[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16x9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1370994353&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4092712&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1370994353 type=script]HAMILTON, Ala. (WIAT)- The sound of the perfect golf shot inspires many feelings. There’s excitement, anticipation to see where it lands and a huge sense of relief.
There are many intricacies and frustrations involved with the game, and it takes years of practice to master it.
Taylor Stidham is well on her way. She’s been navigating courses since she was 10 years old.
“It’s not as easy as it looks,” she says with a laugh.
Golfers depend on their sight a great deal.
Whether it’s lining up a putt or picking their spots on the fairway, it’s a very visual game.
Stidham is legally blind.
She lost her sight from injuries incurred in a car wreck when she was only 3 months old.
“[The vehicle] flipped three times,” says her father, Rodney. “She came out the side window and landed on a concrete ravine. When they got her to the hospital she wasn’t breathing.”
Doctors at Children’s of Alabama saved her life, but things would be much different.
“I have no peripheral vision,” says Taylor. “I basically have tunnel vision.”
Her father says doctors have described her vision as looking through a paper towel roll with a piece of tape over the end, with a needle-sized puncture.
When she plays, her father accompanies her and gives her information about the shot she’s facing.
“The distance, the depth perception; I have to have somebody,” says Taylor. I could either walk it off, or I have to have somebody tell me the distance.”
Golf is a game where Taylor is in complete control, despite her condition.
“The ball does not move in golf, until you hit it,” says her father. “We were very fortunate to find the game.”
Whether she sees the shot or not, Taylor knows when she’s hit a beauty.
“I can just tell by the sound of it. I go by feel, and not by sight,” Taylor says.
Golf also allows for bonding time between the Stidhams. It’s a time Taylor’s father cherishes.
“Her attitude is so great,” he said after a round on Tuesday. “If everybody’s attitude was like Taylor’s. this world would be okay.”