Amputees invited to tee off at All Disability Open Sept. 7-8

Amputees, others with physical limitations invited to golf in All Disability Open Sept. 7 and 8

  • Bradley Schubert, a McHenry resident who had his right leg amputated below the knee in 2014, putts during the All Disability Open in 2018. Schubert is now the president of the Midwest Amputee Golf Association, and is encouraging all eligible golfers to participate in this year's event at Odyssey Golf Course Sept. 7 and 8.

    Bradley Schubert, a McHenry resident who had his right leg amputated below the knee in 2014, putts during the All Disability Open in 2018. Schubert is now the president of the Midwest Amputee Golf Association, and is encouraging all eligible golfers to participate in this year's event at Odyssey Golf Course Sept. 7 and 8. Courtesy of Denise Riesen/Riesen Photography

  • Participants from the All Disability Open pose for a photo at last year's event at St. Andrews Golf and Country Club in West Chicago.

    Participants from the All Disability Open pose for a photo at last year's event at St. Andrews Golf and Country Club in West Chicago. Courtesy of Denise Riesen/Riesen Photography

 
 
Updated 8/14/2019 3:13 PM

Five years ago, Bradley Schubert -- a lifelong Fox Valley resident -- knew his life was about to change drastically.

After battling osteomyelitis for nearly a decade, the then 38-year-old made the decision to have his right leg amputated below the knee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Because of how difficult it was to fight the never-ending infections, Schubert wasn't at all angry about losing half of his leg.

He did, however, want to find out what the future held, so Schubert began reaching out to amputee organizations for support.

Jonathan Snyder, the Adaptive Golf Director for Freedom Golf Association, lines up a putt during the 2018 All Disability Open. Snyder, who lives in Westmont, finished in third place.
Jonathan Snyder, the Adaptive Golf Director for Freedom Golf Association, lines up a putt during the 2018 All Disability Open. Snyder, who lives in Westmont, finished in third place. - Courtesy of Denise Riesen/Riesen Photography

Less than a month before the amputation, Schubert was invited to tag along with then-president of the Midwest Amputee Golf Association at the organization's All Disability Open.

"I went down on crutches and rode around with him for 18 holes," Schubert said. "I met a lot of great people who I'm friends with today. I left feeling that this was going to be OK -- that I was going to be back up on my feet."

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The next year, Schubert was a participant in the annual two-day event, and now the McHenry resident has taken over as president of the association.

Schubert is inviting fellow amputees -- as well as other individuals with physical limitations -- to participate in the 19th All Disability Open at Odyssey Golf Club in Tinley Park Sept. 7 and 8.

Bartlett's Don Zommer sinks a putt at last year's event at St. Andrews Golf and Country Club in West Chicago.
Bartlett's Don Zommer sinks a putt at last year's event at St. Andrews Golf and Country Club in West Chicago. - Courtesy of Denise Riesen/Riesen Photography

Last year, there were 35 golfers, but Schubert expects 50 or more this year because it is a world ranking event for disabled golfers.

About 75-80% of participants will be from Illinois, but others are expected from Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and possibly Florida.

On Day 1, golfers might find themselves playing with others of vastly different abilities, but that's the point of the event, Schubert said.

"We don't separate people based on disability or handicap, because in our mission statement we want players of all abilities to play with each other and get to know each other," Schubert said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

After posting their scores, participants will be put into flights and compete for their flight's championship the next day.

Michigan resident Tracy Ramin, who lost his leg after being hit on the side of the road by a truck in 1998, won the All Disability Open last year at St. Andrews Golf and Country Club.
Michigan resident Tracy Ramin, who lost his leg after being hit on the side of the road by a truck in 1998, won the All Disability Open last year at St. Andrews Golf and Country Club. - Courtesy of Denise Riesen/Riesen Photography

Schubert, a 1994 graduate of Barrington High School, whose first job was delivering the Daily Herald in Carpentersville, has Type 2 diabetes. He developed osteomyelitis, which infects a person's bones, in about 2007.

Dealing with a foot ulcer that would not close up properly, Schubert was often forced to get around on crutches and eventually a kneeling scooter.

In 2014, he and his wife decided enough was enough and they decided to go through with the operation.

"It was the best decision for me," said Schubert, who has children ages 9 and 14.

"I have been 10 times more active than I was beforehand. Post-amputation, I pretty much do anything I want with my kids, including going in the ocean when we went to Florida earlier this year."

For details on the All Disability Open, visit mwaga.org.

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