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Dennis Walters visits Southwood Golf Club to give inspirational talk

Posted at 10:30 AM, May 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-22 11:42:03-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Golf hall of famer, Dennis Walters, visited the Southwood Golf Club to share his inspiring story of overcoming obstacles that lead him to success.

"I started hitting golf balls sitting down and I never thought I could make a career out of this I was trying to cope with what I considered to be a hopeless situation. I'm 24 I'm almost on the PGA tour and then this happened," said Walters.

What Walters is referring to is an accident with a golf cart 49 years ago that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He decided to use his experience as a way to motivate others around the world. He even created a chair that allows him to golf in a standing position.

"I believe with hard work perseverance and enthusiasm I think you can accomplish almost anything," said Walters.

He visited the Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee where he spoke to kids in a golf club called First Tee. Tracy Marple executive director for First Tee Tallahassee says the program is more than just learning to golf.

"First Tee Tallahassee is a youth character development program and we really want kids to become the best version of themselves," said Marple.

Walters has a relationship with First Tee headquarters. Marple says when they got word Walters was touring from First Tee they jumped at the chance.

"About 6 months ago they put out an email asking who would like Dennis Walters to come do his show, and he's never been to Tallahassee before so we were thrilled to sponsor him," Marple explained.

Walters has gone on to be the only paraplegic inducted into the golf hall of fame. He's traveled more than 3,000 miles doing his inspirational shows talking about his life for 46 years, and the one in Tallahassee was no different.

"The one thing I realized right away is that I was giving people hope, encouragement, and inspiration and through the years I've come to believe those are the most precious gifts you can give anyone," said Walters.

If you're interested in the First Tee program or if you want to be a coach, you can go to the First Tee Tallahassee website for more information.