Adaptive Golf Challenge Tees Up Many Rewards

By Skip Smith

On Monday, October 28, community golfers have a unique opportunity to experience (a little of) what it’s like to live life fully when you have a disability, during the Walton Foundation for Independence’s 9th Annual Adaptive Golf Challenge at Forest Hills Golf Course.

In a city where golf is king, this tournament is very different.  From March until October, Walton offers free monthly adaptive golf clinics to anyone 15 and older who has experienced a life-changing illness or injury, including many of our local warriors in transition. The Adaptive Golf Challenge is a culminating celebration for our clinic members—a golf tournament specifically designed to accommodate players with brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and other disabilities in the CSRA.

What makes our tournament extra special is the fact that we match each of our outstanding adaptive golfers with three community golfers who get to experience firsthand the challenges a person with a disability faces daily.

For our community golfers, the reward is a new understanding of the “abilities”–not the “disabilities”–of those who learn or relearn the game of golf after a life-changing injury or illness. Throughout the day, there are many celebrations and warm handshakes, from a simple pat on the back for a hole well-played to even a hole in one. It’s just a lot of fun. As important, all the proceeds from this event benefit monthly golf clinics and Camp To Be Independent, Walton Foundation’s annual summer camp for kids and young adults with acquired brain injuries.

As a local business, we encourage you to reach out to the Walton Foundation for Independence, sign up a team or become an event sponsor. Through their adaptive sports programs, the Walton Foundation impacts the lives of hundreds of persons with disabilities across the CSRA. And when you experience this unique event yourself, you’ll understand even better how great an impact that truly is.

Skip Smith is the volunteer chairman of the Walton Foundation for Independence Adaptive Golf Committee.