IBGA Blind Golfer IBGA Directors

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IBGA Directors

True International Representation from Professional Businessmen

Karin Becker: Austria: Chairman

Chair of the new Membership Growth Committee

Photo of Karin Becker IBGA Directo IBGA Director, Karin Becker Karin was born in 1972 in Austria and became visually impaired at the age of twenty-one.

Karin started playing golf while visually impaired and had her first contact with blind golf in 2010 and became a member of the IBGA in 2013.

Since 2014 Karin was the national secretary of Austrian Blind Golf.

For many years Karin is leading the blind and visual impaired committee at the Austrian golf association and trying to make golf more attractive to people with sight problems.


Mario Tobia: United States: Vice-Chairman Admin

Photo of Mario Tobia IBGA Director IBGA Director, Mario was born in Teramo, Italy and migrated to the United States as a young child. He was schooled in the USA and obtained a university degree in Computer Science where he pursued his career as a Computer Engineer and advanced to the position of the Director of Information Technology for his company.

After losing his sight at the age of forty, he resumed his professional career working for the Department of Veterans Affair and the New Jersey Commission for the Blind.

Along with his IBGA Director's responsibilities, Mario has served as the Vice President of the United States Blind Golf Association since 2019 and serves as the President of the Middle Atlantic Blind Golf Association for the past 8 years.


Alejandro De Miguel: Spain: Vice-Chairman Finance

Garrett Slattery: South Africa: Director

Photo of Garrett Slattery IBGA Director IBGA Director, Garrett, a Professor in Actuarial Science at Stellenbosch University, has been visually impaired since the age of ten. Garrett emigrated from the UK to South Africa in the 1970's and is married with a son.

Garrett was one of the founder members of the South African Blind Golf Association (SABGA) and has served as their Honorary Secretary/Treasurer for a number of years.

Garrett has been a member of the IBGA Board of Directors since 2012 and is a past Chairman of the Board.


Gerry Nelson: Canada: Director

Photo of Gerry Nelson IBGA Directo IBGA Director, Gerry, retired from his position as a provincial Client Service Co. with Canada's National Institute for the Blind in October 2021, was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan on November 9th, 1963.

At the age of six he was diagnosed with diabetes and became blind at the age of twenty-five.

He is a past-president and current vice-president of the Western Canadian Blind Golf Association and is in his second term as President of Blind Golf Canada. He is also in his second term as a Director on the Board of the IBGA.


John White: Australia: Director

Representing Dr Handa

Photo of John White IBGA Directo IBGA Director, John, a retired banker, lives in Perth Western Australia. An active golfer, he has been a member of the Nedlands Golf Club for 50 years.

He first met Dr Handa in 1989 at the inaugural Australian Blind Golf Championship held in Perth. John became Dr Handa's representative on the IBGA board in 2008.


John Eakin: England: Director

IBGA Handicap Secretary and Chair of the IBGA Handicap Committee

Photo of John Eakin IBGA Director IBGA Director John is a member of Blind Golf England. John lives in Surrey, England, having been born in 1958 in Malacca, Malaysia. He has been on the IBGA board of directors since 2019.

John has been a Trustee of England and Wales Blind Golf (EWBG) for over ten years.

He is a member of Royal Ashdown Forest GC in Sussex, England. In 2014/15 he Captained his club, and remains a single figure handicapper.


Past Directors

Mr Yoshinori Ikezawa

Photo of Mr Yoshinori Ikezawa IBGA Directo Mr Ikezawa was born in 1959. He first encountered the sport of golf when someone asked 16-year-old Yoshinori to work part time as caddie at a distinguished golf course.

In those days in Japan, golf was rarely played by ordinary people and was considered by many as an opportunity for the rich to socialize. However, he was moved by the good manners and etiquette of the members of the golf club, and Yoshinori, who was practising Judo at the time, was intrigued by the similarities in spiritual ways between the ancient Japanese martial art and the Western sport of golf.

Yoshinori's future dreams include the realization of a tournament for all categories of eye sight and producing a world champion from Japan.


Linda Port

Photo of Linda Port IBGA Director Linda, who is a resident of Southern California, was raised in Washington State where her father (totally blind) was teacher, athletic director and ultimately principal of the Washington State School for the Blind. Linda regards her father as her inspiration and feels privileged to have grown up among the teachers and students at the School.

She learned golf at age 40 (while she still had most of her vision) and played on club teams for a few years in the early 1990s; she then returned to work for Ely Callaway (founder of Callaway Golf) as the project manager for his autobiography. Although low vision was a big factor in giving up golf for many years, she discovered blind golf in 2011 and by 2014 competed in the USBGA Open in Exeter, RI.

In November, 2016 Linda won the Ladies World Championship in Tokyo, Japan. Most of the time, her coach/guide is husband Fred.


Andrea Calcaterra

Photo of Andrea Calcaterra IBGA Directo Andrea Calcaterra from Milan, Italy, belongs to a family who have been involved in golf for 4 generations. He started playing golf at the age of 9 and his handicap continually improved, eventually playing off 3.

In the late 1990s he lost his eyesight and stopped playing. In 2001 he restarted playing, initially as a joke but quickly realised he could play and enjoy 18 holes.

During 2003 he joined the Associazione Italiana Golf Disabili and in 2004 contributed to its transformation into the Federazione Italiana Golf Disabili. Since then he has been a member of the board first as director and in 2008 became Chairman of the Blind Golf Department.


Graham Coulton

Photo of Graham Coulton IBGA Directo Graham was born on 9 April, 1958 and is retired and was formally employed by the Office of Sport which is a division under the NSW State Government of Australia and he held the position of Program Coordinator - Motor Sport.

This is a unique position for a person with a vision impairment, as Graham administered two separate Acts under State Government legislation relating to the conduct of motor sport in NSW.

Graham commenced to play golf in 1994, in 1995, he played in his first Australian Open and since then he has now played in seven World Championships.


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