Archive for the ‘Disabled Golf’ Category

Phoenix Cup 2018 – Europe wins against all odds…

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive GolfThe Phoenix Cup 2018…

USA v Europe

Long Marsh Golf Club, Florida, USA  – October 15th—17th

Team Europe win Disabled Ryder Cup following a hurricane scare and despite tragically losing one of there team the day before event…

The Phoenix Cup 2108 is a “RYDER CUP” style competition played between disabled golfers from the USA & Europe.

It was played over 3 days the format being 6 x foursomes on day 1, 6 x 4 ball better ball on day 2 and finally on day 3, 12 x singles.

This event was the idea of Mr Jim Gales MBE of the Scottish Disability Golf & Curling (SDGC) and Mr Ian Halliwell, Chairman of British Inclusive Golf (BIG)…


Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive GolfThe Phoenix Cup 2018 – The Tragedy…

Each team for Inclusivity had to field players with a variety of disabilities and showcase all golf handicaps by having 4 players with handicaps in each range 0 –10, 11-20 & 21 plus. This proved successful as 80% of the games went to the 17th & 18th Hole.

The inaugural Phoenix Cup was a great success and was enjoyed by all participant’s, however, the financial support for the USA team was evident to see.

Team Europe’s aptly named “Dads Army” all made the trip at their own cost. However, tragedy struck the Europe team the day before the event.

Sadly, Mr Billy Cairns from Kilmarnock suddenly had a heart attack in his hotel room and passed away.

This sad event devastated the team, it was unanimous that we would continue and win it for Billy #doitforbilly.

Billy was a very cheerful funny guy and brought a smile to most faces at any event he attended he will be sadly missed and both SDGC & BIG are planning to have an award in his memory in the future.

 


Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive GolfThe Phoenix Cup 2018 – The Match – Captains Diary…

Thurs 11th OCTOBER… arrive in hotel…. terrible journey from Orlando and our team already have issues…. Celtic contingent, transfer issues at Tampa…our German player delayed by the hurricane in Atlanta, not exactly the start I had hoped for…

…all the past Ryder Cup players had stressed the overriding importance of team spirit and camaraderie, hardly an auspicious start.

Friday 12th October optional practice day…. again not a great start, missed lifts, changing tee times, the team all over the place, but all this paled into insignificance as we heard the devastating, tragic news that our popular charismatic colleague Billy Cairns had sadly passed away whilst chilling at the hotel.

That evening many a tear was shed but equally many a humorous anecdote about our fallen hero.

It was this evening that this rambling, ragtag dads army collection of guys became a team…. #doingitforbilly… even then more hassle the boss Jim Gales arrives minus clubs.

Saturday 13th October… Florida open day, surprisingly all the team elect to play but its clear golf is the last thing on everybody’s mind…only 3 of the side break par, but as the news about billy has broken back in the UK, we are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and encouragement, particularly from Billy’s family.

Sunday 14th October… meet the teams and draw for foursomes.

If we were in any doubt about the challenge ahead, we soon realised it as our USA opposition turned out superbly attired, well kitted out and clearly a very young and extremely talented bunch of golfers…but we had billy looking down on us and that night our Team again joined together as billy’s team and we were clearly ready to rumble…. The team, wives and supporters clearly up for the battle ahead.

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive GolfMonday 15th October… the opening ceremony and foursomes…. sounds of bagpipes, a moving ceremony and fitting tribute to Billy started this Ryder cup style-match.

First tee following opening ceremony and there’s a minute silence for billy…

I was really emotional and chocked up but mighty proud of my opening shot cracked down the middle.

Personally, I still don’t know how I hit the first opening tee shot but it set the tone for a magnificent effort by all the Team Europe players…the strains of ‘Ole Ole Ole, billy, billy’ strained around the course as we took the session 5 points to 1…. we where #doingitforbilly

Tuesday 16th October… we expected a backlash and got it, in the fourballs, we were beaten 5 to 1, levelling the tie 6 each….. not that we played badly 3 games went to last and we could have had a lead going into last day.

There was some good news, the boss clubs and the case turned up and Mr Gales, at last, had some clean clothes and more importantly body spray.

That night the whole team met and partied just for billy and despite our huge underdog status, I personally, at last, felt quite confident of success, indeed I felt it was inevitable we would #doitforbilly

Wednesday 17th October the final 12 singles…

Two players notify us they aren’t feeling up for it… it had been 42 degrees each day on a long dry course and it was beginning to take its toll on our Dads Army.

