On an autumn day in 1970, former Crimson Tide football player and World War II veteran Charley Boswell miraculously scored a hole-in-one on the 17th course of the Vestavia Country Club. It just so happens that Boswell was blind.

Boswell was born on December 22, 1916, in Birmingham. In 1936, he earned a football scholarship to attend the University of Alabama, where he would play halfback. But Boswell also played baseball and, upon graduation, intended to join the minor league team, the Atlanta Crackers, but was drafted into the United States Army shortly after as the United States entered the second world war.

In the Army, Boswell became a captain in the Third Battalion, 335th Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division. While attempting to save a wounded fellow soldier from a burning tank, the tank exploded. Boswell was blinded and would remain so for the rest of his life. 

Corporal Kenny Gleason introduced Boswell to golf while he was in rehab at Valley Forge General Hospital, an Army center for sight-impaired soldiers. Boswell had never played the game before, but his natural athletic ability and competitiveness allowed him to quickly pick it up.

Eventually, Boswell got involved in the United States Blind Golfers Association (USBGA), which hosts tournaments around the country. He played his first USBGA tournament in Inglewood, California, where he finished second. 

Boswell went on to become the winner of 17 USBGA Championships and 11 International Blind Golfers Association Championships. He even served as the president of the USBGA from 1956 to 1976.

From 1974 to 1988, Boswell hosted the Charley Boswell Celebrity Classic to support the Birmingham Eye Foundation Hospital. The annual event totaled $1,200,000 in donations since its inaugural year. 

Throughout his life, Boswell also served other nonprofits, such as the Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education, which he chaired for five years. The Veterans Administration’s Charley Boswell Southeastern Blind Rehabilitation Center was dedicated to him in Birmingham.

He was also a successful insurance agent and was the commissioner of revenue for the state of Alabama from 1971 to 1979. 

Boswell married Kitty Lacy in 1941, and they had three children. He would go on to have several grandchildren as well.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including those from the College Football Coaches Association and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. 

Boswell passed away on October 22, 1995.

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