By using either good old-fashioned American ingenuity or the very cool stand-up personal mobility device, the Paragolfer (also known as the Paramobile), the only handicap you have to worry about when you’re out on the links is your number of swings, not your paralysis. See with adapted golf, creativity is key.
It’s funny…so many people think golf is off-limits to people in chairs. But as long as you have the right equipment (and an open-minded golf course that doesn’t think wheelchair-users are the equivalent of lawn-wrecking gophers), you can play adapted golf. Really! All you need is some upper-body movement and determination to get out there.
In this first video, Tim, a paraplegic from Illinois, shows how he’s perfected his golf swing from his manual wheelchair (he doesn’t use any fancy mobility devices either). By simply twisting his torso to his right (and keeping his legs in their usual position), Tim can swing his club quite impressively (it’s no monster drive, but it flies). And he uses a reacher to set his ball on the tee. Genius!
In the second video, Jack Jablonski, a 16 year old from Minnesota who broke his neck last December while playing hockey, gets to try the Paragolfer only seven months after his injury. Despite being a C5-6 quad, Jack does a fine job of standing up and swinging just like he used to (now I wanna try!).
The especially cool part is that he’s being trained how to use the Paragolfer by another person in a wheelchair – the inventor of the machine himself, Anthony Netto (follow him to on Twitter). He is so great for bringing adapted golf to people with disabilities. Netto also runs this very cool non-profit, The Stand Up and Play Foundation, for this very purpose. Netto is considered one of the best adapted golfers in the world.
If these videos prove anything, they show that getting out on the links is totally still possible. For golfers who find themselves having to make the super tough decision when they find themselves with an acquired disability – stop golfing altogether or get involved in adapted golf – seeing these videos (yeah yeah despite not being able to walk) have the power to influence many a golf addict.
Watch the videos!