In July, the stars of world golf hit the links at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake to compete in golf’s oldest tournament – The Open… and people we support from Autism Together were also getting involved in the action!
Our CommunicATe Group were invited along by Wirral Council and EDGA (European Disabled Golf Association) to experience the occasion and take part in a unique session, learning the basics of golf with a professional coach.
The group is made up of people we support from Community Health & Wellbeing, with Chris, Jack, Liam, Dan, Jake, and Mr C all taking up the opportunity to attend.
Ash, Mike and Kev were supporting the group on the day and, after a short hop in the minibus to our parking spot at Hoylake station, it was time to head onto the course, via the VIP entrance!
Once inside we split into smaller groups so that everyone had more options to go where they wanted and see the areas that most interested them. Some people hit the fairways, others checked out the shops, some relaxed in the grandstand at the 18th hole watching the players complete their rounds.
The groups all met up again for a picnic lunch beside the greens, enjoying the fine sunny weather. Once energy levels were replenished it was time to set off for the Swing Zone, situated in the middle of the course.
Here we met with European Disabled Golf Association pro-coach Mark Turner who took the guys through a 90-minute beginner’s D3 golf session, tailored for people with learning disabilities.
Using specially-designed clubs and a range of different balls, the lads tried their hands at putting, chipping, and even creating a short three-hole putting course and trying it out.
Everyone really enjoyed the session, and Mark was fantastic with the guys, taking time to help each person one-to-one to try to improve their grip, direction, and power. Everyone really enjoyed the chipping challenge, were they had to try and chip a tennis ball towards a target on the wall. Quite a few of the lads succeeded in hitting the bulls-eye!
Last challenge of the day was a nearest the hole challenge, this time using a real putter and golf ball. Mr C and Dan made it through to a playoff to see who was the top golfer, with Dan triumphant and winning himself a rather nice Titleist Pro cap.
Then there was just time to spot fan-favourite Rory McIlroy striding across the course before it was back on the minibus and home.
All the lads said they’d had a fantastic time at The Open. What an unforgettable day!