Wounded by an IED in Iraq in 2007, Cpl. Chad Pfeifer lost part of his left leg. Seven years later, he is an aspiring PGA golfer and is striving to leave his mark on golf history. He is currently on the The Golf Channel’s reality show “Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL.” I was fortunate enough to be able to ask him a few burning questions.
1. How did you manage to get onto the show – what did the process entail?
I went through an audition process to get on the show, which included a video audition with both an interview and golf swing video. I was then called several months later and interviewed a second time with more detailed questions, and then finally Skyped with some of the producers for my final interview.
- Besides winning, what goals associated with the show do you have?
They also do shows like Big Break NFL and Big Break Invitational where they invite cast members back from previous shows, so it would be a lot of fun to be a part of those. Other than stuff like that, the main goal of making it to the PGA is the biggest I will focus on.
- From whom do you draw your strength and inspiration?
There are a lot of people that I draw inspiration from and a lot of those people are other wounded veterans. When I was going through my rehab at BAMC in San Antonio I could see the guys who were “phases” in front of me and they pushed me to become better at what I was working on. I would see guys just learning how to walk on their prosthesis before I had mine and then when I got on my own prosthetic I would see other guys running on theirs. It was nice to see other guys in front of me doing great things on prosthetic limbs that assured me that I could do it too and I was able to learn from some of their mistakes as well as make a few mistakes on my own. You have to have a mentality of, “If someone else can do it, so can I, but better.”
When it comes to golf I looked at professional golfers who had overcome adversity and have had success doing so. There are a lot of great golfers that have overcome some sort of physical setback and they have inspired me. There has never been an amputee to compete in a PGA Tour event and I want to be the first, and that alone is enough reason for me to work my butt off but to reach that goal. If that doesn’t happen I know I have given my best attempt and along the way I hope to inspire other people with disabilities and wounded veterans to reach their goals.
As he works to leave his mark on the golf world, here is some food for thought for the rest of us: “…you and I have sacrificed limbs, eyesight, and quality of life to protect the freedoms that we still enjoy today, but your brothers and sisters have made the ultimate sacrifice for you to live life to the fullest. My challenge for all of you is that you use your story and sacrifices to inspire those that are struggling with their injuries and illnesses and if you are one of those people remember that someone out there has it worse than you and you too can help them with their problems and inspire them.”