On hearing of the Fightmaster Cup for the first time, the editor’s first thought was that it must go to the winner of a contact sport such as boxing or karate. Wrong. The Fightmaster Cup is a golfing competition and it is the equivalent of the Ryder Cup, but for one-armed players. The Fightmaster follows the same format as its more well known counterpart with pairs of one-armed golfers from North America and Europe taking each other on every other year. The competition takes place over three days and comprises two days of fourballs and foursomes, followed by singles matches on the final day. The latest round took place in 2016 with Europe narrowly beating North America by 15 points to 13. Among the victorious Europeans was Declan Burns from Londonderry, who suffered a serious motorbike crash nearly 20 years ago that led to the amputation of his right arm. “In 2010, I had my arm amputated of my own free will which was a good choice in hindsight, but a bit scary at the time,” said Mr Burns “I took up the game of golf again shortly after that and I have just enjoyed playing it since. I’ve managed to meet people of the same physicality as myself, it really puts a different perspective on the game and you get to see how well it can be played with guys with one arm”. He’s not kidding, as he explains “It’s phenomenal, you have guys that can drive a ball over 350 yards. They play off single figure handicaps, it’s a very, very high standard of golf.” And for those wondering the Cup is named after Don Fightmaster, an internationally renowned one-armed golfer from Kentucky.
December 11, 2016