Golfer born without hands recently made his second ace... and it was caught on video
By T.J. Auclair
Meet Brandon Canesi.
The 26-year-old, an avid golfer who attends the Golf Academy of America in Myrtle Beach, S.C., recently became a viral sensation when a video of a hole-in-one he made on Feb. 27 took the internet by storm.
What separated Canesi's ace video from any of the others you can find via a quick YouTube search, you ask?
Well, what if I told you Cansei was born without hands and modified his own set of clubs with longer shafts -- 58-inch shafts on the irons and 60-inch shafts on the woods -- in order to be able to play golf?
Surely that raises an eyebrow, right?
Here's the video from the par-3, 150-yard 17th hole at Wizard Golf Course, which, at last check, had almost 71,000 views on Canesi's Instagram account "hole__high" (WARNING: There is some language that may not be suitable for everyone):
The coolest thing about this ace, Canesi said, is that unlike his first one, this was caught on video.
That's right -- he has two.
Canesi's first came on Father's Day in 2016 while playing alongside his older and younger brothers and his dad. It was on the par-3 11th hole at Mays Landing Country Club in New Jersey -- a 5-wood from 190 yards.
"We took the ordinary picture of me picking the ball up out of the hole, but it wasn't the same as this one on video," Canesi told PGA.com. "The whole group was floating after I made this one. It was awesome."
Canesi was born with "Limb Difference," a congenital absence or malformation of limbs.
"I was a twin and the twin didn't make it," Canesi said. "The doctor perscribed something to my mom and it got to my hands. It's called 'Limb Difference.' I have a better sense of humor about my situation than anyone else. People will comment on posts like, 'how about a high 5?' And I think, 'come on. You can't do better than that?' I like to mess with people and tell them it happened in a shark attack. It doesn't bother me because I've overcome the situation."
Better than the ace itself is the platform it has given Canesi to spread the word about an organization he started in 2016 called "Hole High," which raises money in support of adaptive golfers.
"Honestly, more than anything, it was recognition for what I'm trying to do," Canesi said of the video. "People have reached out saying I'm an inspiration to them. The fact that that has already happened, I consider this all a success. Now it's about growing it."
Canesi is a certified golf nut.
At the Golf Academy, he plays six days a week and -- when the weather forces him inside -- he makes good use of the indoor facilities and simulators.
Canesi's goal is to learn everything he can about the game so he can teach it to others. He estimates that he started playing golf as a 6-year-old when he'd visit his golf-loving grandfather in Florida.
"I'd just fit his club under my arm and got swinging," he said.
Canesi got serious about golf at around 16 years old. That's when he started tinkering with his clubs to make them more comfortable in an effort to see what level of ability he could reach.
And let's just say that level of ability is, well, high. His best score to date is a 76 at Mays Landing -- his home course in New Jersey -- and then there's those two aces.
"I just love golf," Canesi said. "I love it a lot. I watch it all the time. I knew I needed to bet on myself for a career in golf. It was always a getaway for me and when I saw the Golf Academy commercial, I knew that's what I needed to do to learn more and teach it. I want to learn as much as I can so that I can teach, do some motivational speaking and competing. This is where I need to be in all those aspects."
And, for the rest of his life, Canesi can always revel in that ace that was caught on video.
"I take videos all the time for 'Hole High' to post on Instagram just to show that you can overcome your limitations," he said. "As long as it's not tournament play and I notice the lighting is right, where you can see everything, I ask a friend to take a video in slo-mo. I struck gold on this one. Right place, right moment. It was meant to be."
Indeed it was.