf Association (IBGA) stages this event. IBGA has 13 member countries in Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Island, Germany, Sweden, Canada, USA, Japan, South Africa, South Korea and Spain. There are approximately 300 blind and vision impaired golfers throughout the member nations. Australia has 40 blind and vision impaired golfers who play on a regular basis and another 10 who play on an irregular basis.

Blind Golf is played under the normal rules of golf used by sighted players except that a blind golfer is allowed to ground a club in a hazard. Each golfer has a caddy (or guide) to assist them on the course -the golfer and their caddy form a team. Blind Golf is played in 3 sight categories ranging from a B1 who is totally blind to a B3 who is a golfer with a sight acuity of less than 6/60. Maximum handicaps for men/ladies are B1 56/63, B2 45/51 and B3 36/45. The lowest handicapped players worldwide are B1 28, B2 10 and B3 8.

Australia will be represented by 7 players in Belfast. Jenny McCallum from Western Australia will be defending her current Ladies net world championship won in Japan in 2006. The other members of the Australian team are David Blyth from Victoria (David is also the current IBGA President), Dianna Thiselton from South Australia, Gary Sargent from NSW, Darryl Evans from WA, Brian Gear from Vic and Herb Lane from WA-all assisted by their respective caddies.

The World Championships will be preceded by the British Open which is also being played in Belfast. All the Australian team are taking part in this event in preparation for the World Championships.

Can an Australian win another world championship?

Contacts:
David Blyth,
telephone: 03 95551984,
Mobile: 0409 325 984,
Email: dcblyth1@bigpond.com

Geoff Walsh,
Telephone: 03 98073706,
Email : jangeoff@bigpond.com