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EDGA in Action

In this section we want to highlight some of the most relevant issues that EDGA has been involved with and we invite your feedback, comments & suggestions.

PING supports the Ranking for Golfers with Disability

PING is to support the groundbreaking Ranking for Golfers with Disability (R4GD) which is open to all golfers with a European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) pass or an R4GD pass.

EDGA operates under the banner of ‘Golfers First’ and is an organisation that is made up from 17 of Europe’s national golf federations. Its ‘Tournament Series 2016’ of 11 events across Europe is available for all golfers with disability who meet the definitions of impairment and have gained an EDGA or R4GD pass.

Globally respected golf club manufacturer PING has previously supported a number of the Series’ notable players individually, employing its famous custom-fitting experience to create the perfect clubs for their playing needs.

As the Tournament Series structure has grown and thrived, and to support more golfers with a disability internationally, EDGA has patiently developed a sophisticated ‘Ranking’, which is now open to all players across the world who take part in any event approved by the national governing body in that country.

This will now be called the ‘Ranking for Golfers with Disability supported by PING’, and it is expected to feature the performance progress of several hundred players in the short to medium term.

PING joins a body of support for EDGA which includes The R&A, the European Tour (PING staff player Lee Westwood is also an EDGA Ambassador) and The Algarve Tourist Association, with further key international partners expected to be announced soon.

Key to EDGA’s objectives is to forge closer links with the International Golf Federation (IGF) in order to influence the Olympic and Paralympic bodies so that elite golfers with a disability are able to take their golf to the very highest international level.

The EDGA team is also working hard to extend the definitions of impairment to include impairment groups that currently are not yet recognised, in order to further widen playing opportunities for golfers all over the world.

EDGA President Tony Bennett said: “The fantastic showing of support from PING is sure to play a key role in further advancements. Their support will help us to automate the ranking system which currently is very labour intensive. Our objective is to make the ranking of all golfers with disability as fair and as simple as possible, and with the backing of PING we can upgrade our system to better identify leading players across a number of disability groups.

“The team at PING has been at the sharp end of helping golfers with disability for quite some time. It is not just about the Ranking. PING is a special company which has already inspired many players through its custom-fitting expertise and encouragement, and now the company’s wider support of EDGA and its goals will surely serve as an inspiration to all golfers with disability.”  

John Clark, managing director of PING Europe (right), shows his support to EDGA president Tony Bennett.

Picture credit: Mark Newcombe

‘A Modification of the Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities’

The R&A and USGA work closely together and since 1952 have produced a joint code of rules so that, wherever the game is played around the world, the same laws apply.

In order to overcome certain unique problems that some golfers with disability encounter when playing golf, the two bodies have produced, A Modification of the Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities. This publication contains advice and permissible modifications to the rules and they provide a means by which golfers with disability may play equitably with able-bodied golfers or golfers with other types of disabilities.

In order to assist with the requirements of specific disabilities, some golfers with disability use equipment and devices that do not conform to the rules of golf. The R&A can review, on a case by case basis, such equipment and devices and determine whether they should be permitted as an exception under the rules.

The R&A have now published ‘A Modification of the Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities’ which is effective as from January 2016 and replaces the previous 2012 version. During the formation of this publication, The R&A entered into discussions with EDGA representatives who were able to put forward the comments of members and players which were considered relevant.

Media galleries

The media available on our website has either been transferred from the previous site or has been collected since November 2014. We are very keen to make appropriate media available and will be happy to accept your photos, videos or audio files.

In the first instance please send us an email to  info@edgagolf.com with your details and a summary of the type of media that you have.

Will your putting stroke be legal in 2016?

One rule change which comes into force at the start of 2016, concerns anchoring. This change may have a significant effect for some golfers with disability. If you are unsure whether your method of putting will be within the rules and would like an informal opinion please contact us at mail@edgagolf.com

The rule and an explanation can be found on The R&A website by using this link.

Media Galleries

Media Videos

Can you help?

We have been contacted by a player who has lost a significant part of his right hand. He previously had a golf handicap of 14 and and now wishes to play golf again. We have included some photos here of a prototype that he is now trying, but obviously there are many players who may know of a better solution.  

If you can offer any advice or recommend somebody who may be able to help so that he can utilise his right palm and thumb, maybe using some sort of prosthesis then please email Tony Bennett as a matter of urgency on t.bennett@edgagolf.com

NB: We would also like to start creating a directory of specialists who may be able to help other such players who need to develop a workable solution.

Ryder Cup European Development Trust

The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) have received RCEDT support for assistance in developing a programme which would help to develop a educational course for PGA professionals to teach golfers with disability. This was successfully completed with further help from the PGAs of Europe, the PGA of Holland and the Dutch platform for golfers with disability and has since become a stand alone programme.

EDGA is uniquely positioned to support the development of initiatives which promote the development of golf for individuals with impairment across Europe, positively influence public perception and offer meaningful and relevant advice to golf’s ruling authorities.

More recently in 2016, EDGA has received further support from the RCEDT

“This commitment from the RCEDT will allow EDGA to accelerate the work mentioned above to reach more individuals with impairment and bring forward a set of ambitious objectives to raise awareness of the value that Golfers with disability can bring to the wider community and industry of Golf,” explained EDGA President, Tony Bennett.

“The RCEDT is one of the most respected funds to which organisations in Europe can make an application. We thought long and hard about making an application to the fund as it is clear that whatever we proposed we would have to be able to deliver.”

