I’ve been asked the question myself – the why golf? one. When people see someone who doesnt quite fit the natural mould for the game. I increasingly feel that sometimes there is a pull, a force, that draws a diversity of people to the game.
None more so than Valentino Dixon who has spent 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit and who yesterday had his conviction quashed. During his time in jail he began to draw. A prison guard saw what he was doing and gave him a picture of Amen Corner at Augusta National to copy. And from this he began to draw and colour more and more golf courses. He doesn’t really understand the pull but says it gave him peace. “For some reason my spirit is attuned to this game”.
Valentino’s daughter Valentina began to sell his golf artwork on line to help pay to re-open his case. Golf Digest in America looked in to his story and along with students at Georgetown University who campaigned against his wrongful imprisonment they uncovered shoddy police work, unsafe evidence and unreliable witnesses. Tonight the real perpetrator of the 1991 murder for which Valentino was wrongly imprisoned is behind bars.
The love of Golf had kept him going. l will be interested to see if anyone in the golf community gives back to Valentino for he surely has his place amongst us.