From the Executive Director: Teaching Golf and Life

2021 is almost over – only a couple of months left. Many of you are wrapping up your fall programs and for some of you the golf season is ending. We hope it has been a wonderful year for you, whether you run a facility, a program, or are involved in a program that ensures accessibility and inclusion.

Over the course of the last several years as Executive Director and in my prior role with PGA of America, I have seen many organizations form to serve individuals with different abilities— including those with physical, mental/cognitive, visual, auditory, and other challenges. Many programs are out there fighting the good fight for inclusion and accessibility and some have left this arena. In the end, they all have a place in the universal effort to ensure that individuals with different abilities have access to our game and to life. They all have a niche and I applaud each of them for their efforts.

Over the recent years, one of the terms I have noticed used by some of these organizations and programs is “Adaptive Golf.” Well, stepping back and looking at it, we all are just teaching and engaging individuals in “Golf” and at the same time “Life.” We may use adaptive equipment. We may adapt our instruction plans to accommodate the abilities of the individual. We may adapt the traditional round of golf (9 or 18) and engage individuals at whatever level of the game they can. They may just putt on the putting green. They may just hit balls on the range. They may play one hole, three holes or whatever. But in the end, they are all engaged with our sport – Golf! So, if you are a golf course operator or golf professional, golf course owner, golf course management company, program coordinator, or therapist, see how you can connect with the sixty-one million individuals with different abilities in our country, and see if you can get them involved with golf. Not only will they experience a game and all it offers but think of the social and psychological benefits of getting out of the house or rehab facility, out into the fresh air and green grass.

And if you have a current program, are a facility that welcomes individuals with different abilities, have an instructional program for these individuals and have a community based program serving this population through golf, go to www.accessgolf.org/submit-information  to enter your information into our search engine.  Individuals with different abilities are looking to engage with our sport. While on our website, check out our Resource page for helpful information about making golf more accessible, inclusive, and welcoming.

Finally, 20 years ago, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf was founded. Our mission is “to increase participation of people with disabilities in the game of golf.” We work to ensure that these individuals can engage with our sport at whatever level their abilities allow. As we celebrate 20 years, join us in the efforts to make golf more welcoming, accessible, and inclusive. You can support our mission today by going to www.accessgolf.org/donate.

Until next month, keep it in the middle of the fairway and always, “Choose to Include.”

Steve Jubb, PGA/LM

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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