On Wednesday, July 27, DGA (Handisport Golf Association) held their first golf initiation session at Calverley Golf Club in Leeds.

The ambition was to invite people with disabilities to experience “welcome to golf” initiation events in the form of friendly coaching on the driving range and putting greens. A dozen people, including caregivers, showed up. It wasn’t about numbers, but more about “sowing the seed” to see how it would turn out and where it might lead. This has been well supported by England Golf, Yorkshire Golf Development, as well as the golf club itself.

The afternoon was hosted by PGA Professional Jeff Whittam with assistant coach Dan Atkins. Jeff, who has coached people with disabilities in the past, knew what was needed and how to interact with the participants.

The session began by showing participants how to swing the club and hit balls on the driving range. This was followed by a short chipping session and ended in a putt.

Dan, who is a certified Titleist TPI, which examines body movements and limitations, said: “Golf is for everyone. There are so many different levels of golf that you don’t have to hit the ball 300 yards to enjoy them. Anyone, in any environment, can take up golf, and I think with golf, all it takes is a good swing or a good shot or a good connection with the ball, and you are addicted.

The Disabled Golf Association hopes to work closely with Calverley Golf Club in the near future to establish the first ever Disabled Golf Association Golf Center which would cater not only to people with disabilities who are considering trying golf for the first time, but also provide coaching to members to help them improve and hone their skills. Calverley Golf Club is all on one level and very accessible with wider entrance gates with no steps and double gates to open if required.

Neil Patrick, event organizer and trustee of the Disabled Golf Association, said: “I would like to thank Calverley Golf Club for allowing us to organize our initiation event, Jeff and Dan for their coaching and making us feel so welcome. That day. It was nice to see people come and not let their disability get in the way of trying out and having fun. I would also like to thank Terry Collins, who is the President of Yorkshire, for being there and for his support, Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs and Yorkshire Development Group, who helped fund the day, England Golf for their support, helping before the event to make sure we got along well with Chris Wren from the Bradford & District Union of Golf Clubs.

Established in 2010, the Disabled Golf Association (the DGA) is a registered charity run by volunteers across England.

One of the main objectives of the DGA is to make golf more inclusive and to ensure that people with disabilities can play it.

The DGA knows that sometimes it helps to be with like-minded people who understand where you are at with your disability, so that you feel comfortable on the course or in a social circle.

Disabled Golf Association is a charity and to help run events like this they rely on volunteers, sponsorship and donations. If you would like to make a donation or become a sponsor, please contact [email protected]. More information about the DGA can be found on their website at www.disabledgolf.org.uk.