As I publish this note in April 2022, program registration has opened for the much anticipated Make Golf Your Thing Directory, and Make Golf Your Thing is also receiving grant applications as we speak. If you wish to apply for a grant, ensure you review the Eligibility and Guidelines. The clock is ticking for grassroots programs to apply for Phase III funding to be distributed in the early summer.
Please note, per Make Golf Your Thing, “The American Development Model is a movement in sport to increase participation by delivering the right experience at the right stage of one’s sport journey. With the right experience, retention in our sport is more likely and our sport grow. If you would like to be included or have your program included in the ADM program directory – as a first step – a coach or candidate program must showcase a commitment to operating programs and services in alignment with the Principles of ADM.”
The World Golf Foundation and American Golf Industry Coalition (formerly We Are Golf) have created a registration process that will require programs to be very clear in their program description with “keywords” that will facilitate better search engine results when individuals are seeking programs of interest.
The National Alliance for Accessible Golf recommends all programs offering inclusive opportunities for individuals to learn and participate in golf to register and use the following descriptors for your specific program.
First, we recommend you use the words “disability and/or disabilities” in program descriptions and additionally use “impairment” as an added qualifier as applicable.
Second, we suggest that you specifically describe/categorize your program with one, two, or all of the following (verbatim) as this will help lend to ease of search for individuals with disabilities and better identification of the types of programs that are available.
- Physical Disability and/or Mobility Impairment,
- Developmental/Cognitive Disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder, and
- Vision and/or Hearing Impairment
The Make Golf Your Thing Directory is a truly inclusive effort and the opportunity to register programs serving new and existing golfers with disabilities is definitely something those of you offering these types of programs should do! Given that approximately 14 million individuals with disabilities are interested in golf, 6 million report they had played in the past but no longer do, and more than 600,000 golfers with disabilities are currently engaged in golf (Source: NGF, 2018), it is safe to say the disabled golf community is positioned to influence the game of golf, not just be included.
That begins with telling everyone where you are and who you serve.
Dave Barton is the Executive Director for the National Alliance for Accessible Golf and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.