NINE years ago, former Lisnaskea and Fermanagh goalkeeper, Cormac McAdam, of CMA Plastering, (46) broke his back in a fall at work and, since then, he has been a wheelchair user.
But, not one to avoid a challenge, he was determined to find a way to enjoy one of his favourite hobbies – playing golf. So the plucky Skea man acquired a specially adapted recreational buggy that enables him to stand up and strike the ball and which also carries him around the course.
Last week, he surprised himself and his fellow members of Clones Golf Club by winning the ‘Deerpark Voucher’, one day tournament and, with it, his €700 subscription for the year paid.
“Yes, it was my first major win in the eight years I have been using the buggy. I was totally shocked.
It’s not that I played well, it’s just that everybody else played badly. It was just one of those days.” Such disarming humility typifies the reason why the late Pat King’s Fermanagh captain was and remains such a much-loved figure.
Asked about his special buggy, he explained he saw it on Youtube and he reckons that when he bought it, he was one of only three users throughout Ireland, with Cormac the first user in the North.
“Yes, it does take a bit of adjusting, but once you play a few times, you just use it to the best of your ability. It is speedy in that it does up to six miles an hour and, sometimes, I will play out of turn just to speed the game up.”
One golfer who played against him still cannot get over the fact that Cormac usually plays with one arm.
Cormac said this is so: “I would use the one arm when I’m swinging because, with my disability, I just can’t get the two arms together to make a full swing, although, with some shots, I can use the two.”
Apart from the ‘Deerpark Voucher’, Cormac has made it on the international scene, coming 10th out of 24 in the 2013 Wheelchair Users European Golf championships in Barcelona.
At the moment, Cormac finds it difficult to get to the golf club in Clones more than once a week (’it’s not like I can meet someone at the drop of a hat’), and, besides his family, there’s his firm to run. But, expect him to turn his mind to more ‘Barcelonas’.
In that, he will have the continued support of his wife, Christine and their three children