Everyone Has Handicaps Only Some Are Visible
by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips
10/15/2012...Toronto, Ontario - According to statistics, the odds of acing a hole-in-one on the golf course or bowling a perfect game of 10-pin are about the same…12,000-to-1.
When Jesse Florkowski was 15 years-of-age he bowled a perfect 10-pin game. To date he has bowled nine perfect games! Talk about beating the odds.
On the golf course he has come close several times to plotting the little white dimpled ball in with one shot. Last time was three years ago when the ball rimmed out of the hole and found a spot only two inches away.
“Hmmmmmm, I thought,” reminisced Florkowski of the near hole-in-one shot made at his local links in Medicine Hat. “It looked like it was going in but I guess that day wasn’t going to be my day for getting a hole in one.”
Florkowski, now 22 years of age, has also played baseball and hockey.
Just a regular young man, who, along with his Medicine Hat Rattlers, is now warming up for the 2012 PING Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Golf National Championships which start tomorrow at the Oshawa Golf & Curling Club.
We caught up with Florkowski by telephone in Toronto earlier this evening to talk about being a representative of not only Medicine Hat College but as part of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference contingent at this prestigious three-day event hosted by Durham College.
“It is going to be excellent and just coming to the nationals and soaking up the experience is great,” said Florkowski of the tournament which has attracted 23 collegiate teams including the Grant MacEwan Griffins, Lethbridge Kodiaks and Red Deer Queens from the ACAC. “Once the tournament starts, we will bare down and concentrate what is in front of us.”
Florkowski will be in the men’s team competition along with teammates Brett Griscowsky, Mitchell Kurtz, Mason Robinovitch and Zach Zubrecki.
He will be easy to spot though. He is the player born with no right arm.
“He definitely gets some looks when he comes on the course but it doesn’t take long to see that he is a bonafide player and that he can play as good as any of them,” said Rattlers head coach Trevor Moore. “They look past that once they see his first tee shot. Having one arm I don’t think affects his game as the difference between good and great is really between your ears…the mental approach. One or two arms, it is irrelevant as he is a hardnosed competitor.”
In this, his first year of collegiate golf, Florkowski says he took up the game of golf at the age of three and through the support of his grandparents Doreen and George, who raised him, has never felt that he was handicapped.
“I don’t know what it is like having two arms, so I am not missing anything,” said Florkowski, who one day plans to work in the golf industry. “I am used to other golfers who see me for the first time looking over and I don’t mind. I would also be surprised if no one came up and asked questions because they are curious and I am more than happy to explain to them that people who are amputees can do just about anything that normal people can do.”
Florkowski has never used a prosthetic as it “would not be beneficial” as he is missing an elbow joint.
He has won several Amputee Golf Tournaments in Canada and also competed in the 64th National Amputee Golf Championship held this past August in Indianapolis, Indiana at The Brickyard Crossing. Here he finished sixth overall in a field of 125 and first in his own category Above Elbow.
“At the (64th National Amputee Golf Championship) you heard a lot of interesting stories on how people lost their limbs and the stories are inspirational to anyone, not only amputees.
“It reminds people not to get down on yourself and do the best you can do and if you can give 110- per cent you can accomplish anything. Don’t complain about what you don’t have and appreciate what you have.”
Jesse Florkowski (second from left bottom row) just another member of the Medicine Hat Rattlers golf team