Disabled Golf

GOSWO also for disabled golfers

Golf is still seen as an elite sport in Germany. We can read everywhere that we have around 644,000 golfers in Germany. Unfortunately, one rarely hears or reads about the more than 3,500 disabled people who play in a golf club.

In 1994 the Disabled Golf Club Deutschland e. V. (BGC), which became a member of the DGV a year later. The focus of the activities of the BGC eV is the sporting aspect, whereby both occasional golfers and golfers with sporting ambitions are to be addressed.

You are disabled either from birth, as a result of an accident or as a result of an incurable disease. Golf should be offered as an ideal sport for people with a variety of disabilities and illnesses. The fact that this sport can also have rehabilitative and social components is still relatively new to many. Golf is a particularly good form of therapy and rehabilitation for many people with mental or physical disabilities.

Golf was included in the list of around 80 sports recommended by the Bavarian Disabled and Rehabilitation Sports Association (BVS). More and more sports science and medical studies prove the good therapeutic successes such as improvements in coordination behavior, spatial intelligence, balance, positive effects on circulation, breathing and core muscles.

First Hessian golf performance center for people with disabilities

The first Hessian golf performance center for golfers with disabilities is a joint project with the Hessian Disabled and Rehabilitation Sports Association - HBRS, the DUK-Hilfe eV (German Accident and Disaster Victims Aid eV) and the State of Hesse. At the Friedberg am Löwenhof golf course, golf training takes place in 4 different disability classes and with a children's group under the direction of PGA golf professional Robert Schmalfuss.

Jens Maspfuhl is the regional specialist for golf at HBRS and the children's group with about 5 children is led by Mrs. Boonyang Maspfuhl. Disabled children are welcome to bring their non-disabled friends and spend a nice afternoon together on the driving range and have a lot of fun doing it.

Anyone with a disability of more than 50% may participate in golf for people with disabilities. The DGV has extra rules for golfers with disabilities. Internationally there is the European Disable Golf Association (EDGA), which is the (umbrella) association and coordinates the golf rules etc. The classification and assessment of the disability and the classification into the different classes takes place directly in the performance center (GC Friedberg).

Inclusion is written BIG at Friedberg Golf Club and the following classes are trained here:

  • Arm - (An arm with no function or with less function such as after a stroke or player without an arm or hand or otherwise)
  • Leg – (Severe limitations in leg area or no leg or foot or other)
  • Wheelchair – (mostly paraplegic with no ability to walk, players are permanently dependent on the wheelchair and use a paragolfer when playing golf.

Of course, the rules of the German Golf Association are also taught and the participants are trained in such a way that they are able to play golf at eye level and to take part in the German Championship for Golfers with Disabilities of the German Golf Association.

I visited Robert while training with disabled kids and got to know him as an empathetic, patient and imaginative coach. Because people – and not just disabled people – are so individual, they also need individual training. However, I was very impressed that such training can take place in a group. Of course not a 'classic training' but the kids were ambitious and had fun. Some have already played a tournament and would like to take part in championships at some point despite their handicap.

Around 270,000 people in Germany suffer a stroke every year: two-thirds of them retain consequential damage, primarily paralysis and speech disorders. In order to fight back life, stroke patients have to develop a feeling for their core again - they have to relearn lost movement sequences.

With GOSWO we would like to help with various mental or physical disabilities with attention disorders or coordination disorders. GOSWO as a predetermined swing corridor or swing path serves as a guide and helps to achieve faster learning success. We will visit several golf clubs in Germany and introduce GOSWO andtraining with GOSWO . We started with the GC Friedberg and if you have any questions you can also contact Robert directly here the link: www.golfschule-hessen.de

Interested golf clubs that deal with the topic of inclusion are welcome to contact us.