Amputee golfer embraces game as therapeutic, competitive outlet

Tournament continues in West Des Moines this wekeend

WEST DES MOINES - There's a special twist on a round of summer golf. 
 
"For me, it's so special, because this was like therapy almost for me," said Matt Snyder, a golfer from Carthage, Illinois. 
 
The golf course is a place of peace and serenity for Matt Snyder. It's been almost three years since Matt lost his leg in a car accident.
 
"Just exhausted, I fell asleep at the wheel and hit a guard rail, in turn the guard rail punctured my
 vehicle and took my leg. It could've been a lot worse," said Snyder. "So, I'm thankful for that."
 
Snyder got a new prosthetic leg, but he didn't want to lose the things he loved doing.
 
"A lot of people try to go out there and swing as hard as they can and hit it as hard as they can," Snyder explained. "And I think the biggest thing for me is it taught me to slow down naturally. I didn't really have a choice."
 
On Friday, Matt was in the scramble tournament for the third straight year. It's a chance to play with his friends.
 
"So, the biggest difference between his game then and now is there's a lot more trash talk," said Justin Pettit, Snyder's cousin from Des Moines.
 
But it's also special to play among other amputees.
 
"It opens your eyes a little bit to see, oh, okay, I didn't have it as bad as I could have had it, and there's always things to be thankful for, and this is one of those things that helps you see those things," said Snyder.
 
Through it all, his competitiveness has never wavered.
 
"Because he is a fighter, I knew that he was going to make it through this, and so I knew that he wanted to play this golf game and still whoop on me, regardless of what happened in his life," said Pettit.
 
And he's working his best to show that his injury, won't stop him from living his life. 
 
"They don't slow down for me. So, I do my best not to slow down," said Snyder.
 
"We really enjoy the time that we get to spend together because it's a new lease on life for the both of us," said Snyder.
 
The amputee golf tournament resumes on Saturday at 8 a.m. Tee times are at the same time on Sunday. 

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