It wasn’t just the PGA TOUR Champions that hit the links for the 2023 Regions Tradition. This year, everyone got a chance to pick up a club.
Inspired by the 2022 Regions Tradition Celebrity Pro-Am participation of adaptive golfer Chris Biggins, Regions Disability Services and Outreach Manager Kathy Lovell worked with United Ability to get those with all abilities onto the greens.
“I love doing things that are different and offering hope for individuals with disabilities to be able to try new things,” Lovell said. “We had this vision, and it is so wonderful to put that vision together with great partners, great coaches and great support.”
I love doing things that are different and offering hope for individuals with disabilities to be able to try new things.
Kathy Lovell, Regions Disability Services and Outreach Manager
The vision was to show United Ability adult participants that they, too, can play golf. Biggins, along with military hero and sports enthusiast Noah Galloway, Cairns Cup Champion Chris Osborne and Miles College Golf Coach Leonard Smoot came together to present a golf clinic to nearly two dozen participants at the Regions Tradition.
“For them to get to experience the beauty of all of this, getting instruction and encouragement and the hands-on learning is something they’ve never had before,” said David Barry, director of Communications and External Affairs for United Ability. “This is such an amazing opportunity for adult participants in our program to get outdoors, to exercise and to connect to their community, which is part of our mission and vision.”
For Biggins, it means sharing his love of golf even further.
“Golf is a sport that’s made me a person beyond my disability. I’m not a disabled person when I’m on the golf course, I’m a golfer,” Biggins said. “We want to grow the game of golf, we want to show that it’s something that people with disabilities, without disabilities can enjoy and bring them into the world that I’ve found so much love in.”
Golf is a sport that’s made me a person beyond my disability.
Lovell said based on the excitement of the participants, she believes the love of the game has permeated the clinic.
“To see the smiles on the faces and to hear the clapping, we’re having fun and that’s what it’s all about: giving back to the community and making a difference in the lives of everyone within our community,” Lovell said.
“I hope they take away that anything is possible and that they’re encouraged by the words they heard because I know Chris, Noah and the others, they’ve all experienced disability in one form or another but yet they’ve overcome it,” Barry said. “Now they’re living their best life which is what we hope the adults in our program do is live their best life every single day and being here makes that happen.”