Peter Köhler, an acclaimed surgeon and “pioneering” eligibility officer for EDGA, has recently passed away. All of us at EDGA offer our best wishes to Peter’s family and friends at this time.
Peter Köhler was an orthopaedic surgeon, at the Red Cross Hospital in Stockholm, when he started to help members of our team with his expert advice. As a skilled golfer, he had a clear understanding of both the game itself and how those with a disability could reach their potential on the golf course.
In the late 1990s, for the organisation that would become EDGA, Peter’s work would play a key part in the formation of the pivotal ‘Medical Committee’. At that time, many well-meaning charitable and private organisations ran golf competitions for the disabled across different nations, and there could be at times confusion and discord about the Rules for players with impairments, and who was qualified to play in which events.
In his patient but confident way, Peter set about producing the first Definitions of Impairments (published 1998) concerning the minimum levels of disability, enabling clear and fair participation guidelines for players in tournaments.
This, combined with The R&A/USGA’s booklet A Modification of the Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities, published the same year, helped his EDGA colleagues believe that a wider community could be created to boost opportunity for players with a disability, encouraging international competition and a support network for individual countries so they could improve access and provision for their own players.
Former General Secretary of EDGA, Pieter van Duijn, said: “Working with these intellectual resources, a great deal of work was carried out by a committed group of medical and scientific professionals on the Medical Committee. First, with Peter Köhler and Jean Francois Claisse, and then Professor Willem Eisma, the three became the ‘gatekeepers’ to what has become the international hub of expert knowledge that EDGA is today.
“Peter Köhler was a genuine pioneer and perhaps the most important expert voice in EDGA from the start. This organisation owes him so much and we wish his family and friends well at this time.”
Peter Köhler’s Definitions were updated regularly and became (and still are) the backbone for fair competitions under the EDGA umbrella.
Article by Ben Evans, +44(0)7789 722853
Dec-11 2020 © EDGA Golf 2020