Mike Reeder, 63 years old, lost both of his legs in the Vietnam War. Instead of losing all hope after his accident which left him in a wheel chair, Reeder became an inspiration to golfers and non-golfers, alike. In 1988, eighteen years after his accident, Reeder found himself in a pro-shop and decided to pick up golfing. Since that day, Reeder has participated in amputee golf tournaments, both locally and nationally. He is an accomplished golfer, who has shot par, made a hole-in one, and has a golf handicap of less than ten.
Due to his one of a kind story, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), which provides disabled individuals with opportunities to get involved with sports, granted Reeder the honor of being featured on ESPN’s E: 60. In July of this year, CAF funded Reeder’s dream of playing at the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, making him the first handicapped golfer to play where golf originated.
With his score of 79, Reeder gained the attention of Jack Nicklaus, a two-time champion at the Open in St. Andrews. Nicklaus passed on Reeders story to organizers of a charity golf tournament, where they met. Reeder demonstrated his swing for Nicklaus and the crowd; this time off his wheel chair and on his knees. When Nicklaus pointed out Reeder being left-handed, Reeder joked back, “God didn’t think I had enough handicaps.”
As an advocate for disabled people, Reeder designed the Forewheel Golf Wheelchair and has also written an autobiography entitled, “From Where I Sit.” Reeder’s experiences have not only taught him humility and perseverance, but also provide all of us with living proof that they too, can overcome any obstacle life throws their way.