From the Executive Director: Providing Access to the Game

Hope everyone is having a great summer and are on the links playing our great sport, a sport that anyone can play, young or old, no matter what one’s ability level is. It may be that one only can engage with golf on the putting green, on the range, only play 1 or 2 holes or play 9 or 18 holes. But they are involved in golf. It is a sport that allows one to get out of the house, into an open-air environment with friends and family. It can be a healthy sport from a physical, mental, and social perspective. So, get out and play and “Make Golf Your Thing” (#makegolfyourthing).

I would like to take a moment and speak about accessibility and inclusion in our sport for individuals with disabilities. Despite efforts by the National Alliance and other organizations, I get calls about golf courses or organizations that are not providing access to the game for individuals with disabilities. I keep hoping that these cases are few and far between, but they still exist.

This month on July 26th, we are celebrating the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).

Americans with Disabilities Act - ADA 31 - Celebrate the ADA! July 26, 2021

Let’s all get behind the efforts to ensure that golf courses and programs provide reasonable access to the game. That includes your facilities infrastructure such as clubhouse, bathrooms, etc. but it also includes access on the golf course. That may mean access to a tee, to a fairway, or to a putting green. If you are conducting a golf program for individuals with disabilities, you need to ensure that those individuals have access. 

For programs and access, we also mean that policies, procedures, and other factors. These may include access to make tee times, proving materials in accessible format, using warning systems for those that have a hearing disability, and allowing someone with a visual disability to use a guide at no cost provided the guide is not playing. 

On the equipment side, while the Department of Justice has still not ruled that public access courses must have adaptive mobility devices such as a SoloRider or a ParaGolfer (to mention a few), you must allow someone with such a device to use it to play golf. You might consider partnering with other golf courses in your area in the purchase of one and pool usage between the various courses based on tee time reservation requests. 

One key to having such equipment available is how do you market the fact that you have it available for individuals with disabilities. Reach out to organizations in your community that serve those individuals and develop a golf program for the organizations’ clients, patients, or participants. Those organizations may have never thought about using golf as part of their program. And finally, there are the Modified Rules of Golf for Individuals with Disabilities (go to our Resource page on our website at

If you are an individual with disability looking for a golf facility and or program that is accessible, has instruction programs and/or has adaptive golf equipment, then check out our search engine on You can search by zip code as well as specific instruction programs and find a course nearby. Keep in mind that we are constantly building our database and each day adding new facilities. Also, if you operate a golf facility, program, or instruct individuals with disabilities, we would love to have you on this search engine. Visit to get started.

Until next month, have a great summer on the Links!  If you have a friend or family member that happens to have a disability, invite them out to the golf course. Maybe just to ride along, maybe to just putt on the green, or maybe to just have fun with family or friends! So, remember always to “Choose to Include” and “Make Golf Your Thing!”

Stephen Jubb, PGA/LM Executive Director

From the Executive Director: Make Golf Your Thing

Hello.  I cannot believe we are 5 months into 2021.  As summer is upon us, I hope everyone has a chance to get out and enjoy this great game, golf.  It is a game that can be played by young and old, all sectors of the population including individuals with disabilities. 

On May 12, the National Alliance participated virtually along with the golf industry for  National Golf Day.  Each year, this normally in-person event allows the golf industry to engage with members of Congress on major issues dealing with golf.  One of the topics this year was the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act.  PHIT promotes physical health by allowing the use of pre-tax medical funds such as FSA and HSA accounts to pay for qualified fitness and sports expenses of up to $1,000 per year for individuals or $2,000 for heads of households.  The benefits of PHIT Act help individuals and families overcome financial barriers to active lifestyles.  Some of the items covered under the PHIT Act include lessons and clinics, green fees, sports equipment, among other things. 

The CDC recommends that “healthy adults should participate in moderate intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, five days a week.”  And golf provides a great opportunity to get out and get healthy, no matter your ability.  If you can walk, walking 18 holes equals a 31/2 mile run or a 5-mile walk.  Even if you are not able to walk, getting out and playing  can greatly improve your health, physically and mentally.  That is why the golf industry feels the PHIT ACT is so important.  Based on the discussion with members of Congress on National Golf Day, there is strong support for the PHIT Act. 

