Articles, Newsletters, Podcasts, and Video

Fredrik Fjaeraa

By EDGA / 2022-05-18
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In late April 2022, Norwegian Fredrik Fjaeraa was lying seventh in the ‘Gross’ division of the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) after a run of successful tournaments. This consistency on the fairways and greens earned him the best possible reward: Fredrik qualified to play in the prestigious G4D @ Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett in early May.
 
Staged at The Belfry – in England’s West Midlands and home to four Ryder Cups – suddenly Fredrik could not have had a bigger stage for his golf. 

You can find Fredrick’s story in the Tough Love and Second Chances Podcast, which is available on most leading podcast platforms and our youtube channel, which can be found by typing edgagolf.tv into your browser.

His impairment is an orthopaedic one, having sustained injuries in both the tough continual work in his job and a couple of severe mountain bike crashes. Surgeries have helped him to an extent, but nevertheless, the damage resulted in Fredrik losing strength and range of motion in both shoulders and his back, making the completion of the swing a particular challenge.
 
Despite this restriction, the now 49 year-old uses his experience and skill in a grooved swing which ensures he is always a very strong competitor off his +0.9 handicap. One of the best players at his club, he says he loves being able to compete despite his injuries and also, when playing with his wife, Tove Elisabeth, he enjoys the social side of the game.

Please enjoy the story of Fredrik Fjaeraa

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George Blackshaw

By EDGA / 2022-05-04
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George Blackshaw swings his driver with his one arm and watches another drive land in the centre of the fairway.

As with many young, single-figure golf handicap players, it is a pleasure to watch how 23 year-old George Blackshaw can plot his way around even the most difficult golf course. George is one of a growing number of high-standard, low handicap competitive golfers out there, who also happen to have a disability.

The way he goes about his golf, with maximum focus but a ready smile, you soon believe he can also play a part in encouraging many others into the game. For George says the sport should be for everyone.

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Benedicte Finnema

By EDGA / 2022-04-20
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Benedicte Finnema was 53 years-old and like many Norwegians she loved her sport; enjoyed everything about keeping fit and being an athlete. Then came a ski accident in 2016 that would have a huge impact on her life. As she lay in hospital and then in the long hours of rehab before later finally deciding to have her leg amputated, Benedicte was able to first cope, and then take a positive view for the future, by focusing on three things: her golf, her love of kayaking at sea and a treasured friend called Ollie.

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Johnny Reay

By EDGA / 2022-04-06
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Johnny Reay started to show a growing interest in golf and the family business when he was but a boy. He began helping out at Stoneleigh Deer Park GC aged 14 and now 15 years later he is general manager, involved in decision-making throughout the business with a specialism on the food and beverage side of Hogan’s bar.

Looking out of the club window at the golf course, Johnny says he is passionate that his club should be a welcoming place for visitors. Golf should be a game where every person, regardless of disabilities, should feel included and respected.

Johnny says, “I was born with a… not disease… but a disability called Apert Syndrome. First of all, I went to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. They couldn’t really do anything until I was a teenager. Then, they were saying go to America, but that was too expensive. So, they got in contact with Great Ormond Street. I had numerous operations there, where they split my fingers, and they carried out two operations on my jaw and skull.”

This is the story of Johnny Reay.

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2022: EDGA Palmela Open

By EDGA / 2022-03-08
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The Manon Eggermont Story

By EDGA / 2022-03-08
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Manon Eggermont is the Director of Tournaments for EDGA. When overseeing a championship, she meets the competitors as they sign in before the event and is constantly impressed with how these golfers, with a range of disabilities, prepare to take on the course and push themselves to the maximum.

Some of the players first get to know her on competition day when they hand in their scorecards after aiming to break 70, 80 or 90, whatever their goal is on the day.

Back in 2012, when a doctor told the then 40 year-old Manon to be prepared that she might not live past the age of 60, it was a shock. Manon is now highly focused on breaking 70, but going in an upward rather than downward direction. In fact, Manon is determined to break 80, with recent birdies on her scorecard being the blessed arrival of her two young sons, Sébastien, in 2015, and Maxime in 2017.

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EDGA3 Sampler Session RSM Batchworth Park

By EDGA / 2022-02-28
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EDGA3 Sampler session at EDGA event

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Ian Jones

By EDGA / 2022-02-23
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Tackling difficult equations in the science laboratory, or tackling, crossing the ball and scoring goals, was always a tough decision for Ian Jones.

Ian travelled up to Newcastle University from his home in the south in 1985, with his football boots in his bag, along with school Advanced Level certificates in Maths, Physics and Chemistry. It was hugely exciting to prepare to study Chemical Engineering in this northern English city famous for its love of football.

