The National Alliance for Accessible Golf (National Alliance) announces the celebration of its 20th anniversary. Since 2001, the National Alliance has worked tirelessly to ensure opportunities for all individuals to play the game of golf. Its work has included the development of resources for individuals with disabilities, golf instructors and professionals, golf course owners and operators, local golf programs, and the greater industry.
The roots of the National Alliance date back to 1993 when six National Forums were held on Accessible Golf. Representatives of national and state golf organizations serving individuals with disabilities, government agencies, and others from around the country gathered at Forums conducted by Indiana University and Clemson University, with support in part provided by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and other organizations. A wide variety of topics, including physical and program accessibility, research, standards, best practices, modified rules, adaptive equipment and resources, and advocacy, among others, were covered.
Largely, as a result of the above-mentioned National Forums, participants decided that in order to move forward with the advancement of golf and people with disabilities that a national organization should be formed in order to formalize the many initiatives and needs surrounding this topic. In 2001, a meeting was held at Bradford Woods, Indiana University’s Outdoor Center, to discuss the official creation of the National Alliance.
The National Alliance was housed at Indiana University’s National Center on Accessibility from 2001 to 2006. In 2006, the National Alliance headquarters moved to the Washington, D.C. area and was managed by the Drohan Management Group in Reston, VA.
In 2010, the National Alliance began administering grants to enable local organizations to expand their programs to include individuals with disabilities, with support and funding from the USGA. From the summer of 2010 through February 2019, the National Alliance provided funding for 128 programs totaling more than $930,000. Grantees have included Special Olympics chapters, The First Tee chapters, local community agencies such as United Cerebral Palsy, organizations serving individuals who are blind or visually impaired, golf organizations serving military veterans, and hospitals and rehabilitation centers.
In 2014, the National Alliance moved its headquarters to the World Golf Foundation in St. Augustine, FL, with an administrative office located nearby.
In 2015, the National Alliance launched its national search engine to assist individuals with disabilities in locating accessible golf facilities within their local area. Interested individuals can find golf facilities across the country that offer accessibility, instruction, and other programs or equipment, including adaptive golf cars.
In 2018, the National Alliance presented its first Accessible/Inclusive Golf for Individuals with Disabilities Conference in Orlando, FL. The event was held in proximity of the PGA’s Merchandise Show to allow interested individuals to attend both events. The Conference featured speakers, panel discussions, and collaboration on topics from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to adaptive equipment to program development and program sustainability. Attendees included PGA and LPGA golf professionals, current and prospective grant recipients, local program coordinators, and all those interested in inclusive opportunities.
Today, the organization continues to operate in Stuart, FL, with the support of its Executive Director Steve Jubb, PGA/LM, and its Board of Directors and Advisory Board. Recent initiatives have focused on expanded research and data collection on individuals with disabilities and engagement in local and national golf programs and enhanced training and educational opportunities for golf professionals.
The National Alliance continues to further its mission to increase participation of people with disabilities in the game of golf through awareness, education, training initiatives, and program funding.
About the National Alliance
The National Alliance for Accessible Golf is a charitable organization working to ensure the opportunity for all individuals to play the game of golf. The National Alliance is represented by major golf organizations in the United States, organizations that provide services for people with disabilities and other advocates. Through GAIN™ (Golf: Accessible and Inclusive Networks) and other programs, the National Alliance promotes inclusion and awareness to the golf industry, golf instructors, and the public. For more information about National Alliance programs, please visitwww.accessgolf.org.