A BUSINESSMAN has qualified to compete in the blind golf World Championships for the second time.

Andy Gilford, from Worthing, first took up the sport after carrying his friends’ bags for them. They offered to line him up and keep track of where the ball landed for him.

The 45-year-old is now raising money so he can compete in the ISPS Handa Blind Golf World Championships in Rome this October, as well as the British Open and other international events.

Mr Gilford said: “Blind golf changed my life and I was lucky in 1999 to be ranked number 1 in the world with a handicap of 10.7.

“The charity is a self-funding organisation and helps so many people in different ways and we are always looking for new members and also volunteer guides to help on the course.

“It is more of a team game as you rely on the information the guide gives you on shots and reading greens etc.

“My wife Melanie is my tournament guide and is a non-golfer.

“Since coming back to golf we have both been part of international teams and the Rest Of The World Team.

“I recently moved to West Hove Golf Club who have gone the extra mile to help me achieve my goals, the members help both on and off the course and help me also compete in sighted matches and competitions.”

This will be his second time playing in the World Championships, after competing last time in Scotland in 2000 and finishing third in the B2 Category Gross.

He is crowdfunding to live out his dream at the competition and will need money to cover his entry and travel costs and to pay for flights for his guide.

Mr Gilford said: “I was never very good at sports and was always the last to be picked for teams at school.

“Golf changed my life in so many ways and is one of the things I have overcome my disability with.

“I was told at an early age that one day the sight could go completely and as it deteriorated over the years I have used golf to overcome what could lie ahead.”

To donate to Mr Gilford’s cause and help him compete, visit gofundme.com/world-champs-international-events.