Minigolf with handicap
18 Apr 2008 at 08:33 | Published by: JJM | Views: 8766 | News search
Minigolf is a game that is easily accessible for all kinds of people,
including those who have physical disabilities. Or is it?
Let us meet some real people, and find out...
Van Johnson, once an active athlete in the team of his high school in USA,
broke his neck in a tackle when playing American football. He has never walked since.
After the accident Van turned to less dangerous sports, including miniature golf.
He designed a
» special putter
that can be used in wheelchair with one hand only, and with minimal force.
Enough to play flat minigolf courses, which do not have very high hills.
Many American minigolf courses, such as
» Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf in Myrtle Beach (South Carolina)
are designed as wheelchair accessible, and also provide
designed for wheelchair users.
A middle-aged man with
» quadriplegic CP
sits at coffee table in Turku, Finland, and goes twenty years back in time in his memories...
“There used to be an eternite minigolf course in city center, near the river”,
the man recounts. “I enjoyed playing there, it was my favourite minigolf course,
because they were shorter than other minigolf courses. It was easier for me to play.”
“But I always played 17 holes only. Hole number 18 was a big jump slide, with a net
where the ball would fly in the air. I never played that one. I don’t have so much
force as would be needed to make the ball fly to the net.”
“A round of golf has 18 holes, but my round of minigolf... it had only 17 holes.
At least I got a better score, with one hole less to play.”
Blind from birth, Niko has never seen a minigolf course in his life.
But he plays better than most people who have eyes to see the world.
Not even the most hazardous felt lanes, such as Midhill or Open Hill (Örkelljunga)
are a big problem for him.
Using a self-made
» special device on the shaft of his putter,
he can feel with his hands the exact position of the club-head.
Other persons in the same playing group describe how the lane looks like,
and sometimes he studies the shape of a hill with his hands, when visiting a new minigolf course.
He may not have the looks, but he’s got the touch.
» USGA golf rules adapted for wheelchair users
» Paragolfer wheelchair designed for golf
» German golf federation for disabled persons
» Swedish association for deaf minigolfers