From the Executive Director: 8 or 88

green_grass-605.jpgAs 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 a 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, he was very skilled.  In fact you didn’t 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, together, let’s make the game of golf and life truly “inclusive.”

Steve Jubb, PGA

CEO/Executive Director

p.s. Next month we will share with you our experiences at National Golf Day (April 24-25) plus our annual Spring Board Meeting (April 26).

About National Alliance for Accessible Golf
Dave Barton, PGA is the Executive Director for the 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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