|Group discusses steps for making golf more
accessible for individuals with disabilities.
CLEMSON, S.C. - Preliminary steps for developing an action
plan for making golf more accessible to individuals with disabilities
were established during the sixth National Forum on Accessible
Golf, April 8-11, at Clemson (S.C.) University. Fifty of the
nation's golf experts, members of the medical and rehabilitation
professions and accessibility leaders attended the four-day
forum, which was coordinated by Gary Robb, executive director,
from the National Center on Accessibility at Indiana University
and Dr. Larry Allen, who oversees the National Project for Accessible
Golf at Clemson University.
"I believe we made real progress in identifying educational
strategies the industry needs to take to make golf more accessible
to people with disabilities," said Dr. Betsy Clark, director
of education and research for the Ladies Professional Golf Association
(LPGA). "Representatives from each of the industry's major organizations
attended the forum, and we worked together to establish the
steps for developing a plan to achieve our goals."
Forum organizers and participants are expected to complete
the action plan over the next few months and establish a mechanism
for the plan's implementation over the next two years. Seven
primary areas were identified as needing further educational
programs, strategies and services:
- developing a management "tool kit" and guiding principles
for golf course owners and operators to better serve golfers
- expanding informational services and programs of the USGA
Golf Resource Center for golfers with disabilities;
- developing an educational model for teaching golf to
individuals with disabilities;
- developing educational materials to clarify the rehabilitative
value of golf;
- developing educational materials to promote golf as
a means of inclusion and lifestyle development for individuals
with disabilities, as well as all individuals;
- developing a comprehensive research program to support
the educational and promotional materials needed to advance
golf to individuals with disabilities; and
- establishing educational materials that clarify the
financial advantages and challenges associated with greater
inclusion of golfers with disabilities.
During a panel on the different roles each of the organizations
can take, Dr. Trey Holland, president of the United States Golf
Association (USGA), stressed the need for the game of golf to
be more inclusive and responsive to golfers with disabilities.
He indicated the USGA is planning to establish a National Golf
Resource Center at the USGA Foundation to serve as a clearinghouse
and catalyst for programs and services for individuals with
The forum also included a golf outing teaming golfers with
disabilities with non-disabled players. This experience provided
the participants with a greater appreciation for the talents
and challenges of golfers with disabilities.
The LPGA was the forum's presenting sponsor. Other co-sponsors
included the USGA, Golf Course Superintendents Association of
America (GCSAA), Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour, National
Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), Club Managers Association
of America (CMAA) and the PGA of America.
click here for Forum
Presenting Sponsor - Ladies Professional Golf Association
Contributing Sponsors: United States Golf Association,
Professional Golfers Association Tour, Club Manager's Association
of America, Golf Course Superintendent Association of American,
National Golf Course Owners Association, PGA of America.