You can Play Golf with an SCI

The Patricia Neal Innovative Recreation Cooperative (IRC) reflects its name in its philosophy. Innovation is new and creative ways in which individuals with a disability are able to participate. Recreation is the medium that is used to enhance education and awareness of the participants. Cooperative is the group of individuals who support, nurture, and mentor using their expertise and talents to make the clinic a success. Together, each clinic is an innovative form of recreation using a cooperative of talents.

Signing Waiver Forms

Greg Eady and Matthew Porterfield are signing up for the PNIRC golf clinic in the golf club parking lot.

Sonny Ackerman: Golf Great

Al Kaye was able to get Sonny Ackerman to lead the clinic. Sonny is one of the best adaptive golfers in the nation. He is a strong advocate for getting any and all challenged individuals out there on the golf course.

Teeing up one legged

One of the things that Sonny emphasized is that it doesn't matter what our golfing ability is. What is important is that we all do the best that we can with what ability we have. Competition need not be at Tiger Wood's level. It can be trying to reach the 75 yard mark on a drive.

Teeing up no-legged

Matthew takes his turn here trying a swing one-handed. We all tried different techniques to optimize our swings. Many things need to be taken into account. paraplegics don't always have control over abdominal muscles which are used extensively in a golf swing. One thing that helped Matt with the wonderhanded swing was a Velcro hand strap.

An adapted golf club head angle

There is a great deal of adaptive equipment available to golfers. Here, Greg Eady is trying a special golf club with a head that meets the shaft at a different, flattened angle that is better for people sitting in a wheelchair. Greg subsequently smacked a long shot.

Eyeing the pin

Sonny is deciding whether to try for the hole or the guy standing by the hole. Part of the fun at the clinic was a contest to see who could get closest to the pin which was only about 40 or 50 yards away. Almost all of us hit it too far.

IRC volunteers

We had probably twenty or thirty volunteers who helped each individual with whatever needed doing. Sort of like a personal caddy for each of us. I could get used to that! All of the volunteers were cheerful, helpful, and full of comments on how to improve our style.

Al Kaye and Sonny Ackerman

The day was hot and muggy but it was a thrill having Sonny there cheering for all of us.

Al Kaye and Sonny Ackerman

One of the very helpful pieces of equipment was an adaptive golf cart. This particular one has a seat that turns 180 degrees around so that a para can stay seated in the golf cart and yet be almost standing when the seat is turned around. Other types of adaptive carts are also available.

      The golf cart pictured above
      is manufactured by:
      SoloRider Industries, Inc.
      PO Box 371047
      Denver, CO 80237-5047
      Phone: (303) 858-0505
      Fax: (303) 858-0707
      Toll Free: (800) 898-3353