Two charities teamed up with local golf professionals for a special purpose: to bring the game of golf to people with physical disabilities.
Some attendees golfed for the first time, and others learned to adapt to their physical limitations.
One of the organizers, Steve Husome, said he fell in love with the game of golf when he was 12 years old. After a motorcycle accident left him unable to use his legs for a period of time, he said he was inspired to organize a golf clinic for others with similar challenges.
The morning started with teaching the basics.
The golf pros said it’s all in your swing: teeing up, squaring your hips, gripping the club and keeping your eyes on the ball. This series of movements takes golfers years to master.
"It’s very difficult," Husome said. "It’s something that I’ve been working on for a very long time."
However, for many of the golfers on Thursday, no feeling compares to hitting that perfect shot.
"It feels awesome. Hitting the driver and having them go 50 or 60 yards, that’s neat," Roger Arensdorf of Dubuque said.
Many participants had physical disabilities, and others were paralyzed.
"I got injured in 2015 in January, and I fell out of a tree. I used to have a tree business," Arensdorf said.
Those limitations didn’t hold them back from playing the sport they love. The golfers focused on what they could do, instead of what they could not.
"It’s not what happened to you, it’s what you do about it," Arensdorf said.
Throughout the morning, the participants took feedback from professional golfers, adjusted their swings and had fun, despite the challenge.
"Some of [your shots] go good, some of them don’t, and that’s alright," Arensdorf said.
After all, that’s what golf is all about: a game for people of all ages, levels and abilities.
"Get out. It don’t matter the score. Why miss all that fun?" Arensdorf said with a chuckle.
Husome said he’s pleased with the turn-out, and he hopes the clinic can become an annual event that reaches more golfers in Iowa.