Record-breaker's big return

STILL SWINGING: Dave Sawtell in action at Chinderah Golf Course.
STILL SWINGING: Dave Sawtell in action at Chinderah Golf Course. John Gass /

DAVE Sawtell knows a thing or two about world record attempts and overcoming obstacles in life.

The spina bifida sufferer and paraplegic, who practises at Chinderah Golf Course, is a four-time Queensland long drive champion, a three-time Australian long drive golf champion, a Paralong Drive World Champion, and a Guinness World Record holder for the seated longest shot from a chair.

He was also a competition weightlifter with a best lift of 185kg in a sport he did for 11 years, and he's also completed a long-distance paddle from Brisbane to the Gold Coast in 15 hours.

In America next month, Sawtell is striving to break his own world record for the longest seated golf drive. He set the record for the Paralong Drive Cup in 2014 and is heading back this year to better it.

"I have never let my condition affect my outlook on life,” Sawtell said.

"If anything, it has made me push harder and work harder to achieve great things. My motto is 'never give up, never retreat' and this is how I approach life.

"Despite my condition, I had always managed to stay fairly fit and healthy; however, in the last few years my health declined rapidly.

"I went from being a world champion to being full of pain and unable to move.

"My condition started to catch up with me as I aged... To be honest, I thought my life was over and the spina bifida had finally got the better of me.”

Sawtell said a connection with a company called Niagara, which produces cycloid vibration therapy (CVT) products, and intensive treatment helped him regain his fitness and health.

He will attempt to break his own world record at the 2017 Paralong Drive Cup on August 25-26.

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Dave Sawtell at Chinderah Golf club.
Dave Sawtell at Chinderah Golf club.

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