Blind Golfer is a World Champion!
Zohar was blinded as a 26 year old soldier while attempting to diffuse a chemical bomb. Not allowing his blindness define him, Zohar has won the International Blind Golf Championship three times in a row! He and Venus are regular fixtures on the golf course.
Name: Zohar Sharon
Lives: Moshav Aviel
Work: Professional Golfer
Partner: Venus - Yellow Lab and Golden Retriever Mix
When an admiring spectator approached Zohar Sharon - a world champion blind golfer - and asked him for a golfing tip, he simply replied, "Close your eyes."
Zohar was not joking. He uses the same principles to play golf as those he learned as a sniper in the IDF. "Visualize the target. Place the club in its direction. Execute the swing and hit the ball with your head entirely focused on your target."
Since losing his sight - and some of his hearing - while defusing a bomb during a 1979 military exercise, Zohar has been driving himself as hard as his golf balls. His philosophy is quite simple: "I have to prove I am the best."
And he has become the best. The reigning champion and three-time winner of the International Blind Golf Championships held in Scotland, Ireland, and England, Zohar has even prevailed on the rugged, mountainous terrain of the Japanese Open. In addition to his championship credentials, he has FIVE hole-in-one shots on his resume!
He credits his caddie, Shimson Levy, who sets him up for the holes and adjusts for any errors in direction, and his guide dog Venus, who assists him in all his everyday activities outside the golf course. Since 1994, when Zohar entered the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind program, he has depended on man's best friend as his navigator. As he says, "Without a navigator, a pilot is useless."
After going blind, Zohar worked as an artist, a masseur and a physical therapist until a friend introduced him to golf. Although accepted into a golf school, Zohar became frustrated and gave up the game after two years of lessons. It was only after a two-day practice for a golf demonstration that Zohar took up his iron again. Since then, Zohar, Shimson, and his guide dog have become a team. "Without them, I would never have succeeded."
Sporting a wide smile and dark sunglasses - with Venus by his side -Zohar admits he prefers golfing against sighted people. "It's more fun to beat them," he laughs.
Amit Bar-El was a soldier fighting house-to-house during the 2006 Lebanon War. As he rushed to the aid of a wounded comrade, Amit opened a door only to have a rocket fly past and explode in the wall next to him. He received multiple shrapnel wounds
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