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Golf For Amputees And Disabled #1
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Golf for Amputees And Disabled #1

So you are disabled in some way and want to start playing golf again or want to learn the game. Let’s start with golf equipment. You need some clubs and some balls, and a golf bag to carry them in. If you have played in the past you may have some equipment from before you became disabled. If so use it until you can decide if new adaptive equipment will be needed for you to play. You may be able to alter you current golf equipment. If you have never played before, then look at purchasing used, or an inexpensive set of clubs to get started with. You may also want to check out secondhand stores like Goodwill or The Salvation Army. Also check with your friends you may be able to borrow a set of clubs.

The first thing you need to consider is are you going to play left handed or right handed? Seems like a no brainer right? Well consider this Phil Mickelson one of the great players on the PGA tour is right-handed but plays golf left-handed. My eldest son is left-handed but plays golf right-handed. There may be advantages to playing one way or the other depending on your disability.

Make the best of your disability. If you have an amputated right arm you may want to play left-handed to take advantage of the power you can develop with your left arm. If you have an amputated left leg you may find that you can pivot on your front foot better if you play left-handed. I’m just saying it’s something to consider and you need to decide before you buy equipment. Still not sure? Go to a secondhand store and buy a left and right-handed 7 or 8 iron. No matter what your disability you should always make the best use possible of the part of your body that is not disabled. Most of you know this; some have not figured it out yet.

The quality and condition of your equipment is not important in the beginning. After you have been playing for a while you will want clubs that better fit your swing and disability. Don’t worry about that now. All you need now are some clubs and some balls to hit. You can buy cheap new balls or you can find reconditioned balls at many large department stores. Remember you may find you don’t even like golf. I hope that is not the case but don’t invest a lot of money to find out.

You got balls and clubs what now? Start in your living room or hall with a putter and two or three balls. Put a large unbreakable cup, tumbler or other container about three to five feet away from you and try to stroke the ball into the target.Start by setting the club face square to your body and lined up with the target. Grip the club lightly with your palms facing each other. Try this with the right hand high and the left hand low. Then reverse your hands. Whichever way is the most accurate for you is the way you want to do it. Don’t worry about one way feeling more natural than the other. We are looking for results. Practice with the putter until you can make most of the puts from three feet then move back to five feet. Etc.

If you have no legs it on a chair or in your wheel chair and practice. If you only have one hand, use the same drill one handed. If you are blind have someone rattle the cup or use a wind up timer to help you aim your putt. Figure out a way to do it. You can enjoy golf and overcome your disability.

Putting may seem like a boring start to the game of golf. But think about this the average able bodied golfer will hit 35 to 40 puts while playing 18 holes of golf. The putter is the most used club in the game. Yet most golfers don’t practice putting that much. If you can putt you have an advantage.

There are golf tournaments on major network television almost every weekend, start watching for an hour or so and you will see tips on all facets of the game. Of course you will not be able to play like an able bodied person but if you know the result you want youcan enjoy golf in spite of your disability. If you get Golf Channel on cable there are many instruction shows to help you see how to hit the ball. There are also lessons available online or at your local pro shop.

In the next article we will figure out how to hit an iron no matter what your disability. Remember determine if you are going to play right or left-handed. You can play golf this game: it just takes the desire to do it. If you are reading this you probably have that desire.


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