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Your UCP: National August 25, 2003
Sports & Leisure

Recreation & Leisure

Golf

Ever think about playing golf? Do you think maybe because you have a disability that you can’t play? Do you wonder how you will get around the golf course if you use a wheelchair, crutches, cane? If you are blind or have a visual impairment, did you know that you can still play golf? Do you wonder if there are people knowledgeable about teaching people with disabilities to play golf? If you are curious about the answers to these questions—read on—you might be surprised.

What are the minimum requirements to play?
Photo of a golfer using an assistive device to help him stand and stay balanced as he tees offGolf can be played by anyone. If you played golf before you became disabled, you can play again. If you never played golf, but would like to, you can play regardless of the type of disability that you might have. Hundreds of people with disabilities are playing golf– why not join them?

How can I get started?
There are a number of things that you can do to get started in golf. If you don’t know anyone who plays or a course in your area that would be appropriate to you, begin by contacting the organizations listed at the end of this article. There are also many Internet sites that include information on where to get instruction, adapted golf equipment and resources. It is likely that there is an organization or individual near you that can help you get started.

What about assistive devices?
Photo of a golfer with a prosthetic right arm preparing to puttThere are many assistive devices on the market that enable golfers with disabilities to play the game. Specially designed golf clubs, mobility devices, gripping aides, practice facility equipment such as automated ball teeing devices, ball retrieval aides, etc. An extensive listing of companies and organizations that manufacture various devices for golfers with disabilities may be found at the National Center on Accessibility Web site.

How can I learn more about golf?

  1. Photo of a golfer who uses a wheelchair at a practice site with automatic ball teeingThe best way to learn about golf is to go to a golf practice facility and begin to practice.
  2. If a friend or family member that you know plays, ask them to go with you.
  3. If you learn of a golf instructional program in your area, enroll in an instructional class or at least begin by attending a golf program or clinic.
  4. Watch golf on TV and see how the game is played.
  5. Read golf magazines and books to pick up some of the finer points of the game.
  6. Call a local golf course or parks department to determine if they have people or programs for instructing people with disabilities to play golf.
  7. Ask if local parks or golf courses have adapted golf equipment such as golf carts and golf clubs.

Photo of a golfer with a single-rider cart on a green preparing to puttA number of companies, are now manufacturing devices that are designed to accommodate both golfers with and without disabilities. Specifically, single rider cars that are lighter in weight and that have turf sensitive tires are now available.

Many PGA and LPGA golf professionals are providing instruction for golfers with disabilities. In addition, numerous rehabilitation and recreational instructional programs and national organizations provide information and conduct tournaments that include golfers with disabilities.

For Further Information

http://www.usga.org/resource_center/index.htmlUSGA Resource Center for Individuals with Disabilities, (719)471-4810 ext. 18, Contact: Mark Frace

National Center on Accessibility, (812)856-4422, e-mail: nca@indiana.edu

Association of Disabled American Golfers, (303)738-1675, e-mail: adag@usga.org

National Amputee Golf Association, (800)633-6242, e-mail: info@amputee-golf.org

United States Blind Golfers Association, (904)893-4511

Physically Challenged Golfers Association, Inc., (860)676-2035, e-mail: pcga@townusa.com

Physically Limited Golfers Association, (218)722-4439

Fore Hope, Inc., (614)459-4673, e-mail: Mindy@ForeHope.org

Challenge Golf Program, (216)784-1271

Sister Kenny Institute, (612)863-5712

Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital and Clinic, (630)462-4039

Ladies Professional Golf Association

PGA of America

Get Up & Golf, 800-WALK-530
644 Hillside Avenue
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

NOTE
The information provided here is offered as a service only. The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability, University of Illinois at Chicago, the National Center on Accessibility, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago do not formally recommend or endorse the equipment listed. As with any products or services, consumers should investigate and determine on their own which equipment best fits their needs and budget.

Source: NCPAD

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