Chris Biggins was born with cerebral palsy, which is certainly not an easy life partner, but still conveys a quiet self-confidence, a good sense of self-awareness and that he is grateful for life. We have already seen him at the G4D Tour @ Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett, where he finished in third place after the playoffs.
Chris, the second of three brothers, Michael the Elder and Patrick, grew up in Clarksville, Maryland, USA. It was at a public golf course that Chris started playing: “Dad had a friend who had become a professional at a local golf course called Enterprise, and so in the summer he would drop us off and we would help the professionals. It was almost as a summer holiday center that revolved around golf … it all started from there ”.
Chris has a form of cerebral palsy that affects the muscles in his legs and has caused a lordosis (spinal curve) in his lower back. ““Some of my muscles are hyperactive and jerk almost constantly, while those who try to counteract them are weaker, so there’s not much they can do.”
Stretching and daily training help Chris a lot. Moving, going to the gym, walking and trying to be active is crucial, “My job allows me to be outdoors. That is probably why I chose a professional golf career ”.
Today, Chris Biggins is a PGA professional and instructor at Birmingham Country Club, “I teach golf to live and run our junior program … so I’m out there with the kids and trying to help the next generation of golfers. The training Chris received along with this life experience really helped his coaching. He is fascinated by the golf swing and takes videos of different players to better understand how they play.
One such player is twice European Individual Handball Champion Juan Postigo, “Sometimes a student can say ‘oh, I had knee surgery eight years ago and it’s hard to do certain things’. And then I say “Yes, look, this one-legged guy and see what he can do. I want to push them a little bit and see if he is the right student, how far they can go”.
Chris is also fond of downhill skiing. “I love to train and try to improve. Half the year I do alpine skiing, the other half of the year golf, and both sports feed each other. Because skiing makes me so much stronger, which nourishes golf, and I think what I really like about the sport is that the harder you work, in the right ways, the more you get. “
The idea that golf may one day become a Paralympic sport motivates him.
Chris Biggins appreciates the steps golf has taken in recent years, “Now with the WR4GD world rankings we have a lot of momentum. It’s really exciting to see the sport turn into something we would like it to be. It’s really cool that this rankings exist, but the biggest thing for me is that it helps us take golf further in our big goal, which is to get into the Paralympics. ”
Chris Biggins sees sports as a vital part of his life.
Golf is his career, but it’s more than a job, it’s important “I do not feel handicapped in sports. When I walk on the street, you can say that I am disabled. Golf is for me the means to become as good as I want to be. And it’s something I can channel all my training effort and all my free training time into, something that I can keep getting better and better at. “
With time and experience, Chris has gained new perspectives, not only on the game, but in life: “Over time, I have learned that it is not so important how I play every day. I would rather play a bad round and come out as “a good person than to play well and be a kind of fool all the time. The more I play, the more I realize that golf is not everything. But it’s something big”.
“What I am now is the ensemble of all phases of my life. At seven o’clock when I fell, I tried to hit a ball while playing with my healthy friends. At ten o’clock, when I tried to hit golf balls in my backyard , the first day I was allowed to get out of my wheelchair after the operation, and imagined playing in a major.As a sixteen year old when I was dropped from the baseball team because I was not fast enough, I chose to play golf, the “most inclusive sport I know. As a 22-year-old when I thought my competitive career was over by the end of college golf. Today, as a PGA of America golf pro who wants to develop the game.”
“Thank you to my brothers who pushed me to never give up. Thank you to my coaches, parents and friends who fought to make sure I take every opportunity to succeed. All the falls, embarrassments, failures and struggles along the way are now worth it. “