On another note, on May 19, the National Alliance conducted its annual Spring Strategic Board of Director meeting this year.  A good portion of that day was spent on reviewing some of the taskforce efforts by the National Alliance such as the Research Taskforce.  Data about individuals with disabilities in the game of golf has been very old and outdated.  The Taskforce is working with various organizations nationally and grassroots to collect that data.  With more than 61 million people with disabilities in our country and a total discretionary income exceeding $27 billion, there is a great possibility for growing the game.

You may have heard or may have not yet that there is a new movement in the golf industry to engage with individuals across our land to grow and diversify our sport.  Since the start of COVID, interest in golf has boomed.  The golf industry wants to invite everyone – from all backgrounds – to engage with golf in their own way, whether it is the traditional 18-hole experience, a golf range, an evening at facilities like Topgolf, in your backyard with a club and whiffle ball or just being a fan.  You may have seen already some of the promotion pieces on TV or social media.  The tagline is Make Golf Your Thing.   So, grab a friend or family member and get out and play no matter your ability or where and Make Golf Your Thing.

If you have not visited our website lately, check out the resources, search engine and other information and links there at  Again, if you have an accessible facility for individuals with disabilities, or have a community program serving those individuals through golf or are a golf instructor that teaches golf for individuals with disabilities, please add your information to our search engine by going to

Until next time, get out and Make Golf Your Thing!

Steve Jubb, PGA/LM

Executive Director

From the Executive Director: A Game for All for a Lifetime

This month I wanted to take a flashback to one of my previous blogs from a few years ago.

“As we move into Spring around most of the country (although Mother Nature still could surprise some of us), hopefully you have or are getting ready to get out there and enjoy our great sport, Golf. Golf is a great sport – one you can play whether you are 8 or 88. 

When I first got into the golf business, I was an assistant golf professional at a little 9-hole course in central Florida. It was a great experience that showed me that golf was going to be my lifelong career. But what I most remember about those days at that course were those members that had a disability or were advancing in age. 

Joe was 70 years old and was a left leg AK (above the knee) amputee. He had lost his leg many years prior and preceded the advancements we see today in prosthetics.  Joe, as a right-handed golfer, had a wooden left leg that he would swing against in his golf swing. Not only was he an avid golfer, but he was also very skilled. In fact, you did not want to play him for any money for you most likely would go home a few dollars shy (which I did often). Joe could shoot 1 to 2 over par on that 9-hole course. He was amazing.

Mike and Rose were also members. Both in their 90s, with a bit of dementia setting in, they still loved and remembered how to play golf very well. Each morning they would leave their condo near the course, come over and play nine holes, both would shoot 3 to 4 over par and go back to the condo for lunch and a nap. Later each afternoon they would return to play another 9 holes and shoot 4 to 5 over par. They did this each day, except Sunday when they went to church. 

So, what those experiences taught me then and continues today is that despite age or disability, individuals can enjoy the game of golf for a lifetime. Today through accessible golf course designs, along with the advancements in adaptive equipment, adaptive teaching techniques, and USGA Modified Rules of Golf for Individuals with Disabilities, the game can be and should be accessible and inclusive. We in the golf industry just need to open our doors to everyone.” 

So, as we move into the 2021 golf season for a lot of the country or for those in the sunbelt with year-long season, do you have an accessible golf facility for individuals with disabilities? Do you run golf programs in your community serving those individuals? Or are you an instructor that works with individuals with disabilities to engage them in our sport? If so, consider going to and enter your information so that individuals with disabilities that are using our search engine can find accessible courses, inclusive programs, or instruction programs in their community. 

On another note, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf is in the process of updating the industry research on individuals with disabilities in the game of golf. Current data is very out of date. If you engage with these individuals through your programs, we would love to hear from you on how many are engaged and the types of disabilities involved in your programs. Send that information to If you have some best practices or “good news stories” that we could share with others, please send them our way.

The National Alliance for Accessible Golf is here to help make this a game for all. Please contact us at to assist you in any way.

“Choose to Include,”

Steve Jubb, PGA

Executive Director

From the Executive Director: Have You Ever Considered?

Well, it is the end of March and spring is hopefully around the corner.  The last twelve months have been challenging and we are still not out of the woods. 

