Disability Golf Competition in the UK
Golf provides many opportunities for individuals with disabilities, including the chance to develop fitness and co-ordination. England Golf aims to increase the number of disability golfers across Britain by supporting clubs to offer inclusive beginner lessons tailored for all abilities.
Talented golfers with disabilities from around the world will travel to Woburn in England to compete at the 2022 G4D Open.
England Golf is the national governing body for men and women golf in England. Assuming management of premier amateur tournaments from both English Golf Union and Ladies Golf Association, England Golf has now taken charge.
Organization’s twin priorities are encouraging golfers with disabilities to sample and participate in golf as well as promote it as a Paralympic event. This year’s G4D Open at Woburn was an impressive step toward this aim, featuring 24 of the world’s highest-ranked golfers with disabilities in each class of standing, intellectual, visual, seated.
Kipp Popert, born with Spastic Diplegia and now competing both able-bodied and disabled golf, hopes his performances can serve to inspire others to pick up the game and take up golf for themselves. Furthermore, he hopes that GD4 Tour will offer disabled golfers with disabilities an equal opportunity on its global schedule as DP World Tour players.
2021 will mark the debut of the European Disability Golfers Association European Tour for Golfers with Disabilities, featuring four tournaments where 20 golfers from World Rankings for Golfers with Disability will have an opportunity to compete on courses set up like European Tour professionals.
Royal Porthcawl will play host to the Welsh event, located just west of Cardiff and known for being exposed to Atlantic storms – making this course an arduous challenge no matter your skill or experience level.
Golf Development Wales in Wales has been hard at work promoting more inclusive golf. Their efforts were recently acknowledged with an Insport Silver Award. Golf Development Wales is also developing a grassroots structure for bringing disabled people into the game; this includes hubs equipped with inclusive equipment and accessible PGA professionals that host taster sessions and tailored rules lessons for disabled participants. Furthermore, a network of independent golfers with disabilities has been created on Facebook.
The Golf Trust
The Golf Trust is working with clubs across England to increase the number of disabled golfers. Their aim is to establish a pathway from progression sessions held in centers, parks and schools all the way through to being introduced into club environments. Furthermore, grants and bursaries are offered for young disabled golfers in order to cover costs such as coaching sessions, competition fees and membership of PING Prodi G clubs.
Talented golfers with disabilities like Juan Postigo Arce from Santander in northern Spain and Chris Biggins (USA) who was born with abnormal muscle contractions believe golf’s structure always offers them a genuine sporting chance, yet one thing could push disability golf to new levels: becoming part of the Paralympic programme in 2024.
Ottobock, one of the world’s premier manufacturers of prosthetics and orthoses, has joined the European Disability Golf Association as a partner. Ottobock will invest in research to understand better both physical challenges associated with swinging a golf club as well as impairment-induced performance losses.
The Disabled British Open
Golfers at the Disabled British Open hail from all corners of the globe and possess various impairments. Yet they share a sense of community despite these disparate circumstances, passionate about golf and determined to encourage other disabled individuals to pick it up as well.
This year’s event is free to watch and will be live streamed online, courtesy of Richmond Region Tourism and Dominion Oil; additional support comes from Golf Genius and Solorider.
Accentuate was established in 2009 with funding from SEEDA and Legacy Trust UK and seeks to change how disabled people are perceived through celebrating excellence and showcasing talent. Since its launch, its success has earned widespread praise; Secretary of State for Culture Media & Sport Jeremy Hunt MP and Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller MP both praise its inclusive nature. Accentuate has now been added as part of the 2021 EDGA European Tour schedule alongside events on DP World Tour events.