Last week when I was at the driving range I noticed a number of young disable people working on their games. I was very impressed by a young lady who, despite the fact that she was sitting in a wheel chair, was able to drive the ball straight for around 120 to 150 yards. It was a real joy to watch her play. Every time she hit a good shot her face lit up in a radiant smile of pure pleasure.
Watching these young people having such a good time got me thinking.
A good friend of mine is a disabled golfer. He lost a leg in a land mine incident when he was serving in the army as a young man. Bob has never allowed his disability to stand in the way of making himself into a very competitive golfer. In fact this year he has been elected captain of our golf club.
So last Saturday I cornered Bob and asked him to tell me more about disabled golf. Now Bob is a real enthusiast, so I got myself cornered for a good half an hour, but it was worth it, because he told me about this amazing golf wheel chair for paraplegic disabled golfers. Take a closer look at the photo on my web site.
This golf wheel chair is the brain child of Anthony Netto a South African born golf professional and trainer. Anthony suffered a neck fracture after a no-fault car accident, in 1995. This led to him being wheelchair bound for months. After numerous operations and a lot of time in hospital the 37-year old was able to resume work as a teaching pro in 1997. However, in October 2000, he suffered a further setback when multiple sclerosis struck him down. Since that time he has been confined to a wheelchair.
Netto is a fighter; he told himself, "One does not die from this disease." A course of magnet-field therapy helped him, but he wanted to resume his life as a teaching professional and to that end he started to develop the special golf wheel chair, which has enabled him to play again.
The chair, powered by a tank battery, drives him around the course just like any other buggy. However, when he arrives at his ball, the seat swivels round so that he can face his ball. The seat then stands him up and supports him so that he can address his ball, just like a 'normal' golfer.
The golf wheel chair works well because Anthony Netto is now the trainer of the German national disabled golfers team and he has initiated project KidSwing to teach young disabled golfers. He works successfully with sick and disabled children in Cologne, Germany. His aim is: "to establish golf as a therapy and a rehabilitation scheme."
As far as I can find out the golf wheel chair is currently just starting to go into production on a very small scale. It is therefore expensive, my informant wasn't certain, but he thought the price was currently around ?17,000.00 ($22,000.00 approx.) I would expect this price to decrease dramatically once mass-production starts.
My informant also told me that the company marketing the golf wheel chair is being run in such a way as to limit their own profit percentage in order to make the golf wheel chair more widely available to disabled golfers.
There is more information about Anthony, some pictures of his golf wheel chair and links to other sites which talk about this wonderful machine on the Winning Seniors Golf web site.
About the author: David Ferrers is a respected Performance Coach and the author of countless articles on 'winning' and 'golf'. He invented The Academy of Winning, The Science of Winning at Golf and The 5 Fundamentals of Winning at Golf all of which are available as free downloads from his web site at http://www.Winning-Seniors-Golf.com