With that said, the golf industry has boomed over the last twelve months as a social distancing option for recreation.  With spring coming soon,  those of you who are golf course operators, golf course management companies, golf professionals, golf program coordinators or even golf associations, I am sure you have or getting ready to plan for the golf season if up north or continuing to plan in areas that are 12-month seasons.  You have looked at “how can we attract new golfers to our facilities” or “what new programs can we add to bring more people to the game”.

Have you ever considered reaching out in your community to organizations that serve individuals with disabilities, such as Special Olympics, Autism organizations, VA Medical Centers, rehabilitation facilities, or even senior citizen organizations?  These organizations may never have thought about including golf as part of their programming.  But golf has proven to be a great activity not only from a physical perspective, but also from a mental and social perspective as well.  And if you have never instructed or included people with disabilities at your facilities or programs, don’t be scared or uncertain about engaging with this population.  They are just individuals that may want to try our sport, a game for a lifetime.  After all, they just want to be included and if you are an instructor, keep in mind that you are just teaching golf as you would to anyone else.  You just need to understand the ability level of the individual, as well as person first language, just as you would with anyone coming to the lesson tee.

To help you along with this, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf has some great resources on our website ( that can help.  Ranging from understanding ADA to People First Language, our Golf Course Owner Toolkit under the Resource tab can help.  We also have various other links that may assist. 

We also have a search engine on the website.  If you have a facility or community program or are a golf instructor open to individuals with disabilities, sign up your facility, program, or yourself as an instructor today at   

The National Alliance for Accessible Golf is in the process of updating the research on individuals with disabilities in the game of golf.  If you engage with these individuals through your programs, we would love to hear from you on how many are engaged and the types of disabilities involved in your programs.  Send your information to If you have some best practices that we could share with others, please send them our way.

The National Alliance for Accessible Golf is here to help make this a game for all.  Please contact us at to assist you in any way.

“Choose to Include,”

Steve Jubb, PGA

Executive Director – National Alliance for Accessible Golf

From the Executive Director: Attitude is a Powerful Thing

January and February thus far have been busy months with the Virtual 2021 PGA Merchandise Show and Education Conference along with the Virtual 2021 Golf Industry Show and Education Conference.  The National Alliance for Accessible Golf had the opportunity during both Shows to share about why the game of golf should be open to everyone including individuals with disabilities.

During the Golf Industry Show in particular, Jan Bel Jan, Past President of the America Society of Golf Course Architects and owner of Jan Bel Jan Golf Course Design and I presented a session on “Making Your Facility Welcoming, Accessible and Inclusive.” 

According to the CDC, there are more than 61 million individuals with disabilities in the United States (1 in 4).  If we as the game and business of golf just welcomed 1% of that population to the game or to return to the game, we could see an uptick of over 600,000 new or returning golfers.  Just think if we reached out to 5% of that population, we could see over 3 million join us in this game of a lifetime.  But that requires that we, as a sport and industry, actually welcome them to golf. 

First and foremost, attitude is a powerful tool. 

Individuals with disabilities are simply people that want to be an integral part of the fabric of society and possibly the game of golf.  Welcome them as you would any other person coming to your facility.  Make sure your facility is ADA compliant.  That doesn’t mean you have to invest in a multi-million-dollar capital improvement project.  Simple modifications can be easily made to allow accessibility.  Check out our toolkit and other resources at

If you have an accessible and welcoming facility or program, or you instruct individuals with disabilities, consider adding your information to our search engine so that individuals with disabilities can find your facility or program and contact you.  Go to

So, in conclusion, remember that golf is one of a few sports that can easily accommodate individuals with disabilities.  But that will only happen if you choose to be accessible, welcoming and inclusive.  So today, let us all “Choose to Include”.

See you next month.

Steve Jubb, PGA/LM, Executive Director

From the Executive Director: Be Inviting!

Welcome to 2021. Let’s pray that it is better than 2020. This past year has been challenging times but looking forward to a better year ahead and beyond.

Golf has been a great outlet for those who play, especially those with disabilities. The game gets them outdoors in a sport that can easily create a social distancing environment but also one where we can enjoy the health benefits of the outdoors while playing with family and friends.