This honesty was to play a big part in our teams’ success on the day along with some inspirational Team Placings by the gaffer Jim Gales…

To the strains of ‘ole ole’ ALL the guys played out their skins…. it was even hotter today, but not as hot as our golf out on the course and the rest is history.

Phoenix Cup 2018 Result:

Team Europe 7.5 –  Team USA 4.5

…. and the Phoenix Cup is coming back to Europe… we had #doneitforbilly.

 


Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive GolfThe Phoenix Cup 2018 – In Summary…

I was delighted and proud to lead this magnificent collection of gentlemen…

we will be comrades in arms forevermore.

The Cairns family, your support and encouragement in your darkest hour was a significant contribution. Billy Cairns RIP, teammate, friend, gone but will never EVER be forgotten.

FROM DEVASTATION AND DESPAIR TO ELATION AND JOY!

 


Phoenix Cup 2018 – The Presentation…

A great meal and celebration followed, our hosts maintain dignity despite their defeat and there were so many friendships made…

Ian Halliwell – Receiving ‘The Phoenix Cup’ from USA Captain Tracy Ramin

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive Golf

And Finally…

Team Europe fought and played hard against a much younger USA team, every team member playing their part in the victory, some even forfeiting their place in the singles for the better of the team.

The winning putt was sunk by our oldest team member Jim Thompson, however, it was sadly missed by most, as we were watching the captain close out his match, we all thought this was the match that would win it for EUROPE.

However, without the camaraderie and losing Billy, I doubt the result would have been the same, each player digging into inner strength to ‘DO IT FOR BILLY’.  The whole team are so proud to have won for our lost comrade.

New friends were made across the pond and sure that people will be making many trips both ways to compete in each other competitions in the future

 


Phoenix Cup 2018 – The Legacy…

This competition is NOT ABOUT ELITE GOLFERS it’s about “INCLUSIVITY” and getting more disabled people playing golf at the highest level they can achieve.

The competition, the format was a total success however if this event is to grow we need more financial support to get younger people involved in the future. This competition is NOT ABOUT ELITE GOLFERS it’s about “INCLUSIVITY” and getting more disabled people playing golf at the highest level they can achieve.

Thanks to all Team Europe Sponsors

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive Golf

 

 

Anyone wishing to get involved please contact www.scottishdgc.org.uk or www.britishinclusivegolf.org reports and videos can be found on both websites and Facebook pages of both organisations.

 


Pheonix Cup 2018 – OFFICIAL MATCH RESULTS

Day 1 Foursomes

Booth & Halliwell bt Aldrich & Shipelski 7 & 6
Irvine & McNeily bt Clay & Holland 3 & 2
Hilleen & Ross bt Bizer & Fairclough 2up
Riordan & Thomson lst Miller & Hooks 2 dwn
Jones & Sorber bt Canezi & Ramin 4 & 3 4 & 3
Clifford & Milne bt Snyder & Bell 2up

Europe 5 USA 1


Day 2 Fourballs

Booth & Halliwell bt Bizer & Ford 3 & 1
Hilleen & Milne lst Snyder & Hooper 2 down
Riordan & Ross lst Aldrich & Hooks 1 down
Clifford & Thomson lst Clay & Holland 3 & 2
Jones & Sorber lst Bell & Shipelski 1 down
Irvine & McNeily lst Ramin & Rojas 1 down

EUROPE 1 USA 5

Match score Europe 6. USA 6


Day 3 SINGLES

Booth bt Bell 2 & 1
Gales lst Hooper 5 & 4
Irvine halve Shipelski
Jones bt Hooks 1up
Munoz lst Canezi 6 & 5Ross lst Bizer 2 & 1
Riordan lst Ford 1 down
Sorber bt Clay 5 & 4
McNeily bt. Fairclough 3 & 2
Thomson bt Miller 2 up
Halliwell bt Holland 3 & 2
Milne bt Snyder 8 & 7

Europe 7.5 USA 4.5


British Inclusive Golf is the chosen TSG Charity for 2018…

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive Golf

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive Golf

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive Golf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phoenix Cup 2018 - British Inclusive Golf

Paul Houghton – Disabled Golfer & TSGer sues Brentwood Council…

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Paul Houghton on buggy

TSGer Paul Houghton and his case against Brentwood Borough Council for discrimination on account of him not being allowed to use his buggy at Hartswood Golf Club have now been taken on by top lawyer Chris Fry…

The BBC interviewed Paul on 3rd September 2018 and all the major news organisations have picked up on the story we first highlighted in 2016…

Dec 2016 – Discrimination-in-Golf…

Paul joined The Social Golfer in 2014 and has been an active and welcomed member ever since.

