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Golf for health and well-being

A FORMER soldier from Rhyl features on the Wales Golf poster to promote its New2Golf 2018 campaign.

Stewart Harris, whose vehicle drove over an IED in Afghanistan resulting in damage to the frontal lobe of his brain, visual impairments, hearing impairments and damage to his legs, is one of four individuals to star on the poster.

He didn’t play golf before his injury and now plays at Rhyl Golf Club with a golfing handicap of 21. He believes golf has helped him with his rehab both mentally and physically and that ‘golf saved him’.

He is joined by stroke survivor Peggy Cumber, youth panel member Jordan Rosser and leg amputee Mike Jones as the key figures in the promotional campaign’s artwork.

The New2Golf 2018 will focus on under-represented groups including those with visible and non-visible disabilities.

Wales Golf have illustrated with this years’ campaign the unique feature of golf, it’s ability to be tailored to all needs and abilities. Whatever the individuals goals may be, there is a platform to experience, participate and enjoy all the benefits of the game.

All these individuals are proof that golf is a game that is accessible to all. This year’s Pick ‘n’ Mix approach to golf, where participants can decide what elements of the game they can manage from one day to the next, be it the driving range or nine-hole golf or the social opportunities, is demonstrating golf’s accessibility.

“All forms of the game can have a fundamental positive affect on the individual’s health and well-being, our inclusive ambassadors and campaign participants are proof of this”, said Wales Golf’s director of development Hannah McAllister.

“The industry is recognising that the traditional format of the game, 18 holes is not necessarily what everyone wants. People are getting just as much fulfilment with access to various different elements of the game and we want to encourage this and educate people on how accessible golf is for all abilities.

“Many clubs across Wales are now offering flexible memberships, nine-hole golf opportunities, state-of-the-art driving range facilities and a warm and welcoming clubhouse which can be a real hub for the community.

“With this year’s New2Golf campaign, which we have been able to implement because of a crucial grant from the R&A, enables us to reach people who may not have thought golf was an option for them because of any visible or non-visible disability and turn around that perception. It’s quite the contrary, golf is very flexible, there’s no need to commit four hours to play, some people gain just as much from half an hour at their local driving range. I’d encourage anyone who has challenges with any sort of disability to attend their local club that is participating in this year’s New2Golf scheme,” she added.

Stewart Harris, right, with Mike Jones, Peggy Cumber and Jordan Rosser.