Tualatin golfer uses an unusual handicap: a blindfold
Narayan Gurung said that at one point during the COVID-19 pandemic, he became so bored that he started to practice putting with his eyes closed.
At one point, after sinking a putt, Gurung's friends told him that he had good focus, crediting that to the discipline of his martial arts teaching experience.
And then they asked him if he thought he could golf blindfolded.
Gurung thought he could.
"I said, 'You want to play?' and they said, 'Yeah. Let's play," said Gurung, a Tualatin resident. "We set a day and played."
The first game was played over the summer against Gurung's friend Bud — also a Tualatin resident — who declined to give his last name. While blindfolded, Gurung notched a 51 at the King City Public Golf Course.
But then, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, Gurung stepped up to shoot a blindfolded 45 — just 11 shots over the course's par of 34.
And the hardest part?
"I missed four putts within 2 feet," said Gurung, joking that it was somehow more difficult on Wednesday than it had been last summer.
The good news is that on the No. 5 hole — a 167-yard par-3 — something special happened. Gurung hit his tee shot more than 160 yards and landed his ball 4 feet from the pin using a three-wood, Gurung recounted.
Gurung may not be able to see the course or the ball, but he knows what he's doing out there.
Gurung is originally from Nepal, from which he emigrated in 1993. A member at the King City Golf Course since 2009, he first took up golf in 2004.
"I joined King City and learned what club to use for what distance, etiquette — everything I learned here," he said. "There's very good people here."
Bud said the game was all in good fun. Two other friends tagged along to play as well.
"He does good blindfolded," Bud admitted. "I ended up shooting a 52."
And while Bud acknowledged having a few bad holes on Wednesday, he said the weather was beautiful, and he plans to take on Gurung again at some point.
"The law of averages says I've got to beat him sometime," he remarked.
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