From the Executive Director: A Game for All for a Lifetime

This month I wanted to take a flashback to one of my previous blogs from a few years ago.

“As 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 an assistant 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, but he was also very skilled. In fact, you did not 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, as we move into the 2021 golf season for a lot of the country or for those in the sunbelt with year-long season, do you have an accessible golf facility for individuals with disabilities? Do you run golf programs in your community serving those individuals? Or are you an instructor that works with individuals with disabilities to engage them in our sport? If so, consider going to www.accessgolf.org/submit-information and enter your information so that individuals with disabilities that are using our search engine can find accessible courses, inclusive programs, or instruction programs in their community. 

On another note, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf is in the process of updating the industry research on individuals with disabilities in the game of golf. Current data is very out of date. If you engage with these individuals through your programs, we would love to hear from you on how many are engaged and the types of disabilities involved in your programs. Send that information to info@accessgolf.org. If you have some best practices or “good news stories” that we could share with others, please send them our way.

The National Alliance for Accessible Golf is here to help make this a game for all. Please contact us at info@accessgolf.org to assist you in any way.

“Choose to Include,”

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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