Aussie amputees on global stage

The Australian Amputee Open is about to go global. The AAO will become the first Australian event to be sanctioned by the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) when it tees off next week at Melbourne’s Sanctuary Lakes Golf Club (March 28-31).

EDGA’s ‘Challenge’ status affords competitors at this year’s AAO the chance to receive ranking points for the Ranking for Golfers with Disability supported by PING (R4GD), shared by 20 EDGA member countries including Australia.

An EDGA spokesman said: “We are delighted to see Australia adding to the EDGA schedule of events and ultimately Australian golfers contributing to the Rankings. “Australia is renowned for producing great players and we were delighted to welcome Australia as a member country of EDGA in 2016 and now to have players from this part of the world in the Ranking for Golfers with Disability supported by PING.”

Golf Australia’s (www.golf.org.au) national inclusion manager Christian Hamilton said the Australian Amputee Open was an ideal fit for EDGA badging.

“It has been great working with the board of Amputee Golf Australia who are always looking for opportunities to promote the game and provide international pathways for competition for its members,” Hamilton said.

“The 2017 Open will boast a strong field including previous World Amputee Open winners Shane Luke and Geoff Nicholls.”

Amputee Golf Australia president Graham Kenyon said it was a tremendous opportunity to work more closely with Golf Australia in creating opportunities for its members.

“We have been working with Golf Australia on how we can use everything from coaching programmes to tournament initiatives like this to promote the game for amputees and to add value to our membership,” Kenyon said.

The Australian Amputee Open tees off at the Greg Norman-designed Sanctuary Lakes Golf Club from March 28-31.

People with a limb difference interested in Australian Amputee Golf can contact Graham Kenyon, president of Amputee Golf Australia, at kenyonfamily@bigpond.com

See also www.golf.org.au

Golf Australia’s national inclusion manager

Christian Hamilton

Free Golf Clinics

Courtesy of Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation and arranged by Scottish Disability Golf

Following an invitation from EDGA and Scottish Golf, the SDGP has been asked to arrange a series of clinics, utilising funding from the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation

Five clinics have already been arranged, as follows:

The Dunhill award will give disabled people of all ages and abilities, the opportunity to both learn and develop skills in the game. Initially, the regular clinics will be held at two venues, but expanded to four by the years end.

More details can be found at www.sdgp.org.uk - If you are interested in attending, just get in touch!

PING supports media project to raise awareness for ‘Golfers First’

The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) is “delighted” to announce that globally respected club manufacturer PING is to support a major new international media project over three years. ‘EDGA Profiles supported by PING’ is a series of recorded and written interviews that aims to raise awareness of remarkable players – ‘Golfers First’ – who refuse to be defined by their disabilities and instead are reaching their personal potential with the help of golf.

While these profile interviews are expected to create interest among golf lovers and a much wider audience thanks to PING’s support, a key objective of the project is to encourage many people of all ages who have a disability; to demonstrate positive outcomes and that social support and personal growth through golf can be achieved.

EDGA is supported by The R&A, the European Tour, The Ryder Cup Europe Development Trust and 25 national golf federations, plus several valued partners including PING and the Association of Algarve Tourism. Registered players compete all over Europe and as far afield as Australia in ‘Premier’ and ‘Access’ (for a large range of abilities) tournaments, while EDGA is currently working with the International Golf Federation (IGF) as it explores golf’s potential bid to be selected for the Paralympics. Where possible, EDGA is also supporting national federations to promote inclusive golf programmes.   

‘EDGA Profiles supported by PING’ can now be viewed at www.edgagolf.com/profiles. Visitors to the site will discover a first collection of player stories in audio interviews and written features and it is planned to expand this bank of interviews regularly thanks to the continuing support of PING. With this support, the project can now reach the widest possible audience, including outside of golf. Interviews will be made available to sport, lifestyle, health and ‘human interest’ media internationally as a free resource to demonstrate the benefits of golf for people with a disability.

The first Profiles share a determination among players to conquer limitations imposed by serious disability, life-changing illnesses or dramatic accidents. Through the learning and playing of golf and the camaraderie found in the EDGA community, many of these golfers have battled through traumatic times and enhanced their lives. “Golf saved/improved my life” has already been a common view.

“We hope readers will find the EDGA Profiles supported by PING a highly worthwhile listen or read. The subjects of these interviews continually point to the redemptive power of golf – helping to pull them through their darkest hours to a point where they are loving life again,” said Mark Taylor, Development Manager for EDGA.

“We hope this project can encourage other people who may be at the start of a difficult journey after personal trauma, to help them know they are not alone and how sport and friendship – in this case through golf – can make a tremendous difference. We are delighted that PING has chosen to put their support behind this. It is a company that clearly cares about people and its backing will help us widen our reach through these personal stories.”

John Clark, Managing Director of PING Europe Ltd, said: “PING is proud to extend our support of golf for the disabled through our links with EDGA and the Battle Back Golf programme. Our ability to make and adapt equipment for a variety of disabilities is unique in the golf industry and allows us to make the game inclusive to all people wanting to play the sport.”

The first two EDGA Profiles supported by PING feature Aleš Süsser and Jose Bagnarelli and can be accessed at www.edgagolf.com/profiles/golfers. Five more such profiles are currently being produced which are also supported by PING.

PING has supported EDGA for the last three years, during which time its technical staff have worked with EDGA players, offering club-fitting advice during tournaments and providing free custom-fitting for players at PING’s Gainsborough HQ. PING can also be highly satisfied with the support it has given to EDGA for the Ranking for Golfers with Disability (R4GD), which with the company’s help has now established the R4GD as the most democratic and meaningful ranking in the world of golf for the disabled.