2019 saw a new venue for the DBO at Stratford Park Golf Resort and produced winers as follows Jonathan Jones (gross), Keith Wallace (nett) and Mark Gibson (Wheelchair gross and nett). The new venue which is very central in the UK was recieved well by the players and guests and it is hoped that the event can return in 2020.The photos below show Phil Meadows (Handigolf UK) and Richard Willis (WDGA) presenting the R&A solid silver trophies the the winners in the order shown above.
Derby's Handigolfer Greg Jackson took his first National Title at the 2019 Handigolf nationals at Tapton Park Chesterfield this May with 32 points.
He pipped Cambridgeshire's established player and former winner Phil Meadows in 2nd place (30 pts) and Chesterfield player Terry Kirby in 3rd place (28 pts).
Terry had had a busy golf week leading up to the finals in his role as home club Men's Captain but all players congratulated Greg (Norman ! ) Jackson on his first major win after taking up Wheelchair Golf a few years ago.
The John Byrne trophy (awarded in memory of this great leg amputee ambassador for golf) was won by Steve Crooks.
The a/b winners were Ray Ramsamooj and Carol Hayes.
Once again the host club, Tapton Park, supported the event superbly and many thanks goes to all its members and management tream who continue to show great vision in widening access to golf.
Tapton Park Golf Club in Chesterfield has been supporting the Handigolf Foundation, a UK based charity which supports golfers with physical standing disabilities. Tapton’s three Golf Captains (Peter Bamford, Men’s Captain; Caroline Holland, Ladies’ Captain; Richard Stephen, Seniors’ Captain) have been raising funds to buy a new purpose-built electric golf buggy for use by wheelchair golfers. The buggies allow physically disabled golfers to play from a seated position.
The new buggy was presented by the three Captains to Terry Kirby, the Chairman of the Handigolf Foundation and an international wheelchair golfer himself. When not travelling round Europe, Terry plays his golf at Tapton Park and he is currently the Men’s Vice Captain. In 2019 Terry will take over the Captaincy of Tapton Park Golf Club and will become the first wheelchair golfer to be Captain of a UK golf club.
Peter Bamford, the current Men’s Captain, commented:
“The three Captains of Tapton Park Golf Club are delighted to have achieved our target of supporting the Handigolf Foundation and providing a new, specially designed buggy for use by a wheelchair golfer. Throughout the year we have held a variety of charity golf events to raise funds and we are very grateful to all Tapton Park members for their support and generosity.”
Terry Kirby, Chairman of The Handigolf Foundation, “ We are a small charity but we supply buggies to people with standing disabilities to enable them to enjoy golf. We are so grateful to Tapton Parks Captains and members for raising the much needed funds we need to carry on.”
The 2018 International Wheelchair Golf Tournament in Mallorca at the Son Antem course saw the biggest ever gathering of wheelchair golfers (41 in total). Sadly none from the UK as the cost and logistics proved too much.
The event included play for the Nett European Wheelchair Trophy after it was reclaimed from EDGA and not included in their 2018 championships.
It was won by Heribert Petermann from Austria with a 2-round total of 81 points.
Discussion is under way to find a venue and major sponsor for 2019 so that the trophy can be competed for on an annual basis.
The 2018 Handigolf Masters was won by Terry Kirby with Phil Meadows second and Greg Jackson third. Terry Kirby also got the Greasley Cup for the best gross score by a wheelchair golfer.
LThe 2018 DBO was again played at Ufford Park and organised by Ray Lee. The event was played in good conditions and once again supported by the local club and the Suffolk Golf Union.
The gross cup was won once again by Ashley Harris who plays off 5 with the Disabled Golf Association.(66 points off scratch)
The nett cup was won by leg amputee golfer Bradley Smith who scored 76 points over the two pounds playing off 4.
The 2018 National Handigolf Championships were held at the challenging Cambridgeshire course of Lakeside GC Pidley in what were fast running conditions on this very level track.
Local golfer Phil Meadows (35pts) held off strong challengers from the very experienced pair of Belfast's Mark Gibson (31pts) and Chesterfield's Terry Kirby (26pts). This has been a very good two year run for Phil and long may it continue.
Many thanks to all involved in the organisation of this event at this up-and -coming golf club.
ERIC TOFIELD (far left) and TONY TOFIELD( seated) at Oast Park Kent 1990s.
