Steven ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson, a British Army veteran who served from 1987-2010, was selected to represent Europe against North America in the bi-annual Don Fightmaster Cup, a Ryder Cup-style golf event for disabled participants with the use of only one arm. This year’s event took place in Louisville, Kentucky over 3-days between 27-29 September. It was Hutch’s third appearance representing Europe as the only ex-Services member of the team. The 3-day event took place over 2 courses and followed the same format as the Ryder Cup – two days of foursomes and fourballs, followed by a final day of 12 x singles matches. Despite eventually losing 19 points to 9 to the strongest North America team ever assembled, the competition was a closely contested affair throughout. The Don Fightmaster Cup has now been contested 8 times over the years, with Europe now leading 6-2.
When serving, Hutch represented the Army at alpine skiing for many years and was also a Corps golfer with a handicap of 5. In 2005, he had a motorcycle accident, suffering spinal injuries that left him paralyzed in his right arm. After extensive rehabilitation, he again twice successfully represented the RLC at Alpine skiing, whilst continuing his Army career for a further 5 years. He also took up one-armed golf, having had to switch from a right-handed player, to left-handed. Remarkably, he has reduced his golf handicap back to 9, a true testimony of his resilience and determination.
Hutch said, “I am proud to have represented Europe 3 times in this prestigious event and look forward to returning to winning ways at the next event in Europe in 2 years’ time. My personal highlights were competing with longstanding golfing colleagues and being inches away from scoring a hole-in-one in the final day singles matches. I couldn’t have competed without the generous sponsorship of £500 from Chamois and an additional donation from Team Forces – I am so grateful to both for making my dream a reality”.
Jamie Clarke, CEO at Chamois said, “I have known Hutch for 30 years and it gives me enormous pleasure to see him competing at the highest level of disabled golf. He is not only the ultimate competitor, but one of life’s genuine good guys and someone for whom I have enormous personal respect. I also want to thank Lamont Kirkland, CEO of Team Forces, for also generously supporting Hutch. Without the joint donations, he would not have been able to compete”.