Current Residence: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Hometown: Caldwell, Idaho
College: NW Nazarene University
Home Golf Course: Golf Club of Estrella, Goodyear, Ariz.
Profession: Professional Golfer
- Learned the game of golf while rehabbing in an Army hospital in 2007
- Goal is to be the first amputee to compete on the PGA TOUR
- T5 in the 2014 American Century Championship
- 2011 National Amputee Golf champion
- Three-time Champion of the Warrior Open
Chad Pfeifer is attempting to make history in becoming the first amputee to compete on the PGA TOUR.
A decorated member of the military, where he moved up to the rank of Army Corporal, Pfeifer was deployed to Iraq in 2006 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. One year later, in April, 2007, his patrol vehicle he was driving hit an improvised explosive device. He ultimately had his left leg amputated above the knee.
While mending at an Army hospital back in the United States, a fellow soldier walked into Pfeifer’s room to cheer him up and suggested that Pfeifer do something outside when he was ready. The soldier suggested golf.
“My first thought was that golf is an old man’s sport,” joked Pfeifer. A three-sport star in high school and a collegiate baseball player, golf just didn’t appeal to him.
“But I couldn’t tell him that because he was trying to cheer me up and lift my spirits. And he was missing both legs.”
Soon, the two went to the driving range after Pfeifer was fit with a prosthetic leg. Balancing himself the best he could on his new leg, he hit two of his first shots on the sweet spot. He was hooked.
“Golf saved my life,” recalled Pfeifer.
The sport allowed him to enjoy being outside and distract him from his experiences in Iraq. It also gave him motivation in his recovery in learning to walk again.
Ten months after his injury, he played his first full round of golf. Knowing that he wanted to work in the golf industry, he and his wife moved to Phoenix where he took a job as an assistant golf professional. His game continued to improve and he soon became a scratch golfer. Recognizing his passion, Pfeifer’s bosses suggested he start playing in professional tournaments.
In 2014, he competed in the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe, and led the tournament after the first round. He ended up in fifth place, and his confidence soared.
“I want to take this dream as far as I can,” said Pfeifer. “I’m representing thousands of my brothers and sisters who fought and continue to fight for our country all over the world every day.”
Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL could be Pfeifer’s ticket to realizing his dream.