After 25+ years of playing golf with The Handigolf Foundation and organising many tournaments including The Nationals and The Southern Open, Eric and Tony Tofield have put their golf clubs and buggy into the back of the garage for the last time.
Both have been active Comittee Members and Eric has been the only Handicap Secretary the Foundation has had. Monitoring playing Handicaps has been an essential part of the success of Wheelchair Golf in the UK and we believe that this group of players has had the most accurate set of playing allowances of any disabled golf sectors in the UK and Europe. This has been due to the diligence of Eric.
Tony has been particularly active in also promoting disabled golf in the Kent and SE region which has had more players and events than any other County in the UK.
After some health problems Eric is set to play his golf locally at West Kent and Tony is to devote more time to his Gardening Business.
The Handigolf Foundation has had great benefits from the enthusiasm, support and hard work given by the Tofields over the last quarter century and would not be in the same place without their efforts.
The 2017 DBO was again contested at Ufford Park Suffolk (12-14th Sept). This year it was organised by Ray Lee and Phil Meadows from The Handigolf Foundation.
It was supported by many sponsors and there was great help from The Suffolk Golf Union and volunteers from Ufford Park Golf Club.
The leading scores were as follows over the two competition rounds
GROSS SCORES (Stableford Points off Scratch)
1 Ashley Harris 49 pts
2 Rob Parsons 48 pts
3 Richard Willis 46 pts
NETT SCORES (Stableford Points off full handicap)
1 Rob Parsons 64 pts
2 Richard Willis 62 pts (OCB)
3 Stuart Ellis 62 pts.
There were 7 Wheelchair Golfers in the field and Mark Gibson was best placed coming in 4th (nett) and 10th (gross).
Full results and more photos will be available by following the links on the Home Page to the dedicated DBO site for the seventh running of this event that is key to the integration of Disabled Golf players and organisers.
The Southern Open was again played at the prestigious Weat Kent GC and organised by Eric Tofield.Greg Jackson got his best Podium finish in 3rd place with 28 pts. Terry kirby continued his very consistent season by coming in 2nd with 32 pts. However the event was won by Phil meadows with a great 36 pts. This result convinced our Handicap Secretary that he was also the "Most Improved Handigolfer" in 2017 and so he gets that trophy as well.
The 2017 Handigolf Masters was a very competitive event again between Wheelchair Golfers with the following results
1 Phil Meadows
2 Terry Kirby
3 Barry Funnell
Chris Brown Memorial Cup winner was Joseph Vanaman.
The Pidley GC event this year also incorporated the new "Greasley Cup" named after the former Chairman of The Handigolf Foundation as well as the established East Anglian Open. The new cup is awarded to the best Gross Stableford score by a bona-fide wheelchair golfer at an event decided at the AGM
This year the East Anglian Open was won by local golfer and event organiser Phil Meadows with 39 points; second Terry Kirby with 32 points and third Greg Jackson with 29 points.
The Greasley Cup was won by Terry Kirby with 10 points playing offf Scratch.
Once again the weather at Tapton Park in Chesterfield was good and the course in very fine fettle for the National Handigolf Championships and The Northern Open.
Mark Gibson (Belfast) scored a stunning 41 points to win the Nationals and Terry Kirby (Derbyshire) won the Northern Open with a great 37 points. Phil Meadows (Cambridgeshire) put in great round to come third with 35 points on this very tricky golf course.
The next event will be the East Anglian Open at Pidley where the Greasley Cup (best gross Stableford score by a Handigolfer) will be added to the event.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS
The European Challenge Wheelchair Golf event in Barcelona (which is effectively the European Championships ) was once again dominated by GB and Ireland players.
Rain caused the event to be reduced to one round and Mark Gibson won both the Gross and Nett events by a single point. Cormac McAdam finished 5th and 3rd respectively and Terry Kirby was tied 7th and 6th.
A slightly reduced field from previous years was very disappointed when torrential rain flooded the greens for the second round. What a shame for the massive travel efforts of all the players.
Great news for The Handigolf Foundation is that the new Chairman with support from England Golf has be able to obtain a £9000 grant from Sport England to purchase 4 new buggies in the forthcoming months.
This will enable new players to get access to the most up to date equipment in their development at Awaeness Days and Practice sessions.
Scores were great at Mowsbury Park for the Handigolf Masters event played under generous conditions.
