Golf players with disabilities find joy in the sport
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As we wait to see who will be the next Masters champion, you could say the game of golf is already a winner this year. Augusta National Golf Club is on a mission to grow the sport, and already, more people than ever before can dream of competing there.
She doesn’t have her license yet, but 16-year-old Anna Davis can already drive. The high school sophomore won the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur by one stroke. The next day at the Drive, Chip and Putt finals, eight children were crowned champions.
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Augusta National might be known as the most exclusive golf club in the world, but you can’t help but notice how inclusive it’s working to make the sport.
You also couldn’t help but notice the shirt Shawn Reimold wore to the Masters. It read “GOLF TIL MY ARM FALLS OFF.” He lost an arm in an accident when he was 17 years old.
“We’re just trying to create awareness for disabled golf, adaptive golf, for everyone,” he said.
Shawn came to the Masters with his friend Alan Gentry, one of four co-founders of the North American One Armed Golfers Association.
“I never thought I’d ever have an opportunity to come here and walk these grounds,” he said. “I guess my dream one day is that they can bring an Adaptive Golf Championship here. We love to see that.”
It’s already taking off at other famous golf courses around the world. In July, Pinehurst will be home to the USGA’s inaugural U.S. Adaptive Golf Open.
“Golf is the greatest sport in the world for people with disabilities, Gentry said. “So we’re getting the word out right now, and we have 39 organizations that have come together under the United States Adaptive Golf Alliance.”
That’s a big deal because golf is bigger than … well, golf.
Shawn didn’t start playing until his late 20s or early 30s, well after he lost his arm.
“It really brought peace to my life and gave my life purpose,” he said.
Like the women who played Augusta last week and the kids who played here, too, the message is clear: golf doesn’t belong to just some of us.
Golf belongs to all of us.
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