Del Mar resident Jeremy Poincenot won the 2017 National Blind Golf Championship on Oct. 1 at the Innisbrook Golf Club in Florida, shooting 88 in the first round and 83 in the second round. The United States Blind Golf Association has conducted the National Blind Golf Championship for the past 72 years and Poincenot has competed in eight of them, winning six titles.
In blind golf, players are allowed to have a coach/guide who lines them up for each shot. This unique partnership makes blind golf much more of a team sport than traditional golf, which is predominantly an individual sport. Coaches are most often family members or close friends. In Poincenot’s case, his coach has been by his side since the day he was born...his father, Lionel. Poincenot says it’s a special relationship. “Playing with my dad as my guide is such a gift. It makes winning that much more sweet to be able to share it with him.” Poincenot went on to say that all of the hours spent practicing together at the Morgan Run Club paid off. “I’m proud of how my dad and I performed under pressure. It showed that all the hours of practice were worth it.”
Poincenot became legally blind when he was 19 years old due to a rare genetic disorder, Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON), that affects about 100 people in the U.S. each year and has no treatment and no cure. In spite of this very difficult diagnosis, Jeremy graduated from San Diego State University in 2013 where he majored in business and is now a professional inspirational speaker. Jeremy was proud to represent his home town by playing with Callaway clubs, wearing Linksoul apparel and attending the event thanks to a travel grant from the Challenged Athletes Foundation, all San Diego- based organizations. Next up for Jeremy is the 2018 World Blind Golf Championship in Rome where he and his dad will be defending the title they won in Japan in 2016.