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Swapping blades for clubs

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You hesitate to ask a man with no legs what his handicap might be, but Oscar Pistorius is happy to tell you. The South African plays off 18, although he has dreams of the day when he gets down to single figures. As for having no legs, that has never been much of a handicap at all.

Pistorius has a gift for making light of adversity. Not just in the way he became a multiple gold-winning Paralympian and then the first double leg amputee to compete in the Olympics, but also in the beaming positivity and good humour he exudes.

Talking about partnering Paul McGinley in the Dunhill Links Championship, Pistorius admitted that he was nervous at the prospect, but not as nervous as he had been when he took part in an Italian version of Dancing with the Stars last year. “In dancing I’d like to say I have two left feet,” he smiled, “but I have no feet at all.”

The famous blades that Pistorius wears on the track will be replaced by more conventional prosthetics — “they’re not golfing legs, but they’re pretty good for every day” — on the links of Carnoustie, St Andrews and Kingsbarns.

He first played golf when he was in his mid-teens, and his swing is hindered little by his physical condition.

“I tend to be very aggressive and use my strength to hit the ball,” Pistorius explained. “I’m very constant on both my feet. I feel that if my grip is fine and my spine is relaxed, the ball seems to go a fair distance.”

Pistorius plans to continue to compete in athletics for another five years, which would take him to the 2017 World Championships in London. He said: “I’ll be 30 then, so it’s fairly early for a sprinter, but I’ve been running since I was 17 and I’ve been running internationally since 2007.

“I would love to give more time to the game of golf. I don’t see myself improving much, to be honest. I’m quite rubbish. But the blessing for me about golf is that I don’t take it too seriously. The Daily Telegraph