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Teeing Up for Success: Alex Notte Returns to Play Golf in the Helen Keller Services 33rd Annual Golf Classic

Meet Alex Notte, a remarkable young man who is DeafBlind, has developmental disabilities, and has emerged as a shining star in golf.

Newscaster: Tonight, a story of determination and athletic will. CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff introduces us to a remarkable golfer who is overcoming more than most. 

Woman: He addresses the ball with ease. 

Man: Oh, he has a really natural swing.

Carolyn: Polished and confident. But Alex Notte can neither see nor hear what the rest of these golfers can.

Announcer: One, two, three, birdie!

Carolyn: The 30-year-old from Tennessee in New York for the Helen Keller Services Golf Classic, is not only raising money for DeafBlind services, the program graduate is playing the game with astounding skill. You love this game?

Alex: Yes. Yes.

Alex’s Sister: I mean, when he’s on the course, he’s a golfer. He isn’t a disabled person.

Carolyn: Diagnosed as DeafBlind with developmental disabilities as a toddler, he has low sight and profound hearing loss, but was determined to follow in the footsteps of his sister, a college golfer.

When he said, “I want to play golf,” what was your reaction? 

Alex’s Sister: Were mom and dad surprised?

Carolyn: He invited a pro golfer to his high school prom.

Man: We had them golf, and she saw him hit off the tee and her face just went.

Carolyn: Now a special Olympian who reminds himself with every swing;

Alex’s Sister: Show your shoe, keep your head down when you golf.

Carolyn: Notte is clearly not stopped by his handicap on the golf course or in life.

Alex’s Sister: I think we can all be inspired that we do our best, but if you ask him, “how was your golf game?” What will you always say?

Alex: Good!

Sue Ruzenski, CEO of Helen Keller Services: Believing of what, you know, a person can do rather than what they can’t do.

Carolyn: Alex founded Bogey Golf Gifts, socks which support golf for disabled and disadvantaged people. His advice?

Alex’ Sister: Be calm and practice. 

Carolyn: For success on and off the course. In Lake Success, Long Island, Carolyn Gosoff, CBS 2 News.

Newscaster: The last week of June is observed as DeafBlind Awareness Week in honor of Helen Keller’s birthday on June 27th. [End of Transcript]

In the heart of Knoxville, Tennessee, amidst the rolling greens of the city’s golf courses, lies a story of triumph that’s as inspiring as it is extraordinary.

Meet Alex Notte, a remarkable young man who overcame his challenges – he is DeafBlind and living with developmental disabilities – to emerge as a shining star in the world of golf.

This June 24, during DeafBlind Awareness Week, Alex returns to NY to play in the Helen Keller Services Annual Golf Classic, marking a full circle moment in his extraordinary journey. Alex’s story serves as an inspiration to all and a reminder that with the right supports and services, everyone can find their success.

As a young man, Alex followed in his older sister’s athletic footsteps, taking up her sport of golf even though he was DeafBlind and developmentally disabled in a way that affected his coordination. His determined and loving parents took him to a golf lesson, where the course golf pro saw his swing and confirmed they could make a golfer out of him.

Alex began receiving services from Helen Keller National Center in his home community in 2009. In 2014, he came to the National Center in Sands Point, NY as a participant in the Young Adult Summer Program. Since then, he has been receiving services locally in Knoxville, currently focusing on employment and vocational strategies. Alex communicates through a combination of large printed text, American Sign Language and an Augmentative and Alternative Communication device, known as an AAC.

Alex’s passion for golf became his personal guiding light, propelling him to achieve what many deemed impossible. He embraced the game of golf with an unwavering determination, improving each swing and putt with remarkable perseverance.

Alex has become a beloved figure in the Knoxville community and across the local golf circuit, captivating hearts with his indomitable spirit and infectious enthusiasm for the sport.

His journey has led to the creation of initiatives like “Golf with Friends,” aimed at making golf accessible to people of all abilities. Moreover, Alex’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to found “Bogey Golf Gifts,” a venture dedicated to spreading joy through unique golf-themed products.

Join us in recognizing Alex Notte’s remarkable journey and the hope and inspiration he brings to all.

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