NAPLES, Fla. — Anton Glass’s story in the sport of golf seems normal. The Florida native and FGCU graduate first picked up the sticks at the age of 14.
“When I was a kid, I was just one day roaming around my grandparents’ basement, just checking things out, and saw some golf clubs in the corner, some golf balls in the bag, and I figured, well, why not,” Glass said.
He took the clubs out to his backyard and started swinging. As a multi-sport athlete already, Glass discovered he was pretty good at golf too. So, he started practicing and playing more and more, learning from his neighbor. Glass played four years of varsity golf in high school.
Then he wanted to turn his passion into a career. So, he went to FGCU for their PGA Golf Management Program. Now, Glass works at Talis Park in Naples.
“I’m an assistant golf professional here,” Glass said. “So some of my duties are going to consist of tournament operations… I’ll also take care of merchandising… and then golf instruction, as well.”
All of that is pretty normal; however, his journey through golf is anything but. Glass has done all of that with a prosthetic left leg.
“When I was born, I was missing my tibia bone,” Glass said. “So when I was five, it was amputated.”
Luckily, the amputation happened at such an early age, Glass doesn’t remember much from before it. He grew up with his prosthetic, not allowing it to get in the way of his goals and his golf game.
“If I want to go do something, I go do it,” he said. “No excuses; you get out there, and you find a way.”
A few weeks ago, Glass was one of 96 participants in the second annual U.S. Adaptive Open, which was held at Pinehurst No. 6. The championship tournament is the newest USGA event. It features the world’s best-disabled golfers.
“It was really cool to be a part of that atmosphere,” Glass said.
The tournament’s participants had disabilities ranging from lost limbs to neurological disorders. They each had their own challenges and stories, but all shared a common love.
“We all shared the love, the love of the game,” Glass said.
Glass ended up tied for fifth out of 75 men’s players. He shot a 220 through three rounds, finishing four over par. It was an impressive performance for his first showing, but the experience was about more than just the final scorecard.
“Sure, while we’re all out there to play the best we can and try to win the whole thing,” Glass said. “At the same time, everyone is very supportive of each other.”
Glass is continuing to play in other local tournaments across the state of Florida and is hoping to play in the U.S. Adaptive Open again next year.