The Aramco Team Series might boast some of the best women’s golfers in the world but that doesn’t mean that it remains roped off to non-professionals.
George Blackshaw, known to thousands of followers on social media as the Amputee Golfer, was one of those who got the chance to play alongside the elite at the London stage of last year’s series.
Each team in the series features one amateur alongside their three professionals. Many are connected to tournament partners but in Blackshaw’s case he won a competition for a lucky amateur to play at Centurion Club.
“I was thrilled to have been chosen to take part,” the 23-year-old from Cheshire told City A.M.
“It was a surreal feeling to be walking the fairways in a Ladies European Tour golf event and to be able to showcase disability golf on a large scale was really special.
“I had played in a few disability golf events beforehand but I didn’t have much competitive experience and this was next level to anything I had played in before. It was unbelievable.”
Blackshaw, who lost both his right arm and leg in a childhood lawnmower accident, helped a team captained by Lucie Malchirand finish a respectable 18th out of 36.
What made the biggest impression, he says, was getting to see the professionalism of LET regulars such as Frenchwoman Malchirand up close.
“It was an amazing feeling to be able to contribute to the team’s score and help my teammates climb the leaderboard,” he added.
“The biggest takeaway for me was the preparation and practice the women golfers carry out. They really are dedicated and the whole pre-round build up to putting, chipping and driving range before they start playing was very interesting to see.”
Blackshaw hopes to carve out his own career in sport, and is currently studying Football Business and Marketing at the University Campus of Football Business.
But he remains a keen competitor in amateur golf, representing England at the European Nations Cup for Golfers with Disability in Belgium last week.
And if his putting has improved then it might be thanks to three-time major champion Anna Nordqvist, who shared some helpful nuggets with Blackshaw at Centurion Club.
“I definitely have taken away a few things,” he said. “I had the honour of playing a few holes with Anna Nordqvist and she gave me some really helpful tips on my putting and shots around the green.”