Golfing to a tee at Sadga golf day

Jaco van der Merwe, Herman Britz, Koos Bierman, the caddy and Eduardo Da Silva Maia

The South African Disabled Golf Association (Sadga), organised a provincial golf day hosted at Bloemfontein Golf Club on 29 October 2017. The golf day was primarily organised to have disabled golfers competing. The Board of the South African Society of Physiotherapy Free State (SASPFS) assisted in organising the event and entered as the main sponsor for the day, with other sponsorships from Kloppers, Hi-Tech Therapy, Aasvoëlklub, the Central Media Group and Anna Swanepoel Physiotherapists. Sixteen golfers, of whom four were disabled, took part in the competition. The Free State Golf union, the Nomads, the SASPFS and members of the public constituted the sixteen players.

Fritz van den Heever

The competition kicked off with a bang as the players teed off against strong winds. A mood of excitement prevailed. At the 16th hole a mini competition was played where the abled-bodied golfers had the playing field even as they attempted to tee off by means of standing on one leg, swinging with one arm or blindfolded. This prompted great fun among the players as newfound respect was gained for the disabled competitors.

This competition was measured on who could tee off and land the ball closest to the hole. The winner of this competition was Herman Britz, landing the ball an amazing six metres from the hole after swinging on one leg. The winner of the golf day was Enrique van Wyk (a disabled golfer with one arm and a handicap of 23), with 40 individual stableford points. Enrique van Wykplayed with Alec Levin, president of the Free State Golf Union and Quinton Williams, owner of the Golf Academy.

Jaco van der Merwe, playing blindfolded as a way of leveling the playing field between the abled players and the disabled.

It was awesome to have had two professional golfers, Matias Calderón and M J Viljoen, both currently playing in the Sunshine Tour, participating in the day. “We were impressed with the quality of golf played by the disabled players and will love to play in future events,” they said.

The main focus of the day was to raise awareness of disabled golf and sport alike and for able-bodied players to play with disabled golfers. Sadga will be organising provincial days every second month and hopes that more disabled people will take up the game.