Golf program hopes to go year round

October 7, 2010 10:13:57 AM PDT
The golf season may be winding down, but a number of golfers with disabilities are hoping to continue working on their games with help from a unique program.

Sunshine Through Golf Foundation has given thousands of individuals with disabilities the opportunity to learn the sport from professionals. Even though summer is over, they are making plans for year-round programs.

Sunshine Through Golf Foundation owns a small golf course across the street from Cog Hill in Lemont.

"This is a three-hole course. It was built in 2004, and it is only used for our Sunshine Through Golf athletes," said Alex Nolly, the foundation's manager.

"This year the foundation is gonna conduct about 80 different golf camps, reaching over a thousand different individuals with special needs around the Chicago area," Nolly said. "We have roughly around 44 pros teach the camps at all different facilities around Chicago."

Golfers with various disabilities from ages 8 to 80 are part of the program.

One group that uses the course is from River Valley Special Recreation in Kankakee County. Tom Breitenbucher is the executive director.

"The foundation has been really good for us," said Breitenbucher. "It gives them an opportunity to practice a couple times a week at our home course with qualified instruction. And then also an opportunity to come here once or twice a year and take advantage of this facility as well."

Like most golfers who are passionate about the sport, these guys are no different.

"They talk about it for a couple weeks ahead of time," Breitenbucher said. "You know, what time are we going and what day? And what do we need to bring?"

The foundation is looking at the future.

"We try to do a year-round golf program, that's what we're trying to do now," said Nolly.

Several of the golfers have won five gold medals in the Special Olympics games.

For more information go to www.cdga.org.


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