Kellie Valentine is an amazing athlete. The 43-year-old can drive the golf ball 224 yards.
Oh, we forgot to mention: She does it with one arm.
Valentine is the new world champion in the women's one-arm unassisted division, crowned last month at the World ParaLong Drive Championships in Mesquite, Nev. -- a bit of a precursor to the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship wrapping up this week in Las Vegas.
The Pennsylvania native took the title in her first-ever long-drive competition.
Growing up, Valentine was a multi-sport athlete, but a 1993 car accident left her without a right arm. With limited options to compete athletically, she turned to golf, a sport she shunned as boring, swinging the clubs one-handed. With some gentle competitive prodding from her father, Valentine took up golf and vowed to beat her dad, an avid player, within two years.
Now she's not only a world champion in long drive, but also an accomplished player at traditional golf.
"Losing my arm has opened more doors than one would think," Valentine said to the Erie Times-News. "I've had the chance to visit and play golf in other countries that never would have happened before (the accident)."