American Jeremy Bittner, one of the best amputee golfers in the world, will compete for the first time on the Golf for the Disabled Tour (G4D) in Abu Dhabi on 13-14 January 2023. It will take place in conjunction with the Hero Cup over 36 holes.
Sport has always been a part of Bittner’s life from a young age, despite losing part of his left leg in an accident with his father Scott’s tractor when he was 4 years old. His first sports loves were baseball and basketball.
At the age of 10, she played on the basketball team of his parish, Saint Mark’s, whose coach was his father. He usually wore a prosthetic left leg, but Jeremy showed up regularly even sometimes after surgery on his stump.
Jeremy Bittner, statements
He says: ‘The wounds were slow to heal, and I still couldn’t put on the prosthesis. Other than that, I felt good and would never give up on the match. So I put on my uniform and went. Honestly, I expected to stay on the bench, that was enough for me.
Then a teammate of mine had an asthma attack, so my father asked me if I wanted to enter instead of him. I didn’t have to repeat it twice: I jumped up and down the field on one leg for two quarters of the game . Jeremy recalls that at the time he wanted to be a professional baseball or basketball player.
Only ten years later he discovered golf, when a professional told him about the Eastern Amputee Golf Association, an association active in the United States. ‘I started playing a couple of tournaments a year, my priority was to study at Robert Morris University, where I graduated in sports management’ – says Jeremy – ‘Only in 2017-2018 did I start playing more seriously.
I managed to find a sponsor who made it possible for me to participate in tournaments here in the United States. The WR4GD world ranking of golfers with disabilities started in 2019. ‘But there were no Americans in the top 500 due to the lack of tournaments compared to Europe,’ explained Jeremy.
Jeremy Bittner is currently the best disabled amateur golfer in the United States, and second when professionals are included. He made headlines with his hole-in-one on the fourth hole, par 3, in the second round of the inaugural United States Golf Association (USGA) Adaptive Open Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Now the ball is housed in the USGA Golf Museum in Liberty Corner, New Jersey. The invitation to play in the UAE ‘came out of the blue’, he said. Due to the time difference, Jeremy received the summons email at 2:30am .
“I didn’t think it was genuine,” he confessed. European Tour will fully cover the expenses of Jeremy and his caddy (a friend from his college days). “I will play my game and try to learn as much as possible from this experience,” Bittner said of the trip.
‘It is an honor to have been invited.’ About the possibility of turning pro, Bittner replies that he prefers to maintain amateur status. ‘I want golf to continue to be a hobby, not a job. There has to be something I can ‘t wait to do.”