From the Executive Director: The Alliance, the Golf Industry Show and Growing the Game and Business of Golf

Last week, I had another opportunity to attend the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) Conference and the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, TX. It was quite an experience and I was very happy to see both the NGCOA and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) realize that individuals with disabilities are not only opportunity to grow the game of golf but also to grow the business of the game.

With more than 57 million individuals in our country with disabilities, there are approximately 11.3 million that used to play golf before their disability but may like to return to the game at some level. At the same time, there is a large population of individuals with disabilities who have never experienced the game but may have an expressed interest in learning and playing.

The organizations involved in the Golf Industry Show fully understand that these individuals will grow the game and are potential customers at golf facilities around the country. We hope that all golf organizations will embrace individuals with disabilities not only to help grow the game, but also the business of the game. Keep in mind that individuals with disabilities have more than $215 million in disposable income.

At the Golf Industry Show, a great session was conducted entitled “The Myths of ADA.” It was moderated by Jan Bel Jan, member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and Secretary of the National Alliance for Accessible Golf.  Panelists included Peggy Greenwell of the Access Board, Dana Dempsey of The Scottish Rites Hospital, Roy McCoy of the National Amputee Golf Association, and Sam Samuelson of Wild Hawk Golf. It was an excellent educational session covering 10 of the myths people and courses have about the Americans With Disabilities Act. Special thanks go out to Chava McKeel of the GCSAA who put this session together with Jan Bel Jan. The Alliance is working on filming a similar session in the near future and posting it on the Alliance website for wider distribution.

On another note, the Alliance is working on developing a search engine on its website (www.accessgolf.org) that will allow individuals to locate facilities and programs around the country that are accessible and offer adaptive golf programs. We hope to have this online by June 1, if not before. In the meantime, check out the toolkits that the Alliance has on its website (one for facility operators and one for individuals with disabilities. And, finally, if you are running a golf program for individuals with disabilities and are an inclusive program, check out the USGA/Alliance Grant Program.

If you have any questions or input, please contact us at info@accessgolf.org.

Steve Jubb, PGA, Executive Director

About National Alliance for Accessible Golf
The National Alliance for Accessible Golf is a coalition of recreational, therapeutic, and golf organizations committed to the inclusion of people with disabilities through the game of golf.

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