MAUMEE, OHIO Ben Witter, AboutGolf's Director of Golf, who is fighting cancer for the third time, has been awarded an exemption to compete in the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship qualifying in Mesquite, Nevada beginning on Friday, October 23 and running through Friday, October 30.
, a 45-year-old PGA Professional and Trick-Shot Artist with a specialty in power training, will be exempt in both the Open and Senior divisions of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship qualifying.
also will participate at the Oct. 30 grand opening of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship finals, where, after being introduced to the crowd, he
will conduct a 15-minute trick-shot show.
It will be aired on ESPN on Christmas day.
"The Long Drivers Association
gave me an exemption partly because of the news of my recent health challenges and partly because of my history in the sport," says Witter
, who placed 13th in the 1999 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship after being the RE/MAX District 13 Long Drive Champion.
also was the 1984 and 1985 NCAA Long Drive Champion while attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania
, where he
was a three-time All-American.
hasn't lost his
upbeat outlook or sense of humor despite his
recent diagnosis of adenoid cystic carcinoma of the left lower mandible.
, who is seeking alternative medical and non-medical treatments, has beaten lung cancer after being diagnosed in 2005, resulting in a partial removal of his
left lung through a thorocotomy.
In March 1988, while playing mini-tours, Witter's dream of becoming a PGA Tour star was derailed after his
first bout with adenoid cystic carcinoma, which resulted in a partial maxillectomy of the left hard palate, followed by radiation treatment and several reconstructive surgeries.
Witter's trick-shot routine actually was born during his
initial cancer recovery.
"I began doing tricks in the hospital room to pass the time during treatments after my mother gave me a golf ball and a wedge to help me with my attitude and direction in life," says Witter, whose lengthy stay at Houston's MD Anderson Cancer Center resulted in the medical staff becoming Witter's first audience.
During the ensuing 21 years, Witter?who became AboutGolf's
Director of Golf in 2005 and represents the company in his
golf shows and appearances, and assists with AboutGolf growth and development?has added a new shot or stunt each year and remains in peak physical condition, despite his
two subsequent battles with cancer.
still competes and entertains internationally and has placed third in the World Golf Trick Shot Championship.
"I've used the AboutGolf simulator and launch monitor with hundreds of my students and I can confidently say that I'm 110 percent certain that I made the right investment," Witter
Witter's teaching philosophy and instructional beliefs are based on the same concepts he
routinely demonstrates in his
trick-shot show, where he
uses sound fundamental principles to illustrate how function follows form in nearly every application.
blend of talent, knowledge and experience have made Witter one of the game's most uniquely qualified and sought-after PGA Professionals.
, considering what he's
had to overcome with three bouts of cancer, has accomplished far more in life and golf than anyone.
Ben is a role model for all of us," says Bill Bales, AboutGolf's CEO.