From the Executive Director: Highlights from the Special Olympics World Games

Hi everyone.  Just back from the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.  I had the pleasure of representing the National Alliance for Accessible Golf there along with helping to conduct the golf competition at Griffith Park Golf Courses in Los Angeles.

There were over 200 Special Olympics Athletes and their golf partners in the competition.  In addition, there were numerous family members and friends along with delegation coaches on hand.  It was exciting to see the joy and enthusiasm that the Athletes have for the game of golf.  As I always say, the rest of us golfers should have the same attitude about the game as Special Olympics Athletes.  Miss a shot, oh well, let’s go hit the next one.  No fussing or brooding about a missed shot.  Just out there to compete and have a great time and support the other Athletes in the competition.  I have never seen so many “high fives” and hugs around a golf competition.

At the same time, they are competitive.  Scott Rohrer from South Carolina set a new Special Olympics World Record shooting rounds of 71, 69, 66 and 70 for a 12 under par for the 72 holes of competition.  Amazing!!  In the Alternate Shot Level 2, Ranveer Singh Saini and Monica Jajoo of Bharat (India) won the country’s first gold medal.  The PGA TOUR has a slogan, “These Guys are Good”.  Well, these Special Olympics Athletes are right there – “These Athletes are Great”!!

While in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to sit down with Special Olympics International staff and discuss how Special Olympics can enhance the player development of the Athletes here in the USA.  Through the Alliance and our connection to the PGA of America and LPGA, Special Olympics Chapters in the USA can connect with golf professionals to enhance the golf skill development of the Athletes.  In addition, it would be great to see golf professionals teaming up with Athletes in the alternate shot/unified levels of competition.  What could be developed is a great relationship and bond between the golf professionals and athletes.

As a reminder, the Alliance has a search engine on its website at www.accessgolf.org to locate a golf facility and or program that is accessible, has adaptive golf instruction programs and/or has adaptive golf equipment.  Also, if you operate a golf facility or program, we would love to have you on this search engine.  At the bottom of the search screen, there is a link to provide your facility and program information.

The Alliance is reliant on support from not only the Allied Associations of golf but also individuals and organizations that have an interest in seeing the game of golf more inclusive.  Go to www.accessgolf.org and click on the “Donate” button.  Any support would be greatly appreciated.

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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