If you operate a facility, welcoming individuals with disabilities to enjoy all that golf offers can have a positive impact for your business. The other day I was reading an article about research conducted by the American Institutes of Research where it found that individuals with disabilities have a discretionary income of more than $21 billion. Discretionary income means income after paying for life’s essentials such as housing, food, utilities, and, yes, taxes.

Individuals with disabilities are customers. So, let’s all welcome them to our sport. Reach out into your community to organizations that serve this segment of the population and invite them to come and enjoy the benefits this game has to offer. Create instructional programs for them. The organizations, rehab facilities, and hospitals may have not thought of using golf in their recreational therapy programs. The key word here is Invite. Don’t sit back and wait for them to come to you. Reach out and by doing so, you create new customers.

If you have a facility, community program, or instruct individuals with disabilities, consider listing it through our website, Our search engine enables individuals with disabilities to locate accessible facilities, programs, and instruction.  Add your facility/program/instruction today.

Finally, I would like to thank our Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and everyone that ensures that golf is for everyone including individuals with disabilities. Thank you!

See you next month,

Steve Jubb, PGA/LM

Executive Director

The City of North Charleston’s Golf Club at Wescott Plantation Has Become the Model for All Municipal Golf Courses

By Rich O’Brien, Alliance Board Member and Operations Manager for PGA HOPE Program, Charleston, SC

The South Carolina Lowcountry has become one of the models of what a community can do when it wraps its arms around Veterans and others with injuries, illnesses, or challenges. A big part of that has been the PGA HOPE Charleston program which has become the largest PGA HOPE chapter and model program for the PGA of America’s flagship military outreach. HOPE stands for Helping Our Patriots Everywhere and, in Charleston, conditions were ripe for developing something really special with three military bases (Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard), the second-largest VA in the Southeast, and a large, retired Veteran population. 

Josh teeing off at Wescott
Josh teeing off at Wescott.

Back in early 2015, when PGA REACH asked Fred Gutierrez and I to champion a PGA HOPE chapter here in Charleston, our first recruit was Perry Green, the Director of Instruction at the Golf Club at Wescott Plantation. We could not have picked a better partner and we are so grateful that he volunteered to host the clinics starting in the summer of 2015. 

The Golf Club at Wescott Plantation is a municipal golf course owned by the City of North Charleston that is managed by Classic Golf Management. Within a few days of being asked, Perry had enlisted the help of Milton Abell, of Classic Golf Management, and Keith Sumney, the Mayor of the city of North Charleston for this critical mission.

The PGA HOPE program has been near and dear to Perry’s heart as his son is a medically retired Army Veteran who served as a combat medic and, like many combat Veterans, battles the nightmares and flashbacks associated with post-traumatic stress. Although his son lives in Colorado, PGA HOPE is a way for Perry to help Veterans like his son. 

Green was honored by the Carolinas PGA section as their 2019 Patriot Award winner and PGA HOPE is his way of serving the Veterans that have sacrificed so much for this country. He adds, “PGA HOPE has become my favorite initiative as a PGA Professional. After a long week, I typically am running out of gas by Friday but I always look forward to being around the Veterans because it fully recharges my batteries.”

When PGA HOPE Charleston first started in Charleston there were only a handful of active chapters nationwide. The PGA HOPE team at Wescott quickly developed the model and began expanding throughout the Charleston area. Now there are five host sites located throughout the Charleston-North Charleston Metropolitan area. The program is proud that it has never turned away a Veteran that wanted to participate. This spring, Wescott will be adding a Thursday clinic in order to accommodate 50 more Veterans. Perry Green’s heart for the Veterans and the fun atmosphere he encourages is a big part of the success of the program. 

The Wescott Group
The Wescott Group

Green feels that “PGA HOPE is one of those programs that you make time for, as its effects are felt far beyond the game of golf for the participants, as well as you and your facility. The Veterans, many of them afflicted with PTSD or life-altering injuries, enjoy the fresh air and camaraderie of their fellow Veterans who can relate to how they think and feel. It is a diversion of the mind for many of them. Some of these individuals once considered suicide – now they consider how to get an extra nine holes of golf in. There should always be time to help them.”

