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Ambitious Popert reaching new heights as G4D Tour heads to Germany

Ambitious Popert reaching new heights as G4D Tour heads to Germany

What started out as an unobtainable dream to become statistically the best disability golfer for Kipp Popert has proven the source of motivation to strive for even greater success.

Kipp Popert

The World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) was introduced in 2019 and since then Popert has forged a path to pursue a career in the sport.

Disability golf has never enjoyed greater exposure thanks to the launch of the seven-event G4D (Golf for the Disabled) Tour, with each tournament held in advance of DP World Tour events and on the same course.

Popert became the world’s leading ranked golfer with a disability for the first time last year, and is currently second behind Ireland’s Brendan Lawlor, but hopes his self-belief and determination will put him in good stead as his career progresses.

“Growing up I have always wanted to be the best possible golfer I can be,” Popert said.

Kipp Popert

“Before the World Ranking for Golf with Disability came in, I remember practising and thinking one of my aims would be in my own mind to be the best disability golfer because there was not a ranking system. In fact, I didn’t even know disability golfers existed.”

Born ten weeks premature, Popert was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy that affects his lower body and underwent a series of operations during his teenage years.

He made history earlier this month as the first golfer to place on both the WR4GD and the World Amateur Golf Rankings, after finishing in a share of 12th at the Irish Men’s Amateur at The Island Golf Club.

Despite that remarkable achievement, Popert is not resting on his laurels.

“I always believe in myself, and I have done ever since I was in hospital beds,” Popert said. “Self-belief is something that I have got in bucket loads.

“I was just really pleased that I battled hard and finally achieved my able-bodied ranking.

“I really hope that I am starting to show people what I can do. I am going to continue to work really hard and I hope there are some bright things in the future.”

Popert will now bid for back-to-back victories when the G4D @ Porsche European Open takes place at Green Eagle Golf Course in Germany from May 30-31.

I always believe in myself, and I have done ever since I was in hospital beds. Self-belief is something that I have got in bucket loads

The 24-year-old won the inaugural event, G4D @ Betfred British Masters, defeating Canadian Kurtis Barkley and America’s Chris Biggins in a play-off at The Belfry.

Popert, who graduated with a degree in applied golf management from University of Birmingham in 2020, said his victory on the iconic Brabazon Course was a case of going “full circle” having undergone lectures at the four-time Ryder Cup venue.

“We are in the environment of the Tour professionals around lots of cameras and with big grandstands,” he added. “It’s a really good way of developing the game and showcasing what we as disability golfers can do.”

The Englishman is keen for himself and fellow players not to be defined by their disability and says support from Tour professionals is invaluable.

“Being taken under the wing by a handful of able-bodied players I have met, including Sam Horsfield and Andy Sullivan, has been brilliant,” he said.

“My aim is to become a world-renowned golfer in my own right. To be able to pick their brains a handful of times at the G4D Tour events is only going to develop my game and my skillset.

“What I like is that they also know just how hard we have had to work to get good at the game.

“It doesn’t matter if we have a disability or if a player is six foot eight and hits the ball 400 yards, we have all spent our lives to develop our games and we all just love to play the sport.”

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