From the Executive Director: Diversity and Inclusion Are More Than Buzz Words

Diversity and Inclusion are popular buzzwords in the golf industry these days. Often times, it is to refer to gender or ethnic diversity and inclusion in society and even the game of golf.

However, Diversity and Inclusion also needs to include individuals with disabilities.  Often overlooked in these discussions, whether in society or golf, what we find is these individuals like everyone else have abilities.  There are great efforts around the country like PGA HOPE, Special Olympics, National Amputee Golf Association along with the Eastern Amputee Golf Association, Els for Autism to mention just a few.  Each strive to work towards inclusion in the game and in life.

However, some golf courses still balk at accommodating individuals with disabilities.  Aside from Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the potential litigation that could come from denying access to individuals with disabilities to the game, if we truly want to create a society of inclusion, then why not reach out into your community and see how you can bring someone new to the game, someone such as those with a disability?

As we mentioned last month and before, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf has toolkits for golf courses and individuals with disabilities, best practices, and a program/facility search engine.

DYK - Search Engine

Further, our search engine connects individuals with disabilities with local programs and golf facilities. If you have an inclusive program in your community or at your golf facility, go to our homepage at www.accessgolf.org and scroll down and click on the link to enter the program information.

Finally, if your organization is looking for a speaker or presenter concerning the subject of inclusion of individuals with disabilities into the game of golf, contact us at info@accessgolf.org and we will work with you to locate a speaker for your event, meeting, etc.

Together we can all make this game inclusive and accessible.

Until next month,

Steve Jubb, PGA, Executive Director

Executive Director: Together We Can

WOW!  Half the year is already gone by and most of us are in the middle of summer and our programming to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to the game of golf and life.  Hope it is going well for you all.

The National Alliance for Accessible Golf has had a busy year thus far.  Meetings at both the PGA Merchandise Show and the Golf Industry Show.  National Golf Day on Capitol Hill in DC in April followed by our annual Board of Directors meeting in Alexandria, VA.  Presentation by Jan Bel Jan of our Board at the American Society of Golf Course Architects in May.  Then that was followed up by our presence at the 2017 Special Olympics North America Golf Championship in Seattle.  And now here in the first week of July, meetings and exhibit at the Department of Defense Warrior Games and the Warrior Summit Transitional Resource Fair for Veterans and Families in Chicago.  All this along with the various grants we have distributed to grassroots programs for accessible and inclusive programming.  And still we have another half of the year to go.

DYK - Alliance General

July is National Alliance for Accessible Golf Awareness month.  Check out our website for resources, search engine, articles, best practices, etc.

Together we can all make this game inclusive and accessible.

DDk3vPCUIAAwx5-P.S. I had a big surprise at the Special Olympics event in Seattle.  During Opening Ceremonies, on behalf of Special Olympics and PGA of America, Beth Major of the USGA and Board member of the National Alliance for Accessible Golf presented me with the Conrad Rehling Award for efforts over the years with Special Olympics and individuals with disabilities.  Very emotional moment for me.

Steve Jubb, PGA – CEO/Executive Director

 

From the Executive Director: Stay Safe On the Course This Summer

iGood morning (at least it is morning where I am).  We are moving into summer here in Florida.  It is hot.  Which reminds me that everyone out on the golf course this summer needs to make sure they are hydrated.  Speaking from experience, you do not want to have heat stroke.  Also at the same time, make sure you wear sunblock.  Skin cancer is nothing to fool around with.  I visit my dermatologist at least twice a year.

In May, the National Alliance attended the American Society of Golf Course Architects Annual Conference in Jupiter, Florida.  Jan Bel Jan, National Alliance Executive Committee member and member of the Executive Committee of the ASGCA, presented on Accessibility in Design.  Well done, Jan.  Very informative session.  We are working on uploading the PowerPoint to our Resource tab on www.accessgolf.org.

Also in May at our monthly Board of Directors conference call, we had the privilege of Kevin Corn join us and share with us his program in conjunction with Ranken Jordan Pediatric Hospital in Missouri.  The work that Kevin and the hospital are doing, using the game of golf for rehab and smiles for the children who are patients, is improving lives through the game.  Check out the following videos about the program, or visit the blog at http://rankenjordangolf.blogspot.com:

“May Reynoso – Ranken Jordan Golf Program”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nopYTCy4WGE

“Cooper Burks – Ranken Jordan Golf”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg-aywNC2SE

Last month, I focused this blog on some of the resources that the National Alliance for Accessible has for individuals with disabilities and access to our sport, golf.  Hope you all had a chance to visit our website and check out the resources we have there.  If not, go to www.accessgolf.org and see what is available.

