EDGA, an international, non-profit making organisation, was founded in the year 2000 and currently has 13 member countries. Its aims and objectives include the following:
- To seek the integration of golf for European golfers with disabilities into the international golf movement for able-bodied golfers.
- To assist and encourage education and rehabilitation through golf clinics and demonstration programmes.
- To assist and encourage development of golf programmes for all disabilities where needed and in particular where such needs occur
EDGA received funding from the Ryder Cup European Development Trust to develop and deliver a strategy for a training programme throughout Europe to help to integrate disabled golfers into mainstream tournaments. According to the EDGA definition of impediments, ‘the conventional handicap system in golf provides a very good and fair way to compare different individuals’ ability with regard to results.’
EDGA believes that with more specially trained professionals, who are able to offer a more clearly defined training programme for disabled golfers, then golf might start to be promoted more widely to such people, who may not at present be aware that they could also participate. The training programme will be developed by a special working group of appropriate experts, who will examine the extent of EDGA’s activities and assess the requirements for structured, comprehensive advancement.
Early findings from the group have indicated that:
- most disabled golfers are often self-taught
- golf course facilities must be accessible to all
- golf is one of the few sports where able-bodied and disabled can take part together using the same rules and handicapping system.
Among the requirements of the education programme, once it is completed, will be the need for students to educate the coach on the exact nature of their disability. Coaches must have a general knowledge of disabled golf and what facilities and equipment are available.