AUGUSTA — Ashley Farr lined up with the golf ball, her face showing complete concentration. She swung. She missed.
Man, the 10-year-old said, frustrated.
Her volunteer mentor, Kyle Trebbe, switched out golf balls and helped Ashley, who is visually impaired, get better aligned in front of the tee. The second swing was a solid one, sending the ball more than 10 yards away.
Ashley was among about 30 blind and visually impaired golfers who participated Monday in the close of Envisions summer golf clinic. With the help of about 40 volunteers, the golfers completed a nine-hole golf tournament at Augusta Country Club.
Thats the coolest sight I see all summer, said Bonnie Cochran, Envisions director of support programs.
Through its research and rehabilitation centers, Envision aims to inspire and improve the quality of life of the blind and visually impaired through employment and education outreach.
Blind and visually impaired golfers at the clinic who ranged in age from 5 to 70 participated in golf workshops at Wichita State Universitys Braeburn Golf Course earlier this month. Participants learned from the best, including U.S. Blind Golf Association champion David Meador, who taught one of the workshops.
Theyre just all smiles, Cochran said of the golfers. For the mentors to be working with the golfers, its a win-win for both of them.
The golf tournament got its start four years ago when one of Envisions young clients took an interest in golf lessons, Cochran said. He was legally blind, but one of the organizations volunteers, Manuela Nivia, was a golfer.
Cochran said Nivia got this program off and running with the help of a few of her golfing friends.
I think were all just really proud of how far our students have come, Nivia said. Theyre all really motivated and so positive. Theyre so encouraging to me, as a golfer, because they never get down on themselves.
Ashley doesnt like golf, she said she loves it. Her favorite club is the driver.
You get to swing harder with the driver, she said. Because I get wild and excited, I swing harder.