Published 6:36 pm Thursday, March 26, 2009
Lamar Daniels recently placed second in a national golf tournament. The difference between Daniels and other golfers in the area is that he is competing with a prosthesis on his right leg.
Daniels lost his leg in 2003, but he has not allowed that to prevent him from playing the sport he loves. The leg is amputated eight inches below his knee.
Daniels won second in the 20th Annual National Senior Amputee Championships at Santa Maria Golf Club in Baton Rouge, La.
“I joined the Eastern Amputee Golf Association in 2005 and I have been playing ever since,” Daniels said. “I played golf quite a bit before I lost my leg and it took me about a year and a half to get tournament ready.”
Being a member of the association allows Daniels to keep up with a lot of armed forces veterans.
“I saw a lot of wounded veterans getting out there and playing golf,” he said. “It is nice to be out there with people who have the same disabilities you have and we always try to encourage each other.”
And it is the wounded veterans and all other people with disabilities because of an amputated limb that Daniels is trying to help every day.
“We just want to show them all that there is hope out there even after you lose a limb,” he said. “It is just a matter of how much time you want to put in. I know when I lost my leg they told me I wouldn’t be able to play golf for a year at least because of the tenderness. This was in October of 2003 and I was back playing golf in February. I have always said if I can walk I can play golf.”
Daniels started having problems with his leg while serving in the United States Army in 1968 and he said the problems got progressively worse as time wore on. The leg had to be amputated in 2003 because of a blood disorder.
He actually played his first round while on a tour in Berlin, Germany and fell in love with the sport of golf.
“I would always try and play whenever we would be somewhere with a golf course and I was a four-handicapper before I lost my leg. So golf has been my game for a long time.”
After playing team sports growing up, Daniels said he fell in love with the individual competitiveness of golf.
“When I started playing golf I realized that you cannot make any excuses because everything you do is on you,” he said.
Daniels graduated from Academy Street High School in 1962 and was drafted into the Army a few years later. He spent a total of 20 years in the Army through two stints and went back to work for the government when he retired. He worked for the Postal Service in Phoenix, Ariz. from 1985 until 2000 as a manager of maintenance and engineering.
He returned to Troy after retiring from the Postal Office.
Now Daniels spends his time participating in National Amputee Golf Association, the umbrella association the EAGA is a member of, tournaments and other charity events.