Whether you are an individual or an organization, you can help make this game of golf more inclusive.  And in the end, that is what golf should be – a game for everyone!!

Steve Jubb, PGA – Executive Director

 

From the Executive Director: National Golf Day

NGD

On April 26, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf had the pleasure of participating in this year’s National Golf Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  The National Alliance was part of a golf presentation in the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer along with Links to Freedom Golf Foundation and Salute Military Golf Association.  We had good traffic through the foyer from Congress Members along with Congressional Staff and others that were visiting the Capitol.  While that was going on all day, there were various meetings with Members of Congress on issues affecting golf.  Mike Tinkey, President of the National Alliance for Accessible Golf, represented us well along with the other members of our Board of Directors who were in attendance.  Unfortunately, we were not able to conduct a golf demo/clinic on The Mall in DC the day before for the public due to weather and logistical issues.  However, the Golf Industry did a beautification project on The Mall which was well received by the public along with the Park Service.

Moving on, in May the National Alliance will be represented at the American Society of Golf Course Architects annual conference in Jupiter, Florida.  Jan Bel Jan, National Alliance Executive Committee member and member of the Executive Committee of the ASGCA, will be presenting on Accessibility in Design.  I will also be in attendance as well.

This month I would like to focus this blog on some of the resources that the National Alliance for Accessible has for individuals with disabilities and access to our sport, golf.

First of all, if you go to our website at www.accessgolf.org and click on Resources, you will find a number of links and contacts to help with engaging in golf.  We have 2 toolkits:  one for golf course operators and one for individuals with disabilities.  There are also other links for other organizations serving individuals with disabilities through golf.

On our home page of www.accessgolf.org, you will also find a search engine that can help locate organizations and facilities around the country that have accessible golf programs.  We are still seeking additional information from other programs and facilities out there to constantly build up that database.  If you know of a program in your community, encourage them to go to our homepage and click on the link to add their program information.

Resources are out there to help make this game of golf more inclusive.  And in the end, that is what golf should be – a game for everyone!!

Steve Jubb, PGA – Executive Director

 

From the Executive Director: Working Together

You have seen me promote in this blog many times over the last few years the USGA/National Alliance for Accessible Golf Grant Program.  The National Alliance and the United States Golf Association (USGA) believe that golf should be open to everyone and supports a wide variety of programs that create opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in the sport. The Alliance and the USGA formed a grant-making partnership back in 2010 to advance opportunities for individuals with disabilities through the game of golf.  This partnership is a component of the USGA’s initiatives which have contributed more than $5 million since 1997 as well as promotion of programs that serve individuals with disabilities. Most recently, the USGA announced that they will be developing events at a national level for individuals with disabilities.  While that initiative is in the early stages, this along with the proliferation of programs around the country making golf accessible is a great sign that golf is moving towards inclusion.

The USGA/National Alliance for Accessible Golf Grant Program supports organizations which provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities to learn and enjoy the game of golf and its inherent values. The Alliance and the USGA share the belief that the game of golf is exceptionally well-suited to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in a recreational or competitive activity with participants who have various types of disabilities as well as those who do not have disabilities. We encourage inclusive programming – opportunities that allow participants with disabilities and participants without disabilities to learn and play the game side by side.

The Alliance Grants Committee believes that the values of the game are best learned by playing the game. As such, the Alliance places great emphasis on providing opportunities for participants to experience golf to the fullest extent possible. Programs should offer affordable and accessible opportunities for participants to experience golf both during scheduled programming and after programming is concluded.

Funds are available so if you have a program that meets the criteria for the grants, apply today.  Go to www.accessgolf.org and click on Program Funding.

On another note, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf will be participating in this year’s National Golf Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on April 26th.  The morning before on April 25th in cooperation with the Middle Atlantic Section, PGA, there will be a golf demo/clinic on The Mall in DC between 3rd Street and 4th Street near Madison Avenue.  In addition, participants in National Golf Day will be doing a beautification project on The Mall in the same area.   If you are in the area, stop by and say hello.

Steve Jubb, PGA – Executive Director

From the Executive Director: Saving Lives

Springtime is approaching for most of the country.  Yes, there will be the occasional snow storm or bad weather in the meantime but we know that good weather is around the corner.  All this means that programs for individuals with dis/Abilities will be starting up soon.  As we have mentioned before, if you have a grassroots program that develops individuals with dis/Abilities into the game of golf, check out our website at www.accessgolf.org for resources as well as an application for the USGA/Alliance Grant Program. You will find grant information under “Program Funding” tab.

