Children and adults with a disability and volunteer leaders from the Muslim community, tried golf as a new sport with the expertise of EDGA and the support of the DP World Tour at The Belfry this week.
EDGA is an integral part of the G4D Tour @ Betfred British Masters, where 10 of the leading World Ranked golfers with disability were teeing it up on the same course and in the same week as the household names in professional golf on the DP World Tour.
EDGA staff and volunteers have been able to introduce the game to new players (samplers) with a disability so they can benefit from the physical and mental health benefits of golf.
In a series of sessions on Sunday (June 25), EDGA Head of Instruction and Education Mark Taylor 22 individuals with disabilities, the majority being new samplers, sign up for the session when invited by the Muslim Golf Association to the West Midlands venue.
The brand new golfers had a range of impairments, including physical, sensory, and intellectual, and were introduced to EDGA’s ‘D3’ first-touch format using safe, light, colourful, adapted GolfWay chippers and putters with soft balls, that can be used in non-golf venues, from schools and hospitals to faith and cultural centres.
This D3 programme was also introduced to nine volunteer community leaders from the Muslim Golf Association (MGA). They in turn can now deliver sampler sessions in their community and EDGA will provide further support and education refreshers to MGA volunteer coaches in the future.
Participants included GB&I Paralympic rugby player Muhammed Islam, while newly registered EDGA player Mohmed Mukhtar Adam was delighted to receive a putting lesson from World Ranked Number One G4D Tour player Kipp Popert while at The Belfry: Kipp then continuing to win the G4D Tour @ Betfred British Masters on Tuesday.
Amir Malik, Founder of the MGA, said: “The Muslim Golf Association was very grateful to the DP World Tour for welcoming our new golfers and volunteers and delighted to link up with EDGA for these sessions. We brought nine community volunteers who have all now been trained by EDGA and can go back to nine locations around the country, helping others to try golf. Many people face barriers to starting at a golf club, and for those with a disability it can seem harder still. Everyone in golf needs to get smarter at bringing golf to people first in their community, introducing them to the joy of the game in a comfortable space that will promote the confidence to become a regular golfer.
“Mark Taylor is an innovative coach who helped us to experience a little of how it would be to play the game: not being able to see for example, or playing off one leg, or balance impaired, or from a chair. He created a feeling of empathy for those with an impairment who we wish to introduce to the game. The Muslim Golf Association wants to make golf a far more inclusive sport and Muslims with a disability, like in all cultures, are too often at a disadvantage. Working with EDGA and the DP World Tour can help us to bring positive change.”
Mark Taylor said: “These sessions underline the value of creating outreach opportunities inside communities. It was a privilege to work with the team at the Muslim Golf Association today.
“Well thought-out community delivery like this can spread a powerful message about the health benefits of golf for people with disabilities. If links can then be made to local golf facilities where new participants can continue with their journey in the game, that is the ideal for all of us. We hope to help make this happen.”