Golf camp for children and young adults with disabilities

August 3, 2008 7:25:48 PM PDT
Golf is a sport that can be adapted for everyone regardless of their age and disability.PGA professional Pat Dorgan is teaching a group of developmental disabled campers from the Chicago Park District Welles Park's summer program.

"Every level is different, you learn a lot about the individuals as themselves. You also learn what they can and cannot do, and how they are gonna enjoy the game the most," said Dorgan.

Dorgan has played professionally for over 36 years. At one time he coached Loyola University's golf team.

"Right now I spend a lot of time teaching golf to just about everybody, I have played in several tournaments all throughout the world actually,"said Dorgan.

Brittany Ottolini is the director of the Sunshine through Golf Foundation.

"We get the pros, we find groups in their communities that service special needs athletes and introduce them to golf. We've been doing this for about 10 years, we had one program 10 years ago and I am proud to say we have,"said Ottolini.

Dorgan feels some players have tremendous golf swings and could play 18 holes and keep scores.

One of the best golfers in this group is 15-year-old Alejandro Teaao. Last year, he won a gold medal in golf at the Special Olympics. His mom Roselia says he has come a long way.

"He has many accomplishments because when he was born, he was born with very weak muscle tone. He was a very weak baby. He was like, I think, 7-years-old when he was fed through a feeding tube for [awhile] and then he was rid of that too. He started getting stronger,"said Teaao.

"When you see the smile on some of these campers faces, even if they only hit the ball five feet or if they shoot you know, 45 on nine holes it's really what it's all about. A game that's been so good too many people, to be able to give back to the special need population, it's the reason why were here,"said Dorgan

Look out Tiger Woods, here comes Alex.

Sunshine through Golf Foundation has started an advanced program for golfers who excel in the sport and want more training so they can continue to perform in the Special Olympics and other competitions.

For more info go to Sunshinethroughgolf.org


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