Blind Luck

I went miniature golfing with my family this weekend. It was a fun time, but also a bit of an experiment considering that my 93-year-old grandfather joined us. He can barely walk, which makes traveling around 18 holes challenging, but his sight is even worse. He's completely blind in one eye and has limited vision with the other one.

As a result, he could see neither the flag nor the hole just ten feet in front of him and had no idea what he was putting toward. My aunt would describe each hole to him ("the hole is at the top of a hill", "there's a sand trap on the right", "there's a bunch of rocks near the hole") and kind of angle him in the right direction before he swung. 

I'm not going to pretend he did well. I scored twenty strokes fewer than he did, and that's after some pretty generous scorekeeping on his behalf. However, my grandfather did manage to Mr. Magoo his way to two holes-in-one. For the record, that's two more holes-in-one than any of the rest of us got.

I spent all this time strategizing, aiming, and using my actual sense of depth perception to put the ball in the hole on my first try, but always fell short. Yet my grandfather did it twice, effortlessly, and wasn't even aware of his accomplishment until someone informed him since he couldn't tell the difference.

Talk about a humbling experience. I've heard of golfers having a handicap before, but I didn't realize that blindness could be an asset. 

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