In 2017, The Social Golfer sponsored Paul and fellow disabled golfer Roger Hurcombe, helping them to fund their competitive golf.

Here’s what the BBC wrote about Paul Houghton’s case….

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Golfer Paul Houghton who is disabled and who uses a prosthetic leg is suing a local council for refusing to let him play on its course using a buggy.

Paul Houghton’s right leg was amputated in 2000 after he was affected by a lethal tissue-eating bacteria.

Mr Houghton learned to walk again – and golf became an important part of life but he still also uses crutches and a wheelchair.

He claims Brentwood Council in Essex discriminated against him but the council is defending the legal action.

Paul is lucky to be alive.

In November 2000, while working as a roofer, he knelt in contaminated water and contracted the deadly flesh-eating bug necrotizing fasciitis. It consumes muscle and body tissue at a rate of 0.75in (2cm) an hour.

“The surgeon told me he had to operate immediately,” Paul told the BBC.

“He said that he had no choice but to continue cutting until he was certain he had removed all the infected tissue.

“I had just two hours to prepare myself for an operation that at best I would survive with a leg missing, but at worst I would not survive at all.”

His right leg was amputated above the knee, and he received the last rites in hospital.

In all he had five operations, some for skin grafts because his amputation was very rushed and the perfect stump could not be formed.

Paul could not continue to work as a roofer and his business was wound up.

Paul Houghton – Disabled Golfer – Represented England…

He requalified and now works for Chelmsford Council as its access officer in building control.

He learned to walk with a prosthetic limb and switches between it, wheelchairs and crutches.

However, overuse of the crutches causes shoulder injuries, while the prosthetic leg can cause pressure sores that are difficult to cure.

Paul has represented England at disability golf 13 times, with a handicap of 14, and has played on courses across Europe.

Because of his disability, he needs a buggy in order to play an 18-hole course.

In August 2016, Paul had booked to play a round with a friend at Hartswood Golf Course in Essex.

It is owned and operated by Brentwood Council.

Paul Houghton sues Brentwood Council - Hartswood Golf club

On his way to the first tee, he claims he was told he would not be allowed on to the course without a letter from his doctor justifying the medical need for a buggy.

If he obtained such a letter he was told he would be given a certificate allowing him to use his buggy.

Paul Houghton – Disabled Golfer – What he said…

“I was gobsmacked he told the BBC.

“I’ve played over 100 courses around England, I’ve played all around the world and I’ve not been treated in this way before.”

Paul says he explained that he had his own insurance, a European Disabled Golf Association card, and a medical exemption, but the club insisted that he needed a letter from a doctor to justify the use of a buggy.

It sends the message that disabled people aren’t welcome, that we are not part of society, not included, but are segregated and can’t join in a sport that’s accessible to everybody, because we need to use other equipment to play the game,” Paul says.

In his legal claim, Paul argues that by refusing to allow him to use a buggy without a doctor’s letter, the council discriminated against him because of his inability to walk around the golf course.

In effect, he claims the council was applying a policy that indirectly discriminates against all disabled people who need a buggy to play golf.

Brentwood Council denies any discrimination and is defending the legal action.

The council said it was “committed to ensuring safe access for everyone to all its facilities” and would issue a full statement when legal action had concluded.

Paul Houghton – Disabled Golfer – Lawyer’s view…

Paul Houghton’s solicitor, Chris Fry from the firm Fry Law, said: “This case is more than just about making a service more accessible; it’s a reminder of the importance of the benefits which sport brings to social inclusion, together with physical and mental health.”

“This is especially important for people with a range of disabilities, and not least mobility impairments.”

“A simple adjustment in this case will benefit Paul, and thousands of others in a multitude of ways.”

In its “Buggy Use Policy”, England Golf, the governing body of amateur golf, says it “wishes to encourage the participation in golf of all players regardless of disabilities”.

This, it says, is in accordance with its obligations under the Equality Act.

Cae Menai-Davis, co-founder of the Golf Trust, a charity that works with disabled groups to make golf more inclusive, commented: “Golf is a sport for everyone.”

“Making it difficult for a disabled golfer to use a buggy isn’t just bad policy, it is bad business.”

“There is a huge untapped group of people with learning and physical disabilities that want to play the game and will benefit hugely from it.”


Paul with trophies

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Just some of the new outlets that have covered Paul Houghton in the last 24 hours…

The BBC

The Times

The Sun

The Telegraph

The Independent

The Week

The Daily Mail

The Metro

Epping Guardian