This is the most moving plea, by a disabled boy, to change golf that you will ever read
A 14-year-old boy with eight separate disabilities has written to almost every golf club manager in the UK asking them to make the game more accessible for disabled people.
He particularly wants all clubs to implement The R&A’s recommendations for golfers with disabilities, which allows clubs to modify some of the rules of golf to accommodate golfers with special needs.
Jordan Rosser has autism, Tourette’s syndrome, sensory processing disorder (SPD), hypermobility, knock knee, crow’s feet and fallen arches, and he uses a hearing aid. Playing golf is both difficult and painful for him, but he has fallen in love with the game, has a handicap of 16.4 and has ambitions to become a PGA professional.
However, he has written an article for the Golf Club Managers’ Association’s official journal, Golf Club Management, saying that some clubs are far more accommodating to his needs than others.
“It has been a long road for me with the disabilities I have,” he said.
“My knees and feet affect my golf a lot and cause a lot of pain and discomfort on the course. My autism also causes problems on the course.
“The R&A has adjusted rules for disabled golfers and these allow me to have a caddy and supervisor on the course. Some clubs are beginning to implement these rules but these clubs are few.”
Jordan is a member of Rhondda Golf Club in Wales and plays regularly at The Vale, two clubs that do implement The R&A’s allowed modifications.
“Rhondda allows me to use the disabled rules to take part in mainstream competitions with the juniors and also play for the junior first team,” he said.
“The Principality Junior Wales Open also made history this year for being the first large scale junior open to use the disabled rules in its qualifier events. Southerndown, Cottrell Park and Tenby golf clubs have all agreed to use the rules for their junior opens this year.
“ISPS Handa promote blind and disabled golf around the world and it is getting more into the limelight and being noticed. The message needs to go out that there are hundreds of disabled golfers out there and they need to be accommodated and the ideal would be for all clubs to implement The R&A disabled rules so as we can join in and play on a level playing field.”
Jordan said that, despite the hurdles he faces in his life and often at golf clubs, he has also received a huge amount of support, which has helped him decide that he would like to stay with golf for many years.
“My ambition in golf is to be a PGA qualified teaching pro and an ISPS Handa coach to other disabled golfers,” he said. “I am currently on a four-year development plan to train to become a qualified pro and I volunteer with Valleys Golf for junior disabled and non-disabled coaching twice a week.
“I play regularly with the Disabled Golf Association and last year won the Race to Wales tour; I was the only junior against grown men.”