Gloucestershire – which will host the English Deaf Golf Open later this month – is making a name for itself at the forefront of deaf golf activities.
The County Golf Partnership has established links with the Gloucester Deaf Association and has run structured five-week Get into Golf sessions at Sherdons Golf Club, near Tewkesbury. These are delivered by PGA Professional Andrew Etherington, who is able to communicate through sign language.
A monthly coaching roll up is now in place and Sherdons are working with the Partnership to become a recognised deaf friendly facility.
Reg Cobb, the Association’s project developer, remarked: “We understand the need to support deaf golfers, as there’s been a lack of coaching and support over the years. Statistics show that 43% of deaf children don’t go to sports clubs purely because of communication barriers. So if we can inspire deaf golfers to become positive role models for younger deaf people/children, it will be an important step forward and show them there are sports organisations out there prepared to offer equal opportunities.”
Jamie Blair, England Golf Disability Manager said, “I would like to thank Sherdons Golf Club and their proprietor, Richard Chatham, for their commitment to developing the game for deaf and hearing impaired people. They have welcomed new ideas and we look forward to developing further links to introduce more people to golf.”
Gloucestershire County Golf Partnership is working to establish further coaching with local deaf and hearing impaired people within the county, as well as encouraging more disabled and non-disabled adults to participate in golf through the national Get into golf campaign.
The England Golf Partnership is committed to developing more opportunities for deaf and hearing impaired people to access the game of golf and play regularly. For more information or contact Jamie Blair by email For more information about the Get into golf campaign, which inspires adults to take up the game with great value taster and coaching opportunities, visit www.getintogolf.org
Meanwhile, the country’s best deaf golfers will head to the Players Club, Bristol, when the England Deaf Golf Open takes place from August 15-17.
There will be competitions for golfers with a 0-14 handicap over 54 holes, 15-28 handicaps over 36 holes and also a stableford competition for all deaf golfers.
Among those competing for the Open title will be Mark Forrest and Paul Waring, who played in the recent World Deaf Golf Championships. Paul is the defending champion and earlier this season qualified for the Brabazon Trophy, the English men’s open stroke play.
Gloucestershire County Golf Partnership www.gloucestershiregolfpartnership.org
England Folf www.englandgolf.org