European Disabled Golf Association
EDGA in Action
In this section we want to highlight some of the most relevant issues that EDGA has been involved with and we invite your feedback, comments & suggestions.
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.”
John Clark, managing director of PING Europe (right), shows his support to EDGA president Tony Bennett.
Picture credit: Mark Newcombe
‘A Modification of the Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities’
In order to overcome certain unique problems that some golfers with disability encounter when playing golf, the two bodies have produced, A Modification of the Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities. This publication contains advice and permissible modifications to the rules and they provide a means by which golfers with disability may play equitably with able-bodied golfers or golfers with other types of disabilities.
In order to assist with the requirements of specific disabilities, some golfers with disability use equipment and devices that do not conform to the rules of golf. The R&A can review, on a case by case basis, such equipment and devices and determine whether they should be permitted as an exception under the rules.
The R&A have now published ‘A Modification of the Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities’ which is effective as from January 2016 and replaces the previous 2012 version. During the formation of this publication, The R&A entered into discussions with EDGA representatives who were able to put forward the comments of members and players which were considered relevant.
The media available on our website has either been transferred from the previous site or has been collected since November 2014. We are very keen to make appropriate media available and will be happy to accept your photos, videos or audio files.
In the first instance please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and a summary of the type of media that you have.
Will your putting stroke be legal in 2016?
One rule change which comes into force at the start of 2016, concerns anchoring. This change may have a significant effect for some golfers with disability. If you are unsure whether your method of putting will be within the rules and would like an informal opinion please contact us at email@example.com
The rule and an explanation can be found on The R&A website by using this link.
Can you help?
We have been contacted by a player who has lost a significant part of his right hand. He previously had a golf handicap of 14 and and now wishes to play golf again. We have included some photos here of a prototype that he is now trying, but obviously there are many players who may know of a better solution.
If you can offer any advice or recommend somebody who may be able to help so that he can utilise his right palm and thumb, maybe using some sort of prosthesis then please email Tony Bennett as a matter of urgency on firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: We would also like to start creating a directory of specialists who may be able to help other such players who need to develop a workable solution.
The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) have received RCEDT support for assistance in developing a programme which would help to develop a educational course for PGA professionals to teach golfers with disability. This was successfully completed with further help from the PGAs of Europe, the PGA of Holland and the Dutch platform for golfers with disability and has since become a stand alone programme.
EDGA is uniquely positioned to support the development of initiatives which promote the development of golf for individuals with impairment across Europe, positively influence public perception and offer meaningful and relevant advice to golf’s ruling authorities.
More recently in 2016, EDGA has received further support from the RCEDT
“This commitment from the RCEDT will allow EDGA to accelerate the work mentioned above to reach more individuals with impairment and bring forward a set of ambitious objectives to raise awareness of the value that Golfers with disability can bring to the wider community and industry of Golf,” explained EDGA President, Tony Bennett.
“The RCEDT is one of the most respected funds to which organisations in Europe can make an application. We thought long and hard about making an application to the fund as it is clear that whatever we proposed we would have to be able to deliver.”