HELENA — Ryan Cutter is a PGA certified pro golfer and double amputee. USGA is hosting their first-ever Adaptive Open Championship, but now Cutter needs the help of the community to get him there.
The U.S. Adaptive Open Championship will showcase the world’s best golfers with disabilities. The competition will be held on Course No. 6 at the historic Pinehurst Resort & Country Club on July 18-20, 2022.
Out of over 300 applicants from around the world, Cutter was chosen.
“Yeah, so you put your name in, and I think they looked up your handicap index. And then from there, you had to explain what sort of disability you had. And so they have different levels of disabilities within this event. It's like single leg, single arm, multiple limb, which is a category I fell into. There's some neurological disorders. There's a whole list of different categories that you could fit into. And so you had to explain your disability. And then we would send pictures of our disability, if we needed any adaptive equipment to swing the golf club, like a video of us swinging a golf club. And I think they based entries solely off of the handicap,” Cutter said.
His golf journey started at age three, and his competitive nature pushed him to stick with the sport.
“So you get to an age where you're like 10 or 11, and you're trying to beat everyone else. And so soccer was a lot of running. And I couldn't run as fast as other kids. Baseball was a lot of running basketball was a lot of running. So Golf was really the only sport where I could compete against the other kids and do well and play better and beat them. And I kind of just got attached to golf because I knew I could win,” he said.
But this open isn’t just about winning for Cutter, it holds a much bigger meaning.
“Yeah, it's insane to me, not only for me and the players that are participating in it to have that major championship feel. But just for the general public, you know, to see that golf is a game for everyone. There's really, really good players that have, you know, I have no legs. There's some people there that don't really have hands that play really, really well. You know, despite your limitations in life, you can come out and play this game. And so that's really what I hope that this event is doing is showing to the world that you know, if you don't feel like you can play golf, you really can despite any limitations that you have,” he said.
Cutter is looking forward to spending the open with his girlfriend and family.
“You know, I think when I step on site at Pinehurst, I'm just going to be grinning ear to ear the whole time I'm there, you know, it's going to be such a cool experience. My girlfriend, she's going to be my caddy. So it's going to be really cool to share that experience with her. My whole family is going to come down we're going to rent an Airbnb and so I get to spend time with my family. I get to play in this championship. And then I know a lot of the people that made it in through other disabled golf events that I've been a part of, and kind of networking with them and seeing their ideas and how they think about the golf swing and how that's different from maybe how I think about the golf swing. So I think the experience is just going to be unbelievable. I'm already smiling thinking about it,” he said.
You can help Cutter and his family get to Pinehurst with his GoFundMe.
“Hopefully I'm there on the 18th green with a putt to win it.”