From the Executive Director: Furthering Our Mission for 20 Years

Hard to believe it is September already. Where did the summer go? Hopefully for those of you that conduct programs to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to play our game (Golf), you have had a great summer. For those of you who operate golf facilities, I hope that you have looked at ways to ensure that your facility is accessible, and your programs are inclusive. And finally, for those of you who may have a disability, I hope you have looked beyond what you may see or feel as limitations and looked at the possibilities and opportunities to engage in not only golf but in life! Get out there and participate and learn at whatever level your “abilities” allow. That goes for us all. We all need to “Make Golf Our Thing.”

Back in 2001, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf was created to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access and can experience the game of golf at whatever level their abilities allow. As a golf industry alliance, over the years we have provided resources, education/training, research, and support to grassroots programs. As we celebrate our 20th Anniversary, we look forward to continuing our efforts. While we are supported by the golf industry, we need your support as well to provide our programs and achieve our mission. Please take a moment to consider a donation to the National Alliance for Accessible Golf. You can go to our website at www.accessgolf.org/donate to contribute. Thank you in advance for your support.

For this month’s blog, I am going to revert a few years to one of my previous blogs, but the story and subject still resonates today. 

Just the other day, I saw on Facebook a post about a golfer with a disability in the UK who was denied access to a golf course because he needed to use a “buggy,” as they call a golf car in the UK.  Supposedly the club had a policy that required walking unless he had a letter from a doctor justifying use of a “buggy.” It was a public access golf course owned by the town. The person in question has competed in European Disabled Golf Association events, is a very good golfer and has played several courses in the UK and never had an issue using a “buggy”. There is an ongoing lawsuit in this case, so I can’t comment on the particular case at this time.

In the US, golf courses need to be aware and knowledgeable of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for accessibility and accommodation. Reading through the Department of Justice documentation in ADA requirements can be challenging but worth the while to ensure your course is compliant. To help you out with this topic, you can visit www.accessgolf.org and click on Resources. There you will find a Toolkit for Course Operators that should assist you.

Access our Toolkits and other resources at http://www.accessgolf.org.

Also, make sure you click on the Links tab and check out the link to www.disabilityisnatural.com  and have a look at the document “People First Language” by Kathy Snow.  It is very important when serving individuals with disabilities that you use the correct language. More than 61 million individuals in our country have a disability. It is one of the most inclusive and diverse groups in our country, crossing all segments of our population. So, it is important to use the correct language. Oh, and by the way, this population has more than $21 billion dollars in discretionary income, (that’s income over and above mortgage, rent, food, medical, and other necessities of life). They are potential customers. 

The National Alliance for Accessible Golf would love to hear about your programs, accessible facilities, and your involvement in the game.  Send your best practices, photos, videos, and stories to info@accessgolf.org. Also make sure if you have a program, instruct individuals with disabilities or if your facility is accessible and welcoming to golfers with disabilities, go to our website at www.accessgolf.org/submit-information to include your information in our search engine. Individuals across the country are looking for programs, instruction and facilities that are welcoming. 

Until next month, “Choose to Include” and “Make Golf Your Thing.”

Steve Jubb, PGA/LM

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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