Good News: Adaptive Golf Clinic

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Physical disabilities don't have to prevent people from playing sports.

The shots on the driving range at Hunter Golf Club were not so much practicing skills than testing capabilities.

The first Saturday of every month, veterans and civilians with disabilities are invited to Hunter for an Adaptive Golf Clinic and receive lessons to help overcome limitations and remove barriers to the game.

"Physical therapy is there getting the body used to getting back to normal physical movement,'' said Edward Gizara, Director of Adaptive Golf Savannah, Inc. "What we do here with adaptive golf is we work with individuals to try to get them a quality of life, like I said, to get them some abilities back they normally wouldn't have.''

Participants at the clinic don't mind having their games measured by the concept of normal.

"We call people who play with two hands 'normies' because they play normally,'' said Gary Reed, who participated in this month's clinic. "Playing with one hand and being able to have at least a little success at it gives you a sense of normalcy with the disability that you have.''

As the adaptive clinics grow in popularity, more equipment is being required to meet demands. A golf tournament at Hunter on May 18 will help raise money to fill some of the program's needs.

"Some of the equipment we have, we get from the Stand Up and Play Foundation, is a $25,000 piece of equipment,'' Gizara said. "I have four people in wheelchairs that we have to switch in and out, so every donation helps us get one step further to helping more individuals.''

Additional equipment, like the clubs, balls, and tees that are donated to the program will make the game more accessible to more people with disabilities.

"We want it to be welcoming,''Gizara said. "We don't want cost to be a hindrance, we want it to be totally free for them.''

The Hunter Golf Club is still accepting entries for the tournament to support the adaptive golf clinic on May 18.

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