Today, he concedes he spent too much time on the football pitch and not enough in the science lab. Equally, if he’d worked even harder in front of goal, his time playing for British Universities and semi-professionally in clubs around London might have led to even greater glory in front of the fans on the terraces.

But life is tough, and it’s also a compromise, and whether his real Plan A or Plan B might have come to fruition, Ian will never know.

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G4D Tour

By EDGA / 2022-02-21
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The DP World Tour has reinforced its commitment to inclusivity in the game of golf with the launch of the newly named G4D (Golf for the Disabled) Tour, which incorporates an expanded 2022 schedule and a transformational package of financial, commercial and media support for the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA).

As part of the agreement, the 2022 G4D Tour’s international schedule will feature a minimum of seven tournaments – increased from five in 2021 – with new events taking place at the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett, the Porsche European Open, the Horizon Irish Open, the BMW PGA Championship and the Estrella Damm N.A Andalucia Masters.

The DP World Tour, through the European Tour group’s Golf for Good initiative, has also committed to a financial support package which will see EDGA move from a volunteer led organisation to a semi-professional one.

This enhanced support is part of the pledge to drive positive community impact made by the European Tour group and DP World last November at the launch of the DP World Tour.

It will further strengthen EDGA’s commitment to broaden opportunities for individuals to get involved with golf, develop new markets, and enhance the player pathway from sampling to competition.

Also included in that package will be accommodation and travel support for players, as well as increased commercial support and media exposure through the DP World Tour’s communications and social media channels.
The 2022 G4D Tour schedule features seven events in six different countries. The stars of G4D will tee off their season at The Belfry in England, from May 2-3, ahead of the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett.

The Tour will then land in Germany for the first time ahead of June’s Porsche European Open, before Mount Juliet Estate plays host ahead of the Horizon Irish Open. The ISPS Handa World Invitational Presented by Modest! Golf Management will once again welcome the G4D Tour from August 8-9 at Galgorm Resort in Northern Ireland.

For the first time, the G4D Tour will visit Wentworth Club ahead of the prestigious BMW PGA Championship – a Rolex Series event – from September 5-6, before taking on Spain’s famous Real Club Valderrama for the first time from October 10-11, ahead of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters.

Once again, the season will culminate at the G4D Dubai Finale ahead of the final Rolex Series event of 2022, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, where the qualifiers from the previous six events will battle it out at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 14-15.

The Golf for Disabled initiative was first launched at the 2019 Betfred British Masters at Hillside Golf Club. Within the programme, the European Tour group and EDGA committed to holding events on the same golf course and during the weeks of DP World Tour events for leading golfers from the gross World Ranking for golfers with a disability (WR4GD). Since the 2019 announcement, seven events have already been held, with players from 15 countries on five continents competing. The 2022 qualifiers will continue to showcase the inclusive nature of golf while encouraging others to take up the sport.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour group, said: “We are committed to ensuring inclusivity in the game of golf – one of the key pillars of our business – and this is another chapter in the evolution of our fantastic relationship with EDGA.

“As has been proven in the two years since we began this partnership, Golfers with Disabilities are deserving of the same exposure and adulation as our DP World Tour players – they are incredibly talented golfers and great ambassadors for our sport. When you watch these golfers play, you immediately talk about their ability rather than their disability.

“That is the reason why we are pushing for golf to be included in the Paralympics, and our enhanced support of the G4D Tour is undoubtedly another important step on that journey.”

Tony Bennett, President of EDGA, said: “For 50 years the European Tour group has been at the forefront of golf performance, and today’s announcement is a game changer that will inspire individuals with disability across the globe to try golf for the first time or continue their participation in the game. We are delighted to further strengthen our partnership with The European Tour group.

“Golfers with a disability at all levels will benefit from this support. Together we will accelerate the development of systems, programmes and tools that build capacity in the golf industry, expand delivery of coaching education and outreach sessions in traditional and non-traditional golf venues, and open golf to individuals with a disability.”

For more information, please visit https://edgagolf.com

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The Nael Ogden Smith story

By EDGA / 2022-02-09
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Nael Ogden-Smith is something of a key player in the Paralympic movement: one of the reasons he’s an asset to the cause is because he genuinely loves sport and understands its value to people. It can make your day, save your day, and sometimes much more. 
 
As a young boy raised in Lebanon, Nael and his friends were always so keen to play together, even as civil war gripped the country; life carried on. This positive outlook shaped him and his family around him.
 
When he was in his early twenties, a bad car accident would put him in a wheelchair. He accepted this blow stoically but this is a story about his remarkable determination to recover – as much as he possibly could – to get as fit, healthy and mentally strong as he was able, to ensure his ongoing independence; to ‘thrive not just survive’.

Please enjoy the story of Nael Ogden-Smith.

For more information on EDGA and powerful players stories please view – https://edgagolf.com

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