New Adaptive Golf Program Comes to Aiken, S.C., Starting on July 15

AdaptiveGolf_0996_600wAugusta, GA—The Walton Foundation for Independence is partnering with The First Tee of Aiken to launch Aiken, S.C.’s first adaptive golf program for persons with disabilities, located at The First Tee of Aiken, 901 Houndslake Dr., on Tuesday, July 15.

While the foundation has long offered a similar program at Augusta’s First Tee location, WFI Vice President Vicki Greene began speaking with Elizabeth Smith, Director of The First Tee of Aiken, as well as Larry Milstead, Veterans Coordinator for the Aiken Warrior Project, earlier this year to see if there would be interest in the program coming across the river. The answer was a resounding yes. “We had a wonderful response from so many people who felt that this program needed to be in Aiken,” said Greene. “We are very excited to work with people we have never been able to reach before, who would love the chance to learn how to play or to take up the game again.”

The program is offered free thanks to donor and grant support, and adaptive golf carts, clubs and other equipment will be available for participants to use.

For those interested in playing, the Aiken Adaptive Golf Clinic kicks off on Tuesday, July 15, and will be offered every third Tuesday from March to October from 10 a.m. to noon, culminating in an 18-hole tournament at Forest Hills Golf Club in Augusta in October. Led by volunteer coaches, the clinic is open to anyone with a life-changing physical disability, including spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, mobility and sensory impairments. Both beginners and longtime golfers ages 15 and older are welcome to participate. Clinics focus on driving, chipping and putting, with the potential for course play.

Volunteers with a background in golf or therapy are also needed. If you are interested in playing, volunteering or want to support the Aiken adaptive golf program, call 706-826-5809 or email alices@www.waltonfoundation.net.

According to Greene, the foundation also has plans to bring its wheelchair tennis program to the Aiken area in the near future.