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Promoting the growth of Golf for the Disabled in Africa

Promoting the growth of Golf for the Disabled in Africa

Over the last decade, the acronym G4D has become well known in golf. G4D stands for Golf for the Disabled, and as these three letters filter into the game’s consciousness, the number of players, suitably trained coaches, accessible facilities and tournaments continue to grow.

EDGA, another acronym, is the organisation that has been stimulating much of the change, but it is golf’s leading bodies that have lent their considerable weight to make a fundamental change in a sport that has the potential to become the world’s most inclusive sport.

The DP World Tour and EDGA created the G4D Tour, which has provided a showcase for some incredible golfers to exhibit the quality of their games.

Now in its third year, the G4D Tour has had 43 players competing over the same course during the same week as the leading DP World Tour professionals and has visited ten countries. The inaugural G4D Open was also staged by The R&A and the DP World Tour, with the support of EDGA, at Woburn in May 2023 and returns for a second time this May.

Even though recent G4D Tour winners such as David Watts and Robin Singh have led the way for Africa, the continent as a whole is still an emerging market.

This week, the G4D Tour breaks new ground as ten leading players from the World Ranking for Golfers with a Disability tee off at the Magical Kenya Open at Muthaiga Golf Club.

Muthaiga Golf Club-1381311788
Muthaiga Golf Club

Due to the reach of the DP World Tour media teams, the eyes of the world will be on these men and women. Specifically in Africa, it is likely that many new individuals with a disability will be inspired to try and get involved with a sport that is open to all, irrespective of gender, age and impairment.

The showcase that the G4D Tour offers is vital to publicise the benefits of golf for the disabled and, therefore, represents why the DP World Tour have strategically held events in new countries and continents. The development of a more accessible landscape for those wishing to get involved in mainstream sport underpins and supports the increase in popularity of G4D.

Ben Cowen, Chief Tournament Business Officer, said: “We are a truly global Tour, visiting 24 countries, which includes both established golfing nations and those where the sport is still nascent and primed for growth.

"At each tournament we play, we want to inspire local communities to follow and play this great game. That includes those with a disability and the G4D Tour has become a powerful tool for showcasing that golf is truly a game for all.

"The DP World Tour has a long association with Africa and we are thrilled to see the G4D Tour reach the continent this week in Kenya. We have a range of activities planned, including workshops with local people with a disability that are run by G4D Tour players.”

The G4D Tour has become a powerful tool for showcasing that golf is truly a game for all.

In 2023, the R&A recognised EDGA as their appointed service provider for G4D and implemented the EDGA 8-Stage Pathway, which is now offered to all affiliated national associations.

The 8-Stage Pathway can be seen as a map to help its users discover where they currently are, identify where they want to go, and suggest tried and tested tactics to achieve their goals.

EDGA President Tony Bennett says, “Learning from the success and mistakes of others is the fast track to success; after all, it has been how humankind has developed over millennia.

"In 8-Stage, we utilise our assets for the benefit of the sport around the world, including research, programme design, media, and player and coaching pathways to ensure we continue to grow the sport for golfers with disabilities.

"The global reach of the DP World Tour and especially this week's G4D Tour event will accelerate awareness that golf is a sport for everyone.”

In only nine months, EDGA has 15 countries distributed along the 8-Stage Pathway, including Kenya and Egypt in Africa.

Kevin Barker, Golf Development Director – Great Britain & Ireland and Africa at The R&A, says, “Working with EDGA, we are dedicated to ensuring that golfers with disabilities are integrated into the fabric of the sport through golf’s leading bodies and national federations worldwide.

"South Africa has long been the standard for golf on the African continent, but the opportunity rests exists in every country to ensure that individuals with a disability can at least sample the game of golf.”

Coinciding with this week’s event, the DP World Tour will organise a first touch session for individuals with a disability, which is likely to further fuel the growth of G4D in Kenya.

Together, the DP World Tour, EDGA and The R&A are committed to growing the game and allowing everyone to have their first swing.

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