Hosting the program also provides other benefits for host clubs not the least of which is that many of the Veterans in the program are either new to the game or were lapsed players before finding HOPE. And many of these players have now become avid golfers playing on a weekly basis with their fellow Veterans and others which generates additional revenue for the club. Facilitating a PGA HOPE program also provides positive public relations for the club and brings awareness to the community.  PGA Professionals should keep an open mind in considering implementing a PGA HOPE program at their facility.”

Mayor Keith Sumney of North Charleston added, “Like many others in the industry, we aim to maintain a beautiful, challenging, and fun golf course, however, the facilities and programs promoting accessible golf, spearheaded by our Director of Instruction, Perry Green, take the Golf Club at Wescott Plantation to an elevated level. Everyone in the community is welcomed at Wescott, no matter ability or need. The paragolfer carts, provided by Hardee’s, in conjunction with the Stand Up and Play Foundation, continue to be a bright spot at the course and have unquestionably introduced the game to many in North Charleston and beyond.  Furthermore, the careful instruction, care, and compassion offered to all interested in golf continues to proudly be the highest goal of all the staff at Wescott.”

Perry Green added, “I am grateful that the city is concerned about quality-of-life issues and that city leaders had the foresight to know that PGA HOPE would become a huge national program. They have repeatedly encouraged us to do more.”

As you can see, by providing HOPE, the City of North Charleston’s Golf Club at Wescott Plantation has become the model for all municipal golf courses for what they can do to help Veterans and others in their community that have injuries, illnesses, or challenges.  

From the Executive Director: Ending the Year with Thank You!

I love the change of the seasons. In November, the leaves had turned to bright colors around the country, and now we have snow. Wishing each of our readers and supporters a merry and bright Holiday season.

Coming off December 1st which was “Giving Tuesday”, I wanted to end this year with a big thank you to all the organizations and individuals that have supported the work of the National Alliance in 2020. If you missed Giving Tuesday, it is not too late to support the efforts of the National Alliance for Accessible Golf.  Go to  Your support will help us achieve our mission of ensuring that individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to experience the game of golf and the health and wellness benefits that help enhance their inclusion in the community and society.

As you may or may not be aware, the National Alliance was formed back in 2001 and is represented by the major golf associations, recreation and therapeutic organizations and individuals who advocate for inclusion of people with disabilities into the game and society.

Back in 2015, we launched our facility/program/instruction search engine on our website ( where an individual can locate a facility or program that has adaptive instruction and accessible golf.  We continue to see a lot of clicks on the search engine as well as additional facilities/programs/instructors coming online.  If you run a facility, program or are a golf instructor that serves individuals with disabilities, go to our

All in all, 2020 has been a challenging year.  We are definitely looking towards 2021 and how the National Alliance can expand its reach and mission to increase the participation of people with disabilities in the game of golf.  Keep an eye on our website at for upcoming education opportunities for facilities, programs, and instructors.

See you in 2021 with another series of Blogs. 

Steve Jubb, PGA – Executive Director

National Alliance for Accessible Golf

From the Executive Director: A Friend of Brad

I have a passion for seeing that individuals with disabilities are included in the game of golf as well as the fabric of our communities.  That’s why working for the National Alliance for Accessible Golf is so rewarding for me along with my previous employment at the PGA of America and their foundation, PGA REACH, ensuring that the game of golf is for everyone.

My passion began back in the 1980s when as Executive Director of the New Jersey Section of the PGA of America, I was asked along with a good friend of mine and PGA Professional Wayne Warms to conduct a clinic at the State Games of Special Olympics New Jersey that fostered the passion which continues till today.   

Along the fairway of my involvement with ensuring that individuals with disabilities have access and are included in the game and life, I have come across some Special Olympics Athletes who are reaching out to engage others with Intellectual Disabilities. 

Such is the case of a Special Olympics Athlete Brad Hennefer.  Many years ago, I met Brad and his family, and am proud to call him my friend.  Brad is a young man with Down Syndrome and lives in New Jersey.  In 2008, he was the first individual with Down Syndrome to graduate from the high school he attended, and today is employed at Wegmans, a regional grocery store.  

Brad started playing golf at age 3 when his older brother Bobby (now a PGA Professional) would take him to play miniature golf down on the Jersey shore. Brad would also accompany his mother to follow Bobby while playing in junior events.  By watching Bobby, Brad was slowly learning to swing and play golf. 

