Amputee golfers competing in B’ham for SAGA Championship

Golfer uses sport to overcome addiction

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Some of the nation's premier amateur amputee golfers are competing right here in the Magic City for the Southern Amputee Golf Association Championship.

The championship is the second of its kind in the United States, giving American disabled golfers the chance to rank and compete in worldwide events.

Professional amputee golfer Kenny Bontz is considered one of the best. He is competing in the SAGA Championship at Highland Park Golf Course.

Bontz will be the first to tell you it wasn’t easy getting to this point. He decided to have one of his legs removed after having six total knee replacements in 10-years due to complications with his diabetes.

That’s when his life really took a wrong turn.

“I got addicted to Vicodin. I was 80 a day plus a case of beer. I had to change something because I was on a bad path in a really dark place," Bontz said.

After discovering the game of golf, he was able to put all the addictions behind him and move forward.

"I haven't taken a pill in 14 years. I'll never do that again. It's the best thing that ever happened to me. I've traveled the world. I've met so many great people," Bontz said.

Bontz went on to shoot a 72, even par, in his first round. That’s impressive being it was the first time he has ever played the course.

Copyright 2019 WBRC. All rights reserved.