Iceland has been welcomed as a new member of the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA), the organisation which is working with leading global bodies to grow golf for the disabled internationally and which backs golfers with a disability as ‘Golfers First’.
The move means that all players of the Icelandic Disabled Golfers Association (IDGA) will enjoy participation and ranking opportunities through EDGA, while being part of the significant support network of the EDGA family, which has a membership of 23 national golf federations.
EDGA is supported by The R&A, the European Tour, the Ryder Cup European Development Trust plus several valued commercial partners including PING and the Association of Algarve Tourism. Backed by globally respected health and disability experts, the organisation is currently working closely with the International Golf Federation (IGF) as it seeks to influence the Paralympic bodies so that elite golfers with a disability are able to take their golf to the very highest level.
Through the association, Icelandic players entering tournaments at home and abroad will be able to post their scores to count towards the Ranking for Golfers with Disability supported by PING, an international ranking which currently includes more than 300 players over the stroke play (180) and stableford rankings. In 2017, there are 14 events in the EDGA Tournament Series schedule, taking in countries all over Europe and further afield, so that EDGA players have been able to play from St Andrews to Melbourne.
Brynjar Geirsson, managing director of the Golf Union of Iceland, said: “Iceland is seeing further great progress in supporting golfers with disabilities. IDGA has provided training sessions for players all year, under the guidance of a certified golf instructor, which have been well supported and proven popular, and this encourages us to continue all this good work under the wings of the Golf Union of Iceland. In doing so, we believe that international collaboration is important and we are very excited now to be part of EDGA.”
Pieter van Duijn, vice president of EDGA, said: “We are delighted to welcome Iceland’s Union and IDGA to join us in our common aim of increasing playing opportunities for golfers with a disability and helping them to raise their games to new heights, while working with the sport’s major bodies to grow the game for ‘Golfers First’ in exactly the right way for them. The EDGA team now looks forward particularly to meeting and supporting Icelandic golfers at our Tournament Series events in the time ahead.”
The Icelandic Disabled Golfers Association was established at the turn of the century by the Golf Union of Iceland and the National Paralympic Committee of Iceland to improve access to golf for people with disabilities and encourage them to take up the game.
Mr Hördur Barddal pioneered the Icelandic Association’s establishment and served as president until his passing in 2009. Hördur was also a board member of EDGA itself, and helped pave the way for this latest development for people with a disability who love sport in Iceland.
European Disabled Golf Association http://www.edgagolf.com/