Dennis Walters was an aspiring PGA Tour player when he was paralyzed from the waist down in an accident in 1974.
That, however, didn't stop Walters from making an impact on the game of golf. Or eventually being honored with former U.S. presidents.
The "Dennis Walters Golf Show," an hour-long trick shot and golf demonstration that in as inspirational as it is amazing, has been performing across the country for years.
Today, he will be at the Oakmont East course, adjacent to Oakmont Country Club, for a 1 p.m. show that benefits The First Tee of Pittsburgh.
"I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I didn't want to live my life without having golf in it," Walters said the other day on the phone. "I was looking at this in the wrong light. I shouldn't look at this how I used to play, but how I'm playing right now and can I get any better."
Tournament: Web.com Tour's Mylan Classic, Southpointe Golf Club, Canonsburg.
When: Aug. 1-4.
TV: Golf Channel.
Purse: $675,000, with the winner earning $170,000.
Tickets: Range from $25 (grounds pass) to $50 (clubhouse pass) for the week. Other ticketing packages also available.
Despite not having use of his legs, Walters sits in a swivel seat in a motorized cart and hits shots using different props, including a fishing rod, a three-headed club and even a cell phone.
The performance is so awe-inspiring -- and his story so remarkable -- that he is one of 11 people to be named an honorary lifetime member of the PGA of America. Three of the other members are former U.S. Presidents -- Dwight Einsenhower, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.
Walters also has received the PGA of America's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, a distinction whose previous winners include Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson and Gene Sarazen.
"I never dreamed I could make a career out of this," Walters said. "To be able to have a career hitting trick shots for 35 years, that's great. But to have the opportunity to positively influence others has made it even better."
The star of last week's U.S. Open qualifier at Grove City Country Club was not the two players who tied for low honors, amateur Sebastian Hutman or PGA Canada Tour player Mark Hoffman.
Rather it was the course itself.
Grove City stood out, not because the course yielded just two sub-par scores in a field of 69 players, but because the 6,748-yard layout opened the eyes of most of the players who didn't know such a gem existed just a couple of fairway metals from Interstate 79 at the Grove City Outlets exit.
Grove City CC has been in existence since 1917 but mainly as a nine-hole course.
In 1995, the club built nine new holes and weaved them into its existing layout to create an 18-hole delight that is as scenic as it is challenging.
Sure, the one-level clubhouse is old and the pro shop is small. And the membership is down to 85 full-time members.
But step on the golf course, get enveloped by the tranquil environment and you quickly understand the meaning of the phrase, "hidden gem."
New date, new format
The Web.com Tour's Mylan Classic has more than just a new date for its 72-hole tournament at Southpointe Golf Club.
The tournament, which has been moved from Labor Day weekend to Aug. 1-4, also has a new format in which 12 exemptions will be given to the top college and amateur players in the country.
This format has been used for the Web.com Tour event in Columbus, Ohio -- the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship -- but that event is now part of the four-tournament playoff series that will determine PGA Tour cards for 2014. So the format has been adopted by the Mylan Classic.
The 12 exemptions will go to the winner of the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship, the individual winner of the 2013 NCAA Division I championship, the winner of the 2013 Jack Nicklaus Award as NCAA Division I college player of the year, players named to the 2013 NCAA Division I All-America first team, as selected by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
If more players are needed to reach a combined total of 12, exemptions will be awarded to players who were named to NCAA Division I All-America second team, or the current NCAA Division II player of the year or a member of the most recent U.S. Walker Cup team.
In each category, the winner will remain eligible for the exemption even if he has turned professional.
"The PGA Tour came to us and said, 'We'd love to have you take over this format,' and we said we'd be happy to," said tournament director Chase McClain. "We're going to have a lot more eyeballs on the Mylan Classic this year just because of the format change."
Cool Springs back
The Cool Springs Golf Center in Bethel Park, once one of the busiest driving ranges in Western Pennsylvania, is back in full operation, at least for the spring and summer season.
The facility, which also features miniature golf, was in danger of not opening at all this season. Part of the problem is Cool Springs lost a lot of its regular customers when the facility installed a snow-tubing track several years ago, damaging part of the landing areas.
That decision also interfered with golfers who used Cool Springs' heated hitting stalls in the fall and winter.
Cool Springs no longer will stay open in the winter, but it is back in business ... for now. And it has a new phone number, 412-651-9542.
"We are still in the business of fixing golf swings," said Bob Salera, one of two PGA teaching professionals, along with Carmen Costa, at Cool Springs.
Dissa and data
Kevin Shields has joined the professional staff at the Club at Nevillewood as director of instruction. Shields, one of the top players in the Tri-State PGA section, is listed as one of the top 10 teachers in the state by Golf Digest. Shields has won the Tri-State Open, West Penn Open and the Frank B. Fuhrer Invitational. ... The 18th annual Emmaus Golf Classic: A Liberty Mutual Invitational is Sept. 23 at the Club at Nevillewood. Proceeds benefit the Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization providing permanent homes, respite care and advocacy for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism. For information, visit www.emmauspgh.org or contact Tiffany Merriman-Preston at 412-381-0277 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gerry Dulac: email@example.com; twitter: @gerrydulac. Listen to "The Golf Show with Gerry Dulac" every Thursday, 7-8:30 p.m., on 970 ESPN.