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Normally a relaxed, chatty character, Oliver Hirst-Greenham appeared distinctly nervous as he entered the clubhouse at Thonock Park Golf Club, Lincolnshire, for his first EDGA tournament back in June.
The PING Open for Golfers with a Disability was certainly all new territory for him. Oliver’s disability isn’t that noticeable, and he had been worrying about this: would he look like he was an intruder? Was there anyone else like him in the tournament? Would he fit in with the other players? This was the first day at a whole new school.
Later in the day after his practice round, Oliver looked a completely different person, like all his questions had been answered. His smile was beaming, and there was a sparkle in his eyes; he’d been made to feel welcome during the practice round by his two playing partners, the first a leg amputee, the other a one-armed player, and he was busy buying them a well-deserved post-round beer amid plenty of chatter.more
It was St Andrews – the ‘home of golf’ – and surely the most eagerly awaited Open Championship for decades. Staged against a backdrop of 290,000 spectators from all over the world, millions more golfers and non-golfers were experiencing The 150th Open on their screens and phones.
On the Monday practice day, The R&A hosted the ‘Celebration of Champions’, a unique four-hole team match now established during Open Championship week whenever the event is played at this historic golf venue; the fans saying thank you to the likes of Tom Watson, Tiger Woods, Gary Player, Georgia Hall, Nick Faldo, Bob Charles and more; all played out on the iconic golfing acres of the first, second, 17th and 18th holes on the Old Course.
This year’s event brought an extra reason to be cheerful. An international quartet of EDGA players with a disability: Monique Kalkman of Holland, Juan Postigo Arce of Spain, Kipp Popert of England and Jennifer Sräga of Germany were able to meet, talk with, compare swing tips, practise alongside, and then play in the Celebration with these very legends.more
Development is a key focus of EDGA, and our EDGA359 resource can be summarised as a three-step system that takes the player through the sampling stage while respecting the tenets of the typical player pathway, sample, participate, and compete.
Recently EDGA conducted an EDGA 3 session in the RSM London and Birmingham offices. Sessions aimed at sharing the skills and knowledge that allow participants to introduce golf for the disabled in locations close to a sampler’s home and in a familiar environment.more
After nearly 10 years of struggle with a debilitating neck and spine injury in 2012, Rich White explains that through golf he has rediscovered an absorbing sport from his childhood: that has boosted, significantly, his body and soul. Physically it has given him a way back, made him stronger, while the mental tonic has been “exceptional” for him. With three EDGA events under his belt by July, Rich says he feels like he has found a place to ‘belong’ again for the first time in many years. After the very darkest of times, golf, and the golfers around him, are the medicine.
Rich discovered EDGA when watching Sky TV and golfers with disability playing the new ‘G4D Tour’, staged by the DP World Tour. This is his story.
Dealing with corners, free kicks, penalties, one-on-ones with strikers, the football goalkeeper can be the most cruelly exposed of all players. They must find a way, any way, of getting through the rough and tumble of the pressure moments. This is a lonely job.
David Reaney would rediscover his own inner resilience years after hanging up his goalkeeping gloves and No:1 jersey that he had worn in England’s Southern leagues. This time though, he faced bigger challenges, including acute depression and then a stroke which left him registered blind at the age of 48.more