Golfer with autism prepares to participate in Special Olympics 2022

22-year-old says he wants to go pro

They say practice makes perfect, but for Danny Steele, 22, golf is simply a game he enjoys on any given day.
They say practice makes perfect, but for Danny Steele, 22, golf is simply a game he enjoys on any given day.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – They say practice makes perfect, but for Danny Steele, 22, golf is simply a game he enjoys on any given day.

“For me, I love playing golf because I told my dad I would love to learn how to play from last summer,” Danny Steele said.

Danny Steele was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years old and it wasn’t until last summer that he took an interest in golf, so his parents, Nadja Rivera and Jim Steele, decided to get him lessons at the Orange County National Golf Center.

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“When he told his dad and I that he wanted to learn how to play golf, we were like, ‘OK, we need to try to find the right fit,’ because it’s not easy because it’s not like you can Google autism kids golf lesson,” Rivera said.

Rivera said they contacted coach Tony Keeton and the two hit it off.

“When you give people lessons, sometimes things you work on are more difficult than other things and that goes for anybody and to see him progress on a difficult aspect of the game, it’s been a tough thing to fix in the past and when that gets fixed, it’s the most rewarding,” Keeton said.

Jim Steele has been playing golf for years and he realized this was not only going to help his son with his skills and concentration, it was also creating a special bond between father and son.

“This is something he can be proud of. There are athletic people that are great at other sports but to come out here and try to play golf, that’s tough and here’s this kid that’s performing quite well,” Jim Steele said.

“My goal is that I like to be a professional golfer and I want to be a pro and I can do anything,” Danny Steele said.

Danny Steele is set to participate in next year’s Special Olympics, which is taking place in Orlando.


About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!