“The first day, I went on one leg with steel metal on my other leg and on that first day I made a birdie and I felt wow, I can still do it.”
Cedric Lescut – tough love and second chances
My name is Cedric Lescut. I am from Belgium. My home club in Belgium is L’Empereur, and my disability is right leg amputee.
How did you acquire your amputation?
By a motor bike accident, three years ago.
Were you a golfer before the accident?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was a professional golfer before. I kept my status. Now I’m back training for one year, coming back step by step now.
Has it been a difficult transition?
I stayed one year in the hospital and so this road was quite tough, then I have one year in the rehabilitation centre. This year I start back from the beginning with no expectation at all and I enjoy it much more now than before.
How quickly did your golf ability come back?
The first day, I went on one leg with steel metal on my other leg and on that first day I made a birdie and I felt wow, I can still do it. So then I go with new stuff, new technique and I came back. I am striking the ball now better than before.
Did you have to make many adjustments to your technique?
I cannot say that, I discovered something totally new. I forgot everything I heard in the past and I came to my coach and we built something, which is different from other bodies because the principle was still the same, just the impact. Yeah, that’s it. Not that much no.
What is the biggest improvement that you have made?
Mentally no expectation. No, I have the luck to be alive to play golf, some people out there are dying on the streets, have problems, then I am happy to live. I know that maybe tomorrow it is over, then I enjoy myself like, if I make a good shot, its good, if I make a bad shot it is also good, I try, I did my best and that’s it.
What does golf mean to you?
Life! Yeah life, Ah for me it is the ideal therapy for people having problems like we have but its life.
What has been your best moment in golf?
The best moment in golf, when I was with my wife in Pebble Beach, I had the opportunity to play there last year and that was amazing you know you see the whales, the surfers, the dolphins there, you play an amazing course with lots of people around and you are with your family so thats it.
What kind of golf course gives you the most difficulty now?
Slopes. When you have some big slopes, uphill, downhill then that’s more tough more difficult, as for the rest its nothing, there is no one [type of] course. Of course there are courses more difficult than others, but not that much.
You compete in PGA events, how do your fellow competitors accept you?
Yeah, they enjoy much. They see that even if you have a physical handicap that you are competing with them. I’m not the last on the ranking of the PGA Benelux, I’m not the first one, I’m [average] middle. I think you know they see that what I like is that when we are playing together they are not complaining, some guys used to complain before, there are not so many now. So thats good, so I love it.
What advice would you give to someone with an impairment who wants to start to play golf?
Just do it, and believe in it, its a fabulous sport, you don’t need a guy in front of you to do it, you can spend all your day to do it, you are outside. Even if you have one arm, two arms, one leg, two heads, fat, big, whatever you can, do it, so yeah I would recommend to do it. I think it’s the ideal therapy, to come back from a problem.
Do you enjoy playing in tournaments for golfers with disability?
Yeah, yeah, I have met a lot of new guys, I have new friends. I saw that, in fact it completely change my vision as a pro. Because we teach, I would teach what we learned to teach, that the clubface has to be like this, 45 degrees to the hips and then you see that maybe you have to review the way of teaching because as all the guys are doing here, everybody has some specifics and they are striking the ball like the best in the world.
You give some clinics for kids, how does this work?
I’m trying to make them understand that they are lucky to be in good shape and good health, to play golf and not to break their brain because they miss a putt or throw their clubs and just to enjoy you know. To realise that there are some other stuff that are more important than to miss a putt or put the ball in the trees, that’s what I’m trying to explain to them.
Did you have some inspirations when you came back to the sport?
Yeah with Manuel. I watched his video on YouTube he inspired me very much. He is a really good guy, ah yeah he inspired me to do it, that it was possible to do it again.
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