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McSwain becomes first adaptive Cackalacky Golf Athlete

By Jean Gordon

Former Cleveland County resident Brandon McSwain made history just over a month ago becoming the first official Cackalacky Golf Athlete.

With that honor Brandon played in the qualifier in Atlanta for the U.S. Adaptive Open in Georgia.

Although he didn't qualify for the Adaptive Open, he still owns the bragging rights and the excitement of being there to compete. He will continue to play future adaptive events in the Carolinas.

He already has one confirmed tournament in November and will possibly attend two other tournaments in Georgia.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) established the U.S. Adaptive Open Championship in 2022 to showcase the world's best golfers with disabilities. The inaugural championship was played at Pinehurst.

Brandon was born with a partial left arm after the umbilical cord was wrapped around his arm in the womb.

"For a one arm golfer and in the adaptive world, I am a pretty good golfer," McSwain said.

He recently attended the first adaptive Clinic in Charlotte as Carolina Adaptive golf is expanding to the Charlotte region.

Brandon has been playing golf for approximately five years and calls himself an average weekend golfer.

"I have only been playing serious competitive golf for around three months now," Brandon said during the interview. To attend the qualifying for the U.S. Adaptive Open Golf Championship, was one for his record books.

Brandon said he knew his first attempt at qualifying for the Open Championship would be difficult, but he competed anyway and is grateful to have done that.

He competed in the upper limb impairment category. He had no doubts that he would be able to compete with the others competing in Atlanta.

"I have gotten a lot of positive feedback and messages, but I would say the best one has to be that no matter what, have fun with it and enjoy the moment and experience," he said.

Being Cackalacky Golf's first athlete has made Brandon proud.

"I am glad to represent and be a part of a local brand that revolves around nothing but golf in the Carolinas," he said.

Representing Carolina golf itself and all the great golf in both North and South Carolina is one of his finest achievements.

Among those who've supported him, in addition to his family, through his golf career have been his caddy Josh Beam and swing coach Seth McCurry.

"They have had my back through the whole process and they deserve the acknowledgment," he said.

Brandon works in purchasing for Vector Fleet Management in Charlotte, a government and private fleet maintenance company.

Originally from Fallston, Brandon lives in Lincolnton and is married to Claire McSwain. The couple has an 8-month-old son, Luke. When not working, he spends time with his family and on the golf course.

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