Iowa golfers are part of a growing movement to make golf an official sport in the Paralympics.
The International Olympic Committee reinstated golf as an official Olympic sport for the 2016 games in Rio De Janerio. Golf had been an Olympic sport previously in just two Olympics, in 1900 and 1904.
Now, there 's a new movement underway to make golf an official sport for the paralympics, too.
The movement to make golf a paralympics sport is being led by the huge growth in adaptive golf programs across the country, including an Iowa program called Adaptive Golf Iowa.
Well known Cedar Valley amputee golfer, Steve Husome, started the non-profit Adaptive Golf Iowa through his Husome Strong Foundation, after losing his right leg in a motorcycle accident.
Husome says, “Adaptive Golf Iowa is a non-profit I started in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area to introduce people to with disabilities to the game of golf, and to use golf as therapy to help overcome some of the challenges they have in their life.”
Cory Watson, President of the Iowa Amputee Golf Association says golf deserves to be a paralympic sport because of the skill of the players.
Plus, Watson says. “I'd love to see it. I'd love to play in it someday. The sport itself is really growing in the adaptive golf space.”
The world of adaptive golf has been growing rapidly now for several years, and its potential for growth is enormous. It's estimated there are between 60 and 80-million Americans living with a disability.
It hasn't been determined exactly how many disabled Americans are playing adaptive golf, but some 18-million of them played golf before their disability.
Because of golf's individual player handicap ratings, players of all skill levels can play together, unlike almost all other sports where individual player scores are kept.
Relatively new devices, like the Solo Rider Golf cart, provide such accessibility, the golfer doesn't even need to leave the cart to make a shot.
Supporters hope golf will become a paralympics sport in time for the Paris games in 2024.