Teeing Off Together: Embracing Inclusion on the Golf Course

golfSubmitted Image/UGC
Op-Ed by Joe McNichol, PXG Philadelphia

A study by the National Golf Foundation found that there are more than 14 million individuals with disabilities who are interested in golf-related activities. However, only about 4% of those individuals are actually involved in the sport. As we round out Disability Awareness Month this March, it’s critical to call attention to how the golf community can help cultivate an inclusive game and how golf can benefit players of all abilities and skill levels.

Social-Emotional Support

For those with disabilities, golf can help foster a sense of community and support. There are several national adaptive golf programs, clinics and tournaments that offer opportunities for players to connect with others who share similar experiences and challenges. Locally, the Golf Association of Philadelphia hosts No Limit Clinics, helping to provide an inclusive space for golfers with disabilities. PXG Philadelphia also partners closely with PGA HOPE, an organization that introduces golf to veterans to enhance their well-being. The organization’s professionals are trained in adaptive golf and help cultivate an inclusive community in the sport.

Golf can also help serve as a stress reliever for many individuals; spending time on the course for a few hours of the day offers a quiet environment to help clear the mind. The sport requires patience and practice, helping players to set goals and work toward them. Improving skills, making progress and overcoming challenges on the course can feel rewarding, especially with the encouragement from a supportive community. This sense of achievement can boost self-confidence both on and off the green.

Physical Support

Golf offers a number of physical benefits for all players, and unlike some other sports, the game of golf can be adapted to accommodate individuals of all different levels and abilities. When playing a traditional round of golf, players walk a couple of miles. Walking is a great activity for improved cardiovascular health and lung function, and it has been reported to provide a good form of exercise for those undergoing cardiac and stroke rehabilitation. Golf also provides a form of low-impact exercise which can be helpful for those with limited mobility or joint concerns. Even for those unable to walk an entire course and opt to ride, swinging the clubs at each hole or even hitting at the driving range can help improve balance and coordination.

For people with disabilities, developments in adaptive equipment help support their game and skills. Devices like golf ball placers can help players tee off, while different types of gloves and grip devices offer players more control and swing accuracy. When it comes to clubs, getting a custom club fitting can help pair golfers with equipment that best fits an individual’s build and preferences. The expert fitters at PXG dedicate the time and attention to making sure that every player, regardless of their ability level, feels comfortable and confident with their clubs.

Everyone deserves a chance to golf and experience the numerous benefits of the sport. While adaptive clinics, tournaments and gear signify the progress made, there’s still work to be done. Inclusivity is a core value of PXG and something we hope to bring to our local golf community. By supporting players of all backgrounds and abilities, we can work toward growing a more inclusive game and ensure that everyone has the opportunity and access to tee off together.

Joe McNichol is the store manager at PXG Philadelphia. PXG has a retail location in King of Prussia, partners with local country clubs, and hosts mobile fittings around Chester County.

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