PING is to support the groundbreaking Ranking for Golfers with Disability (R4GD) which is open to all golfers with a European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) pass or an R4GD pass.
EDGA operates under the banner of ‘Golfers First’ and is an organisation that is made up from 17 of Europe’s national golf federations. Its ‘Tournament Series 2016’ of 11 events across Europe is available for all golfers with disability who meet the definitions of impairment and have gained an EDGA or R4GD pass.
Globally respected golf club manufacturer PING has previously supported a number of the Series’ notable players individually, employing its famous custom-fitting experience to create the perfect clubs for their playing needs.
As the Tournament Series structure has grown and thrived, and to support more golfers with a disability internationally, EDGA has patiently developed a sophisticated ‘Ranking’, which is now open to all players across the world who take part in any event approved by the national governing body in that country.
This will now be called the ‘Ranking for Golfers with Disability supported by PING’, and it is expected to feature the performance progress of several hundred players in the short to medium term.
PING joins a body of support for EDGA which includes The R&A, the European Tour (PING staff player Lee Westwood is also an EDGA Ambassador) and The Algarve Tourist Association, with further key international partners expected to be announced soon.
Key to EDGA’s objectives is to forge closer links with the International Golf Federation (IGF) in order to influence the Olympic and Paralympic bodies so that elite golfers with a disability are able to take their golf to the very highest international level.
The EDGA team is also working hard to extend the definitions of impairment to include impairment groups that currently are not yet recognised, in order to further widen playing opportunities for golfers all over the world.
EDGA President Tony Bennett said: “The fantastic showing of support from PING is sure to play a key role in further advancements. Their support will help us to automate the ranking system which currently is very labour intensive. Our objective is to make the ranking of all golfers with disability as fair and as simple as possible, and with the backing of PING we can upgrade our system to better identify leading players across a number of disability groups.
“The team at PING has been at the sharp end of helping golfers with disability for quite some time. It is not just about the Ranking. PING is a special company which has already inspired many players through its custom-fitting expertise and encouragement, and now the company’s wider support of EDGA and its goals will surely serve as an inspiration to all golfers with disability.”
The Australian Amputee Open is about to go global. The AAO will become the first Australian event to be sanctioned by the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) when it tees off next week at Melbourne’s Sanctuary Lakes Golf Club (March 28-31).
EDGA’s ‘Challenge’ status affords competitors at this year’s AAO the chance to receive ranking points for the Ranking for Golfers with Disability supported by PING (R4GD), shared by 20 EDGA member countries including Australia.
An EDGA spokesman said: “We are delighted to see Australia adding to the EDGA schedule of events and ultimately Australian golfers contributing to the Rankings. “Australia is renowned for producing great players and we were delighted to welcome Australia as a member country of EDGA in 2016 and now to have players from this part of the world in the Ranking for Golfers with Disability supported by PING.”
“It has been great working with the board of Amputee Golf Australia who are always looking for opportunities to promote the game and provide international pathways for competition for its members,” Hamilton said.
“The 2017 Open will boast a strong field including previous World Amputee Open winners Shane Luke and Geoff Nicholls.”
Amputee Golf Australia president Graham Kenyon said it was a tremendous opportunity to work more closely with Golf Australia in creating opportunities for its members.
“We have been working with Golf Australia on how we can use everything from coaching programmes to tournament initiatives like this to promote the game for amputees and to add value to our membership,” Kenyon said.
The Australian Amputee Open tees off at the Greg Norman-designed Sanctuary Lakes Golf Club from March 28-31.
People with a limb difference interested in Australian Amputee Golf can contact Graham Kenyon, president of Amputee Golf Australia, at firstname.lastname@example.org
See also www.golf.org.au
Following an invitation from EDGA and Scottish Golf, the SDGP has been asked to arrange a series of clinics, utilising funding from the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation
Five clinics have already been arranged, as follows:
The Dunhill award will give disabled people of all ages and abilities, the opportunity to both learn and develop skills in the game. Initially, the regular clinics will be held at two venues, but expanded to four by the years end.
PING supports media project to raise awareness for ‘Golfers First’
The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) is “delighted” to announce that globally respected club manufacturer PING is to support a major new international media project over three years. ‘EDGA Profiles supported by PING’ is a series of recorded and written interviews that aims to raise awareness of remarkable players – ‘Golfers First’ – who refuse to be defined by their disabilities and instead are reaching their personal potential with the help of golf.
While these profile interviews are expected to create interest among golf lovers and a much wider audience thanks to PING’s support, a key objective of the project is to encourage many people of all ages who have a disability; to demonstrate positive outcomes and that social support and personal growth through golf can be achieved.
EDGA is supported by The R&A, the European Tour, The Ryder Cup Europe Development Trust and 25 national golf federations, plus several valued partners including PING and the Association of Algarve Tourism. Registered players compete all over Europe and as far afield as Australia in ‘Premier’ and ‘Access’ (for a large range of abilities) tournaments, while EDGA is currently working with the International Golf Federation (IGF) as it explores golf’s potential bid to be selected for the Paralympics. Where possible, EDGA is also supporting national federations to promote inclusive golf programmes.
‘EDGA Profiles supported by PING’ can now be viewed at www.edgagolf.com/profiles. Visitors to the site will discover a first collection of player stories in audio interviews and written features and it is planned to expand this bank of interviews regularly thanks to the continuing support of PING. With this support, the project can now reach the widest possible audience, including outside of golf. Interviews will be made available to sport, lifestyle, health and ‘human interest’ media internationally as a free resource to demonstrate the benefits of golf for people with a disability.
The first Profiles share a determination among players to conquer limitations imposed by serious disability, life-changing illnesses or dramatic accidents. Through the learning and playing of golf and the camaraderie found in the EDGA community, many of these golfers have battled through traumatic times and enhanced their lives. “Golf saved/improved my life” has already been a common view.
“We hope readers will find the EDGA Profiles supported by PING a highly worthwhile listen or read. The subjects of these interviews continually point to the redemptive power of golf – helping to pull them through their darkest hours to a point where they are loving life again,” said Mark Taylor, Development Manager for EDGA.
“We hope this project can encourage other people who may be at the start of a difficult journey after personal trauma, to help them know they are not alone and how sport and friendship – in this case through golf – can make a tremendous difference. We are delighted that PING has chosen to put their support behind this. It is a company that clearly cares about people and its backing will help us widen our reach through these personal stories.”
John Clark, Managing Director of PING Europe Ltd, said: “PING is proud to extend our support of golf for the disabled through our links with EDGA and the Battle Back Golf programme. Our ability to make and adapt equipment for a variety of disabilities is unique in the golf industry and allows us to make the game inclusive to all people wanting to play the sport.”
The first two EDGA Profiles supported by PING feature Aleš Süsser and Jose Bagnarelli and can be accessed at www.edgagolf.com/profiles/golfers. Five more such profiles are currently being produced which are also supported by PING.
PING has supported EDGA for the last three years, during which time its technical staff have worked with EDGA players, offering club-fitting advice during tournaments and providing free custom-fitting for players at PING’s Gainsborough HQ. PING can also be highly satisfied with the support it has given to EDGA for the Ranking for Golfers with Disability (R4GD), which with the company’s help has now established the R4GD as the most democratic and meaningful ranking in the world of golf for the disabled.