A couple of weeks ago, 5 of us LD'ers met for a 5 man scramble challenge in Green Valley in Nor Cal. It was a very interesting, & fun 3 days watching Danny L. showing off his playing skills, seeing Zuback driving par 4"s, hitting the ball hard harder than I've ever seen before, and once again being totally amazed with Ben Witter!
Many of you newer guys have never had the pleasure of meeting or seeing Ben in action. In a very condensed summary, years ago Ben was an inspiring tour player but was diagnosed with cancer, which put an end to his playing career. In fact he's had to beat it twice and still has managed to excel in everything he does.
I remember going with him to Asia and doing a 7day tour just 2 weeks after his retina detached in one eye, and I wouldn’t say his vision in the good eye was anything to speak of. I would have called him legally blind, but that's when it all came to me, I was looking at a "real" modern day "Batman". The fact that he could do ANYTHING he wanted - physically, with his poor vision was more than amazing. He thrilled 1,000's on that trip, along with myself. Any way, back to Green Valley.
For 2 days the members were in awe watching our group hitting balls on their course in disbelief. Well, let me put it this way. They were impressed with 4 of us and then it went to "disbelief’” with Zuback. This whole time we told them all "just wait until Ben does his thing". And sure enough, as scheduled, for one hour, Ben Witter put on a show that we could not believe was humanly possible. I will go on record saying that no one in the world can do what he does. Now golf isn't the only sport he has excelled in, anything he feels like doing he's great at. What a "butt head". I honestly think that had he focused on some Olympic sports, we'd be looking at a 2 or 3 time Bruce Jenner or Lance Armstrong or maybe a Bo Jackson someone of that nature. Ben recently took up water skiing
Having played 12 years of pro baseball as a catcher (all with the exception of 2 months, in the minor leagues) and with my spotty career in long drive, I consider myself as a "middle of the road" athlete at best. And I guess that having been involved in sports most of my life this subject has always interested me, which brings me to what inspired this letter:
How does a guy beat cancer two times, work a business 12 hours a day, travel doing exhibitions, a father of 5 children, train extensively everyday and still wow people everywhere is goes? And last but not least, is humble with an up-beat and positive attitude that makes me feel like I need to adjust my own priorities.
As painful as this next part is, it will put all of this into prospective. Back to Green Valley.
As Ben finished his exhibition, he shared with the crowd his experience with cancer. Said he had beaten it twice and that was that. What they (we) where looking at was a guy that did some things they didn't think possible and then capped it off with a story about "life's" pit falls, that he dealt with in the most humble way.
Then, as they looked at him, applauding very loud, Mr. Gil Walker walked to the tee box, and told the rest of the story. As of a month prior, Ben had been diagnosed with cancer again, and with all this he still came, performed and brought an optimistic attitude that I will never forget. He has another fight on his hands, which I am convinced he will over come, once again.
Now, I started this thread off with the statement that I think he might be the best all around athlete I've known, and after considering the hand he's been dealt, I take that back, Ben IS the best all around athlete I've ever known. More importantly, he is an example of what we all should strive to be. I hope he doesn't get mad for this but just to give you an example of his great character, here is a just a small portion of an e-mail he recently sent to me...
"To be sure, this is a challenging time in my life, but I've always believed that every challenge we face in life has an equally abundant set of opportunities hidden beneath it.
For me, this recent bout with cancer and financial disaster we're going through has surprisingly brought my family closer together than we've ever been which is probably the greatest blessing I could ever ask for.
Whatever happens to my business will be secondary to my family, so for that, I'm already abundantly thankful."
If you don't know Ben, you do now! Go to his website and get to know him better www.benspowergolf.com.
3 months ago I bought Ben's 4 pack of DVD's and enjoyed every minute of them. They are extremely informative; you will become a better golfer and long driver after watching & applying the lessons learned on these DVD's.
Here is what I propose: you'll be helping yourself and helping Ben out as well. I personally will be buying multiple sets of Ben's "Rip it 300 Yards" DVD 's. As a long driver I will sell them along with equipment sales, give then as donations at exhibitions, Christmas gifts etc...you get the idea.
I challenge you - the long drive community to do the same. Purchase a few sets of Ben's Rip it 300 Yards DVD's. It's a win-win situation. Your game will improve and this will help (in a small way) to off-set the EXUBURANT medical costs Ben is and will be encountering.
I need to make this clear; Ben has no idea that I am reaching out to you guys, to step up to the plate and help support a fellow long driver. Ben has never asked for anything, he wants "no" pity or certainly doesn't want anyone to feel sorry for him. If there is anything negative in your mind with regards to this, direct it to me and only me. I may not be the best writer and I don't always explain things clearly, but I am confident that all of you will understand what I have tried to share.
I am in hopes that all of you will join me in helping Ben and his family, and show the world that we are a unique group of men and women that stand together to help that take care of our own as well as others. Let's help Ben fight the FIGHT.
Call Ben's wife Anne to order directly 717-274-8648. There seems to be some temporary glitches on the on-line order process www.benspowergolf.com