Chris Biggins talks about his route into golf for the disabled, dividing his time between golf and alpine skiing, and opportunity in the sport in this week’s Player Blog presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car,
Chris Biggins, statements
"I've always wanted to be a successful athlete, and golf has given me the ability to do that.
I was someone who loved all sports growing up, but I really gravitated towards golf as I got older because it was the sport that my disability limited me the least in. I was born with cerebral palsy, which mostly affects my legs and lower back.
My muscles are very tight because of it, so it has always been imperative that I have an athletic lifestyle to prevent my disability from having detrimental effects on my abilities. It helps that I’ve always been active.
When I’m playing golf, the biggest thing CP does affect is my balance and ability to use my lower body to create clubhead speed, but even though I have always been a shorter hitter, I have taken pride in my short game ability to make up for my lack of distance.
As a kid I always wanted to be a professional athlete, but as I got older that dream did start to become unrealistic. At that time I still wanted to have a career in sports so after success in grade school, I decided to play golf in college and pursue a career as a PGA teaching professional.
I have been a proud teacher since 2014, and my career path has given me the opportunity to live an active lifestyle, and pursue my competitive aspirations in golf while also teaching. "It’s amazing to look back now, because in 2015 I didn't even know there was an opportunity to play in disabled golf.
Now, I am in St. Andrews competing on a grand stage with the ability to show thousands of disabled golfers that there is opportunity to play. It’s incredible, and each year I meet more disabled golfers that have pursued the game due to opportunities to compete that now exist and are becoming known around the world.
I remember playing in my first disabled golf event in 2016, at Pumpkin Ridge in Oregon, USA. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived, and I was just excited for the opportunity to compete. But I was blown away by the talent of the golfers I met there and instantly decided I wanted to compete alongside those incredible athletes.
After competing in able bodied golf my entire life, I was thrilled to find adaptive golf and compete against individuals coping with physical disadvantages like myself. I won the US Disabled Open Golf Championship in 2019, which was a pivotal point in my competitive golf career, and opened the door for some incredible opportunities.
I won that event in a play-off against my great friend and rival Chad Pfeifer, who I had been chasing since my first event in 2016. That victory also earned me an invitation to the EDGA Scottish Open in 2019. Playing in that event was a dream come true and it changed my life. Now I am back here in Scotland competing again and loving every second of it".