Local golfer competes in ParaLong Drive Cup
● By J. Chambless
A Lancaster County man is competing
this week in the ParaLong Drive Cup, a long-drive golf championship
being held in Mesquite, Nev.
Shawn Reimold, 46, was in a car accident in 1989 that severed his right arm at the shoulder. At 17, he he grappled with the aftermath and his new limitations, but he gradually came to deal with the challenges head-on. Now the manager of the Quarryville Martin's Appliance store, married and with four children, Reimold is busier than ever.
One of the goals of the ParaLong Drive Cup is to show how athletes overcome obstacles, and to spotlight enabling technologies by manufacturers that specialize in prosthetic limbs, paramobile machines, and other assistive devices. Some of the nation's top athletes who have overcome physical challenges will be competing in Nevada on March 7 and 8. Some of them can drive the ball farther than golfers without challenges – 350 yards or more.
Reimold is competing for the second time in the one-arm division of the long drive competition.
“I am not trying to prove anything -- I just want to live life, and although it may look different and I may struggle at times, it is how I choose to live,” Reimold said recently. “I refuse to let anyone determine what I can or cannot achieve.”
Shawn and his wife, Donita, have shared each challenge over the last 25 years, including playing modified softball, riding a dirt bike, or playing golf. Four years ago, Donita found amputee golf on the internet. Shawn contacted Bob Buck, the founder of the Eastern Amputee Golf Association, attended his first tournament and found a new home. At these events, he gets to know other amputees, joking with them and inspiring each other.
In 2016, Shawn also joined the North American One-Armed Golf Association. He attended his first event in Rhode Island, where he was paired with two of the organization’s founders, Alan Gentry and Scott Lusk.
Shawn has also competed in the ParaLong Drive Cup in Myrtle Beach, S.C., which was hosted by Dean Jarvis and sponsored by Ottobock, just like this week's event. At the event, he competed with athletes who were paralyzed, had arms or legs amputated, had traumatic brain injuries, or were blind.
Their spirit and abilities were inspiring.
Dean Jarvis founded the Amputee Long Drive Championship when he realized that his peers would be left out of the 2016 Rio Paralympics, while golf was included in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The George W. Bush Presidential Center Warrior Open golf tournament, and the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship, inspired Jarvis to create an event to honor and accommodate amputee, blind, and paralyzed athletes.
“Dean’s organization kind of bridges the gap among the adaptive golf organizations,” said Kenny Green, executive director of the National Amputee Golf Association. “He’s opened the door so golfers with other disabilities can compete on the same stage. We support his organization, and he supports ours.”
This event, and many other amputee and disabled golf events, are intended to lead to golf as a paralympic sport in the 2024 Olympics.
Reimold is the manager at the Martin Appliance Quarryville location. The business started more than 40 years ago in Myerstown, Pa. There are now six retail locations in Lancaster, Lebanon and Bersk counties that sell appliances, and the company also provides water treament services. The Martin showrooms at Quarryville and Ephrata also feature a variety of furniture choices.
“We’re local and family-owned,” Reimold said. “We sell products that are tested to last and we service everything that we sell. We find that when you take care of customers, they will tell their friends and family about us. We depend heavily on our reputation.”
Visit www.martinsappliance.com. For information on the ParaLong Drive Cup, visit www.amputeelongdrivechampionship.com. To contribute to increasing awareness of disabled golf, visit https://www.flipcause.com/secure/fundraiser/MjcyNzI=/15218.