On February 21st, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf conducted a monthly conference call with our Board of Directors and our Advisory Board.  Aside from our usual business agenda, we were blessed to have Renee Powell, PGA/LPGA Professional and Founder of Clearview HOPE, join the call and share the impact that golf has had on her program participants.  The focus of Clearview HOPE is Women Veterans who have served our country in the military.  Although golf is used as a central core to the program, there is a great deal of focus on the social, interpersonal relations of program participants and providing a support vehicle for the Women Veterans.  I have heard it said many times by the Veteran participants in the various PGA HOPE programs and other programs across the country that the program “saved their life.”  The suicide rate of Veterans is more than 20 a day.  That is 21 percent higher than civilian adults.  Engaging the Veterans in a program like Clearview HOPE can help save lives.  Below is a link about Clearview HOPE that speaks volumes about the program at Clearview Golf Course in East Canton, Ohio.  Hope you take time to view it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWa1Z0K9GxI&sns=em

If you need information about starting a program or just information about accessibility and inclusion, feel free to contact us at info@accessgolf.org or check out our website at www.accessgolf.org.

As we continue our journey into 2017, let’s all strive to ensure that the game of golf is truly “Inclusive” and see how we might expand or start a program that helps save lives.

Steve Jubb, PGA – Executive Director

Executive Director: Sharing Our Message

Hope everyone is having a great start to 2017.  Back in January, the Alliance was 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 game of individuals with dis/Abilities.  The biggest event was hosting a gathering of more than 25 organizations and/or individuals who are focused on Inclusion at the grassroots level.  Each shared what their programs do to make a positive impact on lives along with sharing best practices with others in the room.  On the Saturday following the PGA Show, I was invited to share information about accessibility and working with individuals with dis/Abilities with Golf Professionals students of the Golf Academy of America (GAA) Orlando, and others.  David Windsor of Georgia State Golf Association Adaptive Golf and Adaptive Golf Association led the hands-on training in the learning center area of the campus.

In February, the Alliance attended the National Golf Course Owners Association’s Annual Business of Golf Conference along with the Golf Industry Show.  Like the meetings at the PGA Show, the Alliance shared information with courses owners, superintendents and others about why the game of golf should be for everyone.

As we have mentioned before, if you have a grassroots program that develops individuals with dis/Abilities into the game of golf, check out our website at www.accessgolf.org for resources as well as an application for the USGA/Alliance Grant Program.  With the start this Spring of many programs around the country, consider applying for a grant.  You will find grant information under “Program Funding” tab.  Through programs that have received grants and through local, regional and national organizations, we have seen that golf can make a positive difference in the lives of those with dis/Abilities.  So, when you look at programming to grow the game of golf, consider reaching out to local rehab facilities, hospitals and non-profit/service organizations that work with these individuals.  They may have never thought about using golf in their programs.

As we continue our journey into 2017, let’s all strive to ensure that the game of golf is truly “Inclusive.”

Steve Jubb, PGA

Executive Director

From the Executive Director: Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!!

As we start the New Year, I wanted share with you some exciting news.  On January 25th at 2:30 p.m. in Room 221B during the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf will be hosting a 2-hour session with various organizations from around the country that use golf to serve individual with dis/Abilities.  This session will focus on sharing best practices from the programs in attendance and sharing with those organizations how the Alliance can help.  The session will also provide great input on how we all can make a positive difference in the lives of those with dis/Abilities through the game of golf.  If you are attending the PGA Merchandise Show and conduct such a program or have a local, regional or national organization with that mission, please RSVP me at Steve@accessgolf.org.

In February, also in Orlando, the Alliance will be attending the National Golf Course Owners Association’s Annual Business of Golf Conference along with the Golf Industry Show.  Dates are the week of February 5th.  We will also be scheduling meetings during that week so let us know if you are going to be there.

During our Board of Director’s monthly conference call in December, we had Alliance Board member Dana Dempsey, of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, present their “Learn to Golf” program.  What a great program and the Alliance has been pleased to be able to help through our USGA/Alliance Grant Program.  Check out these links for more information about the TSRHC “Learn to Golf” program:

http://www.tsrhc.org/Learn-to-Golf
http://eyeopenertv.com/2016/11/11/teenage-amputee-doesnt-slow-down-for-anything/

As we have mentioned before, if you have a grassroots program that develops individuals with dis/Abilities into the game of golf, check out our website at www.accessgolf.org for resources as well as an application for the USGA/Alliance Grant Program.  You will find grant information under “Program Funding” tab.  Through programs that have received grants and through local, regional and national organizations, we have seen that golf can make a positive difference in the lives of those with dis/Abilities.  So, when you look at programming to grow the game of golf, consider reaching out to local rehab facilities, hospitals and non-profit/service organizations that work with these individuals.  They may have never thought about using golf in their programs.

So, Happy New Year and let’s all strive in this new year to ensure that the game of golf is truly “Inclusive.”

