Adaptive Golf

I have always enjoyed playing sports. One sport I find to be the most relaxing, although it is more challenging, is golf. I started playing golf again about four years ago. I bought some shorter golf clubs because I usually swing from my wheelchair.

I first started going out to just the driving range to learn how to hold the club and to learn to swing one handed. Once I felt confident, I moved on to going to a small par 3 golf course near my house. I would use an old power wheelchair my grandfather gave me. The power wheelchair did fine on the small par 3 golf course. (Once I tried it on a full 18-hole golf course and the batteries died halfway through. I didn’t get to finish the round. After that, I was sort of hesitant to try and play any of the bigger golf courses.)

A couple of months later, I got an email from a rehab offering me the chance to try a Paragolfers. I attended a golf tournament at Furman University. The Director of Recreation Therapy at Roger C. Peace and the individual, who brought me a Paragolfer to use, assisted me in learning how to maneuver the Paragolfer. It is operated like a power wheelchair with just a joystick to drive it.

It took me about 15 minutes to get use to swinging a golf club standing upright again since it has been over 14 years. Plus, I had to get use to holding the golf club with two hands since I was use to swinging one handed in my wheelchair. After a few hours, I had the hang of it and was ready to play in the golf tournament.

Recently, I played in the Roger C. Peace Golf Tournament. I played on a 4-man team and we played the best ball hit. Meaning, if I had the best drive of the four - we would hit from my ball on the next shot. I was truly amazed at how awesome it felt to be able to play an entire round of golf from the standing position. The Paragolfer can also be used to hunt, fish, and shoot firearms from the standing position.

I want to urge all those who have a physically disability to not stop trying and to stay moving! Maybe golf isn’t your thing but if you had a hobby you enjoyed before your accident, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy it now. Sure - it might be different than it use to be and a little slower, but the key is you are doing it and making the most out of life.

I thank God for each and every day he gives me. I try to make the best out of each day and live life to the fullest. I encourage you to do the same.

Jeremy

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