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The European Disabled Golf Association brings golf together

The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) has enjoyed arguably its most successful year yet in improving opportunities to golfers with disability.

According to the EDGA Executive Committee at the recent 2016 Annual Assembly this is due to the “spirit and goodwill of its players, members and volunteers and the growing support of leading golfing bodies and international companies”.

Staged at the excellent venue of Pestana Vila Sol Golf Resort, on the Algarve at the start of December, delegates attending the largest ever Assembly paid special thanks to those organisations, including 18 national golf federations, The R&A, the European Tour, the Algarve Tourism Association and a lengthening list of commercial companies, who are all paving the way for progress.

A key message is that this is an exciting time to get involved with a body which is extending its collaboration with the game’s world leaders, including The R&A and the International Golf Federation (IGF). Progress in aligning golf for the disabled with the tenets of the Paralympic movement while staying true to golf’s core beliefs is being made, as EDGA members strive to have golf become a Paralympic sport by 2024.

Increased numbers of players took part in the EDGA Tournament Series 2016 while there is continued development of the ‘Ranking for Golfers with Disability (R4GD) supported by PING’, thanks to financial backing and advice from this world-famous manufacturing company. Some 267 players from 24 countries are now registered in the Ranking.

Pieter van Duijn, Vice President of EDGA, said: “For many important reasons this is a very exciting time to become involved in EDGA and its goals. We would like to offer a particular thanks to the Algarve Tourism Association for supporting this event and also to the Portuguese Golf Federation for providing the excellent trophies for the players. Internationally respected golf apparel brand Glenmuir has been the Apparel Sponsor for this tournament and we were really delighted with their service. Most of all though, we want to thank the brilliant attitude of the players, their friends and families all through the year. It is a privilege for our committee, staff and volunteers to serve them.”

As for the tournament itself, a torrential night and day of rain cancelled the final round, with the nevertheless deserving winner of the Gross category being Charles-Henri Quélin of France. He hit 16 greens on the way to a first-round 73 which beat his nearest challenger by eight shots.

During the workshop sessions, PGA Inclusive Golf Tutors Craig Thomas and Mark Taylor delivered a two-day inclusive golf training workshop to 22 Professionals from the PGA of Portugal. The coaches received training, advice and good practice in all facets of inclusive golf coaching to help other golfers in their areas.

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