Golf lovers of all ages are in for a special treat on Saturday, June 1, at 3 p.m. when they will have a chance to see Dennis Walters in action at the Indian Springs Golf Course in Fillmore (on Route 185 between Hillsboro and Vandalia).
During the course of his golf show, Walters will entertain young and old golfers alike with his trick shots and a few inspiring stories about the journey that brought him to this day. The golf show is sponsored by Titleist and is free to golf lovers of all ages.
When Walters was a kid, he nurtured a dream of becoming a professional golfer. Along the way, he made steady progress toward that goal as he won three state championships including the New Jersey Junior Championship at age 17, and while attending North Texas State, he captained the winning team of the Missouri Valley Conference for four years in a row. In addition, he competed in the U.S. Amateur golf tournament and finished in 11th place.
Following graduation, he began his professional career in 1971, making it to the finals of qualifying for the PGA tour and later on with the South African Tour.
Then on July 21, 1974, his life changed forever when he lost control of the golf cart that he was driving. It overturned and, when it came to rest, Walters' spinal cord had been injured resulting in the paralysis of both of his legs from the waist down. He was never able to stand up again without the use of leg braces and crutches.
While his ability to play golf at the professional level was lost forever, his love of the game persisted. With the help and inspiration of his father and family, Walters returned to the golf course and found it to be a place he still enjoyed.
During his show, Walters employs a variety of drivers with unique "shafts" consisting of a fishing rod, a rubber hose, a multi-hinged length of metal, and "heads" in the shape of a judge's gavel, a dog biscuit, and a cellphone. His most distinctive club is the one he calls his three-iron, but it's actually a three-headed seven-iron. He hits three balls at once with it, producing high, low and medium trajectories, all with one swing.
Walters was recently voted into the World Golf Hall of Fame which is located in St. Augustine, FL. He will be formally inducted in a ceremony to be held on June 10, 2019, at Pebble Beach, CA. He will join a prestigious list of golfers including Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Sam Snead and over 150 other professional golfers as well as those who made a significant contribution to the game of golf including Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, and George H. W. Bush.
"If you had told me when I'm lying in a hospital bed 45 years ago that I'm going to do over 3,000 shows and meet Ben Hogan six times and have Sam Snead tell me dirty jokes and have Byron Nelson so close to me I had to ask him to move, I would have said 'no way.' I've done 30 clinics with Tiger Woods, met four presidents, and performed in shows with Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Yeah, if this was a movie, you'd say they made it up. It would be impossible to dream that big."
Walters has a significant birthday coming up later this year as he will turn 70 in September. "People ask me if I plan to continue putting on golf shows throughout the country. I tell them that I most certainly will as long as I can physically do it, as long as I can still do it relatively well, and as long as I still enjoy doing it. I still like doing this. I still enjoy getting up every single day, and almost without fail, I look forward to practicing, hitting golf balls, and hitting them as well as I can."
For additional information about Dennis Walters and the June 1 Golf Show, go to www.denniswalters.com or www.indianspringsgolf.net.