From the Executive Director: Looking Back But Focusing Forward

Well, Happy New Year to everyone. We started plans to host our first annual conference on Accessibility and Inclusion, January 26, 2018. Being held at the Rosen Centre Hotel on International Drive in Orlando next to the Orange County Convention Center and the PGA Merchandise Show that week, it is going to feature guest speakers and round-table discussions on best practices in areas such as engaging youth with different abilities, military and veterans, etc., along with updates on ADA, engaging with Special Olympics, serving youth in the autism spectrum to mention a few of the topics. Registration spots are limited so sign up today (before January 15th) at http://www.accessgolf.org. Also In 2017 through the USGA/National Alliance for Accessible Golf, we awarded more than $60,000 in grants to grassroots programs. Since inception of the grant program, we have awarded more than $800,000. Funding is available so check out the grant program also on our website at http://www.accessgolf.org.

As I write this blog, I would like to look back to excerpts of a blog I wrote back in January 2016. Those comments are still applicable today. “When we talk in the golf industry about growing the game and also the business of golf, we generally focus on youth, women and other minority populations, or those who have left the game or decreased their rounds. This is great as we need to strive to ensure that golf is available to everyone. After all, it is a game you can play whether you are 8 or 88. But often times, we don’t consider a segment of our population that is willing and ready to consider our sport. There are over 57 million people in the United States who have some form of disability, or as I prefer, individuals with “unique abilities”. In surveys that have been conducted over the last 20 years, it is estimated that 10 percent currently play golf. 22 percent played before incurring their disability, but 35 percent may have an interest in engaging with golf at whatever level their ability allows.” “So now you are asking, how do I connect with individuals with “unique abilities”. Well, I am sure that near your community there are hospitals or rehab facilities that are looking for options in therapeutic recreation. There may be a VA hospital in your area. Also, there are Special Olympics chapters all over the country that would love to connect with instructors for the Special Olympics Athletes. Individuals with “different abilities” are out there and would love to connect with you and the game of golf. They just need that knock on the door and encouragement that they can engage or re-engage with golf at whatever level they can.” Together, let’s make 2018 a great and inclusive year in golf!

Steve Jubb, PGA – CEO/Executive Director

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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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