CASEY MARTIN'S TURNING POINT
Casey Martin enters his thirteenth season this year as the head coach of the Oregon Ducks golf team but before that was a great player. He was born with a disability in his right leg (Klippel-Trenaunay-Webber Syndrome), a congenital circulatory disorder, he always had the doubt if he could even make it successfully in college and the PGA. He attended Stanford University with a scholarship where he was a two time All-American and a member of the 1994 NCAA championship squad. Casey played in a tournament in Arizona, while walking he describes his leg as being horrible. “What are you doing out here? It is so tortious to watch you, let us help you” Casey Martin, 47, said coming from the opponent Head Coach/friend. He was given two options which were either to play In a cart or not playing at all. In the NCAA rules, if you have a disability you were allowed to use a cart. This led to his triumph in college until years later he was suing the PGA for them not allowing a cart.
The PGA chose not to accommodate Casey with his disability; they chose to argue this as a rule and ignore his plead. Avoiding the situation and not looking into it resulted in the PGA in losing the case in the supreme court. Casey mentions he wanted to play forever but things didn’t work out that way. He started to play worse and his leg continued to hurt in spite he was using a cart to get around the course. Being a Eugene native he had a local friend Steve Nosler who was the Head Coach at the University Oregon Prior ask him to take over the head job for him. Nosler retired and a year later Casey Martin hasn’t let up guiding his team to nine NCAA championship appearances including the 2016 title. Casey describes two turning points in his life that one led him to his success in college and then one that led him to his coaching career. Talking to Jack Pennington, former player of Casey’s, he describes his coaching style of being very competitive and someone who wouldn’t be afraid to get in your face for a mistake. “I don’t think it held him back, as far as coaching goes, he’s still a great player even with his leg problem. He can still hit it past anyone and knows everything about the golf swing” Jack Pennington, 28, said. Jack has only good things to say about his former coach and is trustable when he says Casey is a great coach but a better human being. This PGA veteran and former champion makes golf something worth talking about.