Paralympic Golf

Paralympic Golf

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Paralympic Golf is a game of precision and skill. The game is an important part of the Special Olympics. These Olympic Games offer 32 different sports and the next winter edition will take place in South Korea from January 29 to February 6, 2013. Here is everything that you need to know about golf and its rules.

Special Olympics Golf: General Description

Golf is a ball sport. The aim of the golfer is to get the ball in a series of holes on the golf course.

To move the ball around, the golfer uses a club. To be successful, the participant has to get the ball in the hole using the smallest possible number of strokes. Each golf course is unique, which adds to the excitement of the sport.

A typical golf course consists of 18 holes. A golfer’s playing ability is measured through a term called ‘handicap.’ The handicap is a numerical value determined on the basis the golfer's past results. The handicap provides indication of the proficiency of the players, allowing for some categorization.

Golf and the Special Olympics Rules and Facts

Special Olympics golf is a great competition opportunity because it is suitable for athletes regardless of their age and gender.

Traditionally, Special Olympic Games offer four to five levels of golf competition. These levels include Individual Skills Competition, Alternate Shot Team Play, Unified Team Play, Nine Hole Individual Play and 18-Hole Individual Play. These disciplines determine whether golf is going to be tackled as a group activity or an individual competition.

In the case of a team event, balls of different colours are utilized, enabling many athletes to stroke at the same time. Players complete five strokes, after which a scorekeeper moves in to assess progress and to assign a score to each of the teams or individuals participating

Naturally, there are specific criteria that are used to assess the candidates and their ability to perform during the Special Olympics. A golf skills assessment chart is utilized to determine the ability of each athlete and it includes items like knowledge of equipment, familiarity with the golf course, understanding of scoring terminology, proper grip of the club, posture, swing, etiquette, safety and sportsmanship.

Equipment Needed for Special Olympics Golf

The equipment used by golfers comes in two varieties - essential and optional.  Essential equipment includes a set of clubs (to a maximum of 14), a bag to carry them, some golf balls, tees, ball marker, and a pen or pencil to record the score.  Optional equipment includes an umbrella, rain gear, plug repair tool (repairs dents on the green caused by the ball landing), glove for the top hand on the grip (it is most prone to blistering), cap or hat, and spiked shoes.  VERY optional are plus-fours (a type of trouser that stops 4 inches below the knee).

The club is naturally the most important piece of equipment for every golfer. The basic set of clubs usually includes at least one iron, one putter and one wood. A maximum of 14 clubs is allowed. A competitor should also have five to 10 golf balls available. A golf bag is the traditional piece that is used for the storage of all other necessary items.

A ball marker is also useful because it notes the specific place of a ball that has to be temporarily removed, in case it gets in the way of other player’s balls.

Special Olympics golf is a great opportunity for everyone. Local and national competitions are held on a regular basis as a part of the Special Olympic series. All candidates for participation in a team will first have to undergo training and assessment, after which they will be ready to get seriously competitive and ready for this major athletic event.

Benefits of Golf

Golf is great for getting the heart pumping. This is due to all the walking from hole to hole that is involved. With 18 holes on a golf course, the amount of walking is the equivalent of walking three to four miles. All the fresh air is also beneficial. 

Golf is great in helping with concentration, this is because golfers have to focus on their upcoming shot and the fundamentals  of their swing.

Golf is also great for socialising and making new friends and also strengthening old ones. Golf may be a competitive sport it is played in a friendly environment.


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