The first public golf course for people with severe physical disability has opened at Moore Park Golf in Sydney. The course is the closest to the Sydney CBD and is part of the Centennial Parklands. People with hemiplegia and quadriplegia will be able to play the sport using the Paragolfer, a German-designed cart which was donated through a $45,000 grant from the Centennial Parklands Foundation.
According to NSW Environment Minister, Rob Stokes, the Paragolfer is a state-of-the art piece of machinery that offers extremely positive therapeutic effects of golf for people with physical limitations. “It lifts people from a sitting to standing position and enables upright posture with unrestricted shoulder movement to enable someone to swing a gold club.”
In addition to the new equipment, two new automated tees have been installed on the adjacent driving range to automatically dispense balls.
Quadriplegic and Moore Park Golf Accessibility Ambassador, James Gribble, believes exercise and activity is paramount to rehabilitation across a plethora of injuries and conditions. “With the combination of automated tees and the Paragolfer, Moore Park Golf is set to become one of the most accessible and accommodating public golf facilities in Australia for golfers with disabilities.” Gribble is working on getting disabled golf included in the Paralympics and is the founder of Empower Golf Australia, promoting golf for less able Australians.
Caption: Environment Minister Rob Stokes, executive director Sydney Parklands, Kim Ellis and Moore Park Golf Accessibility Ambassador, James Gribble.