Date: September 17, 2014
Author: Golf Australia

Disabled golfers seek funding

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A group of Australian golfers are aiming to raise $15,000 to compete in the World Disabled Golf Championships in Japan next month.

The Australian team consists of amputees Geoff Nicholas, Shane Luke, Mike Rolls, Graham Kenyon and quadriplegic James Gribble.

Sydneysider Gribble, a longtime golfer who lost most of the feeling below his chest after falling off a stool at a restaurant in Africa in 2009, has worked up to 50 hours a week in the gym to regain the ability to play the game. His rehabilitation has been the subject of an award-winning documentary.

“Life was as good as I can remember it, and in a heartbeat, I had it all got taken away,’’ he tells the documentary-maker. “I remember the very first night, I was lying there in the hospital contemplating what my life would look like, and of course, like anyone, you go through this process of asking ‘Why? What if? Why did it happen to me? I think I made a decision very, very early to forget those thoughts, because they were frivolous.

“From that very first night … all I wanted to do was think, and play golf, in my head. I’d pick one of my favourite courses, and I literally played shot by shot, hole by hole, a round of 18 holes.’’

<image="1" align="left" />Gribble now plays his golf at Moore Park in Sydney, swinging the club with his right arm while sitting in a wheelchair.  “I’m not an emotional guy but I’ll never forget the first time I stood up again after my accident, with a golf club I made that first swing. It’s one of the most amazing feelings you’d ever get as a human being,’’ he said.

“My main motivation’s always been to shoot less than par. I guess that’s been the biggest focus. Now, it’s all about finding the handicap down as low as possible. I get frustrated not being to hit it anywhere near as far, going from you know, a good golfer, having to relearn the game that … I wouldn’t say mastered … but got pretty close.’’

Funds raised will be used exclusively for entry fees, accommodation and flight expenses for the Australian team.


Here is the link to the fundraising platform –