Terry Kirby (41pts) stole the show from organiser Barry Funnell (40 pts) who just pipped Phil Meadows (39pts). This was great scoring for the Wheelchair golfers and if they repeat this at Ufford Park they are in with a chance of The British Disabled Open Title.
Local golfer Paul Cunningham won the Chris Brown Cup for other disabled players and it is great to see other types of disability represented in Handigolf events.
The photo supplied by Barry Funnell does not indicate a new career as a sports journalist !! However well done Barry for playing well and organising well (a tough call ).
At a new venue, West Kent GC in its Centenary Year, Mark Gibson came over from Belfast to retain his National Champion status with a solid round of 33pts on this top quality track.
Here Event Organiser Eric Tofield presents the coveted trophy to Mark Gibson before it goes back with him to Belfast.
The full results are
HANDIGOLFERS 1st M Gibson 33pts; 2nd T Kirby 30pts; 3rd T Tofield 27pts;
4th P Meadows 24pts.
TEAM (best 3 scores from 4) Gibson,Hedges,Stevens,Durham 117 pts.
ABLE-BODIED 1st M Simco 38pts; 2nd A hedges 38pts OCB; 3rd C Steven 36pts.
The winning team who trounced the field are shown below.
Phil Meadows beat Terry Kirby and Tony Tofield as the "podium" finishers at the 2016 East Anglian Open. It was held at the ever-improving Lakeside course near St Ives which provided a stern test for all the entrants.
The final results were
Handigolfers;- 1st Phil Meadows 32pts, 2nd Terry Kirby 29 pts, 3rd Tony Tofield 22pts.
Other Disabled Golfers;- 1st Alan Baker, 2nd Andy Greenhill, 3rd Keith Dolman.
Able-bodied players;- 1st Martin Eaton, 2nd Dave Bignal, 3rd Mick Roche
The photo shows Phil and Terry deciding where the winning shots were made while tournament organiser Paul Meadows (also in canary yellow !) and amputee golfer Keith Dolman look on.
Fresh from coming 3rd at the Euro. Wheelchair Golf Challenge in Barcelona and getting 3rd nett in the French Disabled Open in St Omer (winning the wheelchair section ) Terry Kirby made it easy for the trophy engraver by winning the Northern Open in balmy conditions at his own club (Tapton Park) once again. The day was well supported and the full results are shown below with pictures of Lady Captain Lucy Bond presenting some of the prizes. The great support enabled over £200 to be raised for Handigolf on the great day.The Club Captain has nominated the Handigolf Foundation as his main charity this year which is fantastic news.
Results from the Northern Open
Handigolfers 1st T Kirby 36 pts 2nd R Lee 27 pts 3rd P Meadows 25 pts
Amp/La 1st Mark Marshall 40 pts 2nd John Riordan 34 pts 3rd Gary Taylor 26 pts
Men 1st Richard Stephen 41 pts 2nd Roy South 40 pts 3rd Andy Greasley 39 pts
Lady 1st Brenda Shaw 36 pts 2nd Steph Biggs 34 pts 3rd Brenda Hawkins 32 pts
Tapton Park Golf Club in Chesterfield have again made a great donation to Handigolf through their Ladies Section and the Lady Captain Lucy Bond in particular.
They have hosted the Northern Open and The National Championships over the last decade and supported the event with players and hospitality on every occasion.
The Handigolf Foundation has now received a £50 donation from the Ladies Section to help promote Wheelchair Golf.
So its a great thankyou to this Club for its continued support.
Terry Kirby the Handigolf Secretary/Treasurer has been voted in as Senior's Vice-Captain at his club Tapton Park GC Chesterfield after a couple of seasons playing in the Senior's Roll Up and Senior's Club Matches in the Derbyshire region.
If things go to plan he will be Senior's Captain in 2017.
Both these appointments are the first for a Wheelchair Golfer in England and probably in the World. Best wishes for the future !!!
Greg Jackson from Derby has won the "Most Improved" Handigolfer in his first year.
He has gone from a raw beginner to and accomplished Wheelchair Golfer in his first season and had a great round at the Masters in Bicester.
We hope that Greg can continue to improve and get to play all the home based events and then go on to European events including the Championship in 2016 in Czechoslovakia.