As Brad got older, his family noticed he had a talent when it came to golf.  While Bobby was away at college, Brad connected with Rich Smith Jr.  Rich worked with Brad to develop Brad’s swing and get Brad to a point where he could play 18 holes.  When Bobby returned from college and ultimately became a PGA Professional, the two paired up in Special Olympics competitions and have been very successful.

Along the way, Brad and his family, along with Rich Smith, wanted to give other people with Down Syndrome the same opportunities that he has.  Through their collaborative efforts along with help from others, they formed the Brad Hennefer Golf for Life Foundation conducting clinics around the Philadelphia and South Jersey area with a goal to expand to other areas of the country conducting clinics and events for individuals with Down Syndrome.  They have also collaborated with the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) and the local PGA Section. Due to Covid-19 along with some injuries, unfortunately Brad’s efforts have been limited recently.  But through it all, Brad still serves as a great ambassador for inclusion in our society.

So, as I mentioned before, I had the pleasure becoming a friend of Brad and his family, and being a part of, early on, the development of Brad Hennefer’s Golf for Life Foundation.  Through Brad, it shows that if you strive to achieve whether it is in the game of golf or life, all things are possible.  And in the end, through inclusion, we can have a game called golf and a society that is for everyone.

“Choose to Include”

Steve Jubb, PGA/LM

Executive Director

National Alliance for Accessible Golf

From the Executive Director: My Life Has Changed with the Swing of a Golf Club

This month’s blog may be for some sad and sobering.  It deals with the suicide rate of our military and veterans.  On an average, 20 veterans die each day from suicide.  You may not be aware of this statistic mainly because no one like to talk about suicide.  We need to get past these stigmas and address this critical issue.  Despite efforts by the VA aimed at addressing this, the statistics have remained basically the same over the last decade.  According to VA records, more veterans died by suicide from 2005 to 2017 (nearly 79,000) than the total number of troops who died in 30 years of war in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan (about 65,000).  For active military, the suicide rate as of 2018 was 24.8 per 100,000.  The overall civilian rate that same year was 14.2.  One death by suicide is one too many.

So, you ask, what does that have to do with the game of golf?  Well, through programs such as PGA HOPE, the GIVE program, Salute Military Golf, Links to Freedom, and American Lakes, to name a few, golf can and is making a difference.  

I had the opportunity to develop the embryo stage of PGA HOPE while I was with PGA of America.  PGA HOPE uses golf to make a positive impact on the lives of our military and veterans. I recall being at the opening of the PGA HOPE program at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio many years ago, and as the bus pulled up from Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), about 15 military patients got off.  The last person to get off the bus was a young Sergeant who had to be carried off the bus by 2 medical staff.  This individual was a double AK (Above the Knee amputee).  He had been in Iraq and an IED blew up on the road he and his platoon were traveling. I could tell he didn’t want to be there and had a lot of anger overall.   The young man was put into an Adaptive Golf Car and assisted in driving over to the golf range.  I decided to make him my student for the day.  After a few swings and tips, the first shot went down the range about 180 yards.  It was amazing.  The frown and anger suddenly became a big smile. 

Right then he told me, “I came today but I didn’t want to be here, and I have been thinking about suicide.  But my life has changed with the swing of a golf club.  I now know that when I go home, I can play golf with my friends and family, and most of all, nothing is impossible.” 

I found out later than this young man got a job at a local golf course and is encouraging veterans from his community to get engaged with the game of golf.  WOW!!  Golf can change lives.

Since then, I have heard countless stories about how golf has changed someone’s life.  Feel free to share with us your stories about this.  Send them to

So, as I close out this month’s blog, I would like to share the words of Rich O’Brien, National Alliance Board Member and Operations Manager for PGA HOPE Charleston.  “An invitation is a powerful thing and an opportunity that cannot be ignored.”  If you are a golfer, extend an invitation to a veteran or member of the military to join you on course.  If you run a facility, if you are an instructor of golf, or you are a community program coordinator, don’t wait for them to come to you.  Reach out and extend that invitation to join you in one of the greatest games of all, GOLF.

Until we meet again, “Choose to Include.” 

Steve Jubb, PGA/LM

Executive Director