Juan Postigo Arce has become one of the most recognisable faces among golfers with a disability anywhere in the world, and is much admired for the way he plays the game and the positive message he conveys: that golf can be for everyone.
The low-scoring Spaniard certainly deserves the acclaim in which he is held. At the time of writing, he stands at number 3 in the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD), where after being one of the stand-out EDGA players of recent years, he came back from injuries to win, among others, the 2021 Madrid Disabled Open and the 2021 European Championship for Golfers with Disability (European Golf Association); this for the third successive time.
In September 2022, the 26-year-old from near Santander in northern Spain was rewarded by qualifying for the G4D @ BMW PGA Championship, staged by the DP World Tour, at Wentworth, competing on the same course in the same week as Rory McIlroy, John Rahm and many of golf’s top professionals. Juan told us he was “very proud” to represent Spain on this world stage.
Spectators at the BMW PGA Championship will have seen a remarkable golfer in action.
Unlike many other EDGA amputee players, Juan Postigo eschews the use of a prosthetic for his right leg. It has long-been second nature to use his crutches in both life, and on the golf course. These assist him as he walks purposefully up to his golf ball on the tee – at the last moment dropping down the crutches to make his stance, on his left leg, before powering another shot away down the fairway with a balletic balance.
Look even more closely at his swing and one will realise just how much his left foot absorbs all the pressure of his body movement throughout, the muscles flexing with intensity, strong like a lion’s paw; the fulcrum of perhaps one of the most effective swings in golf.
More and more golf watchers are appreciating this, as is Juan’s work in helping to grow the game being appreciated. Add to this his always generous smile and kindness to those he meets through the sport, and you understand his popularity.
Cut to the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews and on the Monday practice day, The R&A hosted the ‘Celebration of Champions’, a four-hole team match taking place on the first, second, 17th and 18th holes on the Old Course. Several thousand fans cheered the likes of Tom Watson, Tiger Woods, Gary Player, Georgia Hall, Nick Faldo and more, but they also applauded an invited international quartet of EDGA golfers with a disability. And from the world’s most famous golf course, Juan and his fellow EDGA players helped shine the spotlight on just how inclusive golf can be, as this celebration of the sport was broadcast around the world.
This was not the first time that Juan had been generous in helping EDGA and promoting golf for the disabled. In 2019, he was one of three EDGA golfers invited to play in the pro-am of the British Masters at Hillside, courtesy of the DP World Tour. Here, he met and spoke with spectators with a disability attending the event, while he and fellow player Caroline Mohr also took a trip to the Northwest Regional Spinal Injuries Centre in Southport, where they were able to encourage a group of patients to enjoy some first hits at golf, and learn more about the benefits of trying golf for themselves.
Juan Postigo’s philosophy is simple: “Golf and life are quite similar. Accept yourself as you are… I have never had any issue with feeling or being different.”
This small update on Juan offers a glimpse of the man behind the smile and the elegant golf swing. If you would like to learn more, including Juan following in the trail of his local hero Seve Ballesteros, read and listen to our feature profile recorded in 2019. Simply click on https://bit.ly/305z8lt
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