THE 2015 HANDIGOLF MASTERS WAS WON BY PHIL MEADOWS FROM CAMBRIDGESHIRE WITH 34 PTS. TERRY KIRBY WAS SECOND AND GREG JACKSON THIRD. THE EVENT WAS PLAYED IN CALM AUTUMN CONDITIONS AT BICESTER GOLF CLUB IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE DGA.
THE CHRIS BROWN TROPHY WHICH IS CONTESTED BY OTHER DISABLED GOLFERS WAS WON BY LOCAL PLAYER IAN MOORE.
THE ABOVE PHOTOS SHOW PHIL AND IAN RECEIVING THEIR TROPHIES FROM HANDIGOLF AND DGA OFFICERS IN THE NEW 19TH HOLE BAR AT THE MUCH IMPROVED BICESTER VENUE.
GROSS WINNER JAMES HOURIGAN
NETT WINNER LEWIS ECCLES
more details and photos to come or go to www.disabledbritishopen.org.uk
Darenth Valley GC again hosted the Southern Open organised by Eric Tofield and the key results are as shown below
1st Phil Meadows 36 points
2nd Terry Kirby 30 points
3rd Greg Jackson 27 points
4th Tony Tofield 23 points
Amputee K Dolan 27 points
Able bodied golfers
1st Tim(Gerald Simmonds) 39 points
2nd Alan Durham 36 points
3rd Eric Coates 35 points
This means that Phil Meadows has won the Southern Open title with a great score over this tricky course. The photos below show Phil and second placed Terry Kirby. It was also a great result for the new Handigolfer Greg Jackson from Derby.There were also some great scores from the East Kent able-bodied players.
At Lakeside GC Cambridgeshire, a new venue for the Nationals, we once again played golf in great conditions to establish the best UK Wheelchair Golfer on the day. After much hard work by Paul,Lynne and Phil Meadows the event ran smoothly and incorporated several local members and other disabled players.
Mark Gibson followed up his European success and with 36 pts pipped Terry Kirby (34 pts). Barry Funnell and Phil Meadows followed on 29 pts but Barry took third place on count-back.
Keith Dolman was the best amputee and leas autres player. The able bodied prizes wer won by Malcolm Derry 42 pts, Andy Greasley and Paul meadows 32pts.
BELOW TOURNAMENT ORGANISER PAUL MEADOWS HANDS OVER THE FANTASTIC NATIONAL CHAMPION TROPHY
Mark Gibson has retained his European Wheelchair Golf Championship. In a close event he held off a strong challenge from French golfer Jean Marie Requeut to win eventually by 4 points to retain the Gross trophy. He started with the best round of the event to play to his handicap and get 36 points (nett) and 18 points (gross). The final round was not as good but good enough to win. The key results are as follows
1st Mark Gibson (Great Britain) 31pts
2nd Jean Marie Requeut (France) 27pts
3rd Monique Kalkman (Holland) 24pts
tied 5th Terry Kirby (Great Britain) 18pts
1st Richard Kluwern (Holland) 68pts
2nd Jens Maspful (Germany) 68pts
3rd Mark Gibson (GB ) 64pts
7th Terry Kirby (GB) 56pts
8th Ray Lee (GB) 54pts
Once again the GB players were able to compete thanks to support from The R & A .
In 2016 the event wil be staged in England at a prestigious venue that has yet to be selected and major sponsors are required for this unique event.
We helped put on a demo of "Wheelchair Golf" at the 2015 Inter Spinal Unit games at Wheelpower in Aylesbury. With the help of Nigel Lawrence and Frank Harrington from The Golf Trust lots of the participants had a go blasting golf balls into the safety of the blow up golf range provided by England Golf.
Lots of the participants said they enjoyed hitting golf shots and Terry Kirby explained how to get into wheelchair golf.
It would be great if Wheelpower could provide the space for a permanent indoor golf training facility so that newcomers to the sport could get a more extensive introduction to this sport.
In a slight change of format these events were played within a 2-day DGA meeting at Bicester Golf and Spa Club.This enabled the field competing for the Chris brown Trophy to be wider incorporating the DGA membership.
Terry Kirby won the Handigolf Masters for 2014 and the above photo shows the 2013 Masters winner Tony Tofield passing on the sculptured trophy,
Martyn Smith won the Chris Brown Trophy and is shown receiving the cup from Graeme Robertson of DGA.
Many thanks to Sue Robertson for organising the event at this potential venue for The Disabled British Open as well as re-runs of this event.
A full complement of the active Handigolfers gathered