Steve Jubb, PGA – Executive Director

Profile: Scottish Rite Hospital Patient Gives Back and Has Eyes on College Golf

Special to the Alliance and Photo Courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

When Lauren was two years old, she came to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, where she was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. Scottish Rite Hospital treated her medical condition, but also recognized it was important that Lauren flourish in all areas. When Lauren was seven, she had a chance to participate in the hospital’s Learn to Golf program. During this program, participants have the opportunity to learn not only the skills and basics of golf but also important life lessons.

2016-lauren-campagna-ntpga-tourn-champ-pic When patients participate, they have a chance to play golf regardless of any medical conditions they may have. The program provides an environment where self-confidence, patience, perseverance and many other skills can grow. When Lauren went to her first clinic, she was introduced to the game and received a set of U.S. Kids golf clubs, along with a scholarship to help her continue playing. Lauren began using the scholarship money provided through the program to take lessons. With these tools, Lauren’s skills and love for golf grew quickly. She has been playing golf ever since, eventually joining the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program and playing in U.S. Kids Golf tournaments.

 

In addition to great exercise and physical conditioning, golf has really helped Lauren build confidence, leadership skills and self-discipline. She is truly dedicated to the game. Lauren enjoys being with other girls who play golf and it has helped her become a leader among her peers.

 

“She has made relationships and connections through golf that would have otherwise not been possible,” said Kammie Campagna, Lauren’s mother.

Lauren has been successful on and off the course. She now volunteers her time and talents at Learn to Golf clinics, working with younger children who like herself have a medical condition that sometimes interferes with their ability to enjoy recreation and leisure activities. In addition to volunteering with the Learn to Golf program, she once led a Girl Scouts blanket drive benefiting patients of the hospital and is on the junior committee for the hospital’s KidSwing golf tournaments. In addition, Lauren is involved in school programs such as the math honor society Mu Alpha Theta, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Sports Leadership Club.

Lauren has played in tournaments through the Northern Texas PGA Junior Golf Foundation and Texas Junior Golf Tour (TJGT). This past June, she won the NTPGA All American Tour’s Shootout in the Hills at Las Colinas Country Club. She is currently a high school senior and holds the number one spot on the varsity golf team at Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas. Lauren loves the game and hopes to play golf in college.

Lauren is an impressive young lady. She works hard on the course as well as in the classroom. Lauren is humble, has a wonderful positive attitude, and is passionate about helping others. Her impressive character work ethic and discipline will help her continue to succeed in golf, whether that be in golf or anything else she decides she would like to do.

From the Executive Director: Inclusive and Available to Everyone

The Alliance was privileged spend a day on November 8th with the students at the College of Golf at Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Joining me were Donna White, PGA/LPGA Professional from West Palm Beach and adjunct faculty member at Keiser University.  Also, joining us was Judy Alvarez, PGA/LPGA Professional, Alliance Advisory Board member and National Trainer for PGA HOPE with the PGA of America.  The topic was Engaging Individuals with dis/Abilities in golf.  About 30 Keiser students participated in the session.  We were also privileged to have a Special Olympics Athlete, Veterans with dis/Abilities and a student of Judy Alvarez join us as students for the college students to get some hands-on training on instructing individuals with dis/Abilities in golf.  Keiser University has a great golf training lab that helped facilitate this session.  Big thanks go out to Dr. Eric Wilson and staff at Keiser’s College of Golf, along with Donna and Judy for their involvement.

As we shared with the Keiser students, golf should be inclusive and available to everyone.

Do you have or know of a program or golf facility that is involving individual with dis/Abilities in the game of golf?  Consider having them join our Accessible Golf search engine on our website – www.accessgolf.org.  Every week we get inquiries from individuals looking for programs or facilities around the country.  Recently we had an inquiry from the Northern California area and we connected them to a program near their community and they brought several others along to the program.  So, add your program today.

Coming up in January, the Alliance will be at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando the week of January 25 to 27.  This year we will not be exhibiting but will be scheduling various meetings during the 3 days of the show.  If you are attending the show and would like to meet with us, please reach out via e-mail to Steve@accessgolf.org.

In February, also in Orlando, the Alliance will be attending the National Golf Course Owners Association’s Annual Business of Golf Conference along with the Golf Industry Show.  Dates for both are the week of February 5th.  We will also be scheduling meetings during the week so let us know if you are going to be there.

As we approach the end of the year and especially as we each look towards filing our tax returns for 2016, we ask that you consider supporting the National Alliance for Accessible Golf.   Consider making a year-end donation to the Alliance by going to our website (www.accessgolf.org) and clicking on the “DONATE” button on the upper right corner of the homepage.  Thank you in advance for considering to support the Alliance.