There are many golfers who’ve played well even with physical disabilities, but according to Times UK golf writer John Hopkins, Manuel De Los Santos, a 25-year-old one-legged golfer from the Dominican Republic, is a true rarity: “One of the most remarkable sights I have come across in 50 years of playing and watching the sport.”
Unlike many other amputee golfers, De Los Santos does not use a prosthesis after he lost his leg in road accident six years ago, yet he still manages to smack 300-yard drives and carries a 3-handicap. And now, De Los Santos just made the amateur cut at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Most of De Los Santos’ success hinges upon his supreme conditioning and even with a missing leg, he’s still a physical specimen. He was a former baseball player who maintains his core strength by doing 100 crunches per day and his upper body is massive thanks to the crutches he uses to walk the miles on the golf course. “His forearms are like thighs,” one of his playing partners said. And De Los Santos is still new to the game — he started fiddling around seven years ago, picking up the basic fundamentals through a Tiger Woods instruction book and by hitting 2,000 balls per day.
Regardless of how successful he is at the tournament, he’s already left an indelible mark with some of the other players on the tour. Ireland’s Paul McGinley told the AP that De Los Santos’ remarkable presence at the tournament is a “story ready for a movie.” Rick Reilly’s probably on a plane to Scotland right this minute.