The Resident will be publishing a series of excerpts from chapters of ‘Mulligan – tough love and second chances’. The book contains 18 personal accounts of players with a disability, competing in the game of golf.
Their inspiring stories are sure to be of interest to many readers and the book comes with a unique ‘Give and Gift’ feature which also plays a supportive role in hospitals and health centres. Here is the eighth in the series.
EDGA golfer Aleš Süsser was fortunate to have parents František and Jana and older brother Michal to help him through the most difficult of starts in life. When he was born in 1973 in a part of then Czechoslovakia that had been scarred by world events, the sport of golf hardly figured. For Aleš however, golf would actually help to define his philosophy of life, but this would come much later – first he had to survive his birth.
The medics thought baby Aleš had died and he was put in a hospital waste basket, before his cries were heard suddenly. Then, as an infant with cerebral palsy, he faced a dismal prognosis and needed six hours of rehabilitation every day for five years, exercises prescribed by physician Professor Vaclav Vojta, a renowned Czech doctor forced to leave Czechoslovakia by the Soviets in 1968. Süsser’s own grandfather had been in a Nazi prison for years during World War II. Not surprisingly, one of the family mottos is “never give up”.
Aleš says: “From the very beginning, I was brought up as non-disabled child, spending a lot of time with older children – my brother’s friends – in a very safe environment. No bullying, no unfairness but also no relief from obligations… It was the greatest experience in my life.”
He adds: “In my head, I’m not disabled, maybe limited in some way and I think limits are good for everyone. My limits are a motivation for me.”
Aleš got into golf partly through encouragement from a golf coach he met one day. “He told me: ‘Nothing is easier, grip it as you can and swing. Golf is a game, golf is fun, enjoy it!’ He encouraged me enough with his 150% positive approach … These few minutes changed my life a lot.”
Today, Aleš is a successful businessman with a great family including wife Zuzana and two sons Matĕj and Jakub. He is also a super-keen EDGA golfer and vice president of the Czech Disabled Golf Association, helping to spread awareness at home and abroad, while helping PGA coaches to deliver golf training sessions to golfers with a disability of all ages.
Aleš’s philosophies on golf and life are broadly the same: “I would say, number one, do not take anything for granted. Right now I have something, and a few seconds later I may not have it. So you have to enjoy it. This leads to number two: enjoy every minute of your life. Three, never give up.”
He adds: “I am not a much better golfer in terms of number of strokes, but I suppose I am a better person now – keeping calm, enjoying every day, working for other golfers with disability and kids as an instructor and golf events’ organiser. So, enjoy every minute of your life.”
Aleš Süsser is one of 18 EDGA golfers who are featured in a 2019 book called ‘MULLIGAN – tough love and second chances’.
The inspiring stories of these players are sure to be of interest to many readers, while for each copy secured by donation, a hospital/clinic also benefits from receiving a free copy. The successful book is in its third print run. Please visit www.edgagolf.com/book for more details.