From the Executive Director: INCLUSIVE Golf Conference Recap

Hope everyone is having a great start to 2020.  Wow, another start of a new decade.  This marks the 20th year of the National Alliance for Accessible Golf.  Great things have been accomplished since 2001 when the National Alliance was formed but work still needs to be done to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not left on the sidelines in golf.

To that end, back in January, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf continued our efforts to educate the golf industry about Inclusion.  At the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, aside from several on-on-one meetings with various organizations and individuals in the golf industry to discuss Inclusion in the golf of individuals with disabilities, (including attending the We Are Golf Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce meeting), the biggest event was hosting the National Alliance Inclusive Golf Conference with a gathering of more than 35 organizations and/or individuals who are focused on Inclusion at the national and grassroots level.  The event kicked off with guest speaker, Patti Valero, golf coach for individuals with disabilities, fire fighter/paramedic, #1 female in the World Golf Rankings for Golfers with Disabilities, 2019 Canadian Amputee and Disabled National Champion.  Following a very moving opening, Steve Mona of We Are Golf shared the state of the golf industry especially as it relates to inclusion. The rest of the conference was focused on sharing and networking from organizations to individuals with disabilities sharing their stories of how golf made a positive impact the lives of individuals.  In the end, attendees walked away with best practices and contacts to make their local efforts successful in ensuring that individuals with disabilities can experience the game of golf at whatever their ability level is.

Valero and Bel Jan

Patti Valero & Jan Bel Jan

According to the Census Brief of 2019, 20% of the US population have one or more diagnosed psychological or physical disability.  That’s one in five people in our country.

So, as we continue our journey into 2020, let’s all strive to ensure that the game of golf is truly INCLUSIVE.  In all we do, let’s remember the words spoken by Tim Shriver of Special Olympics International, “Choose to Include.”

Steve Jubb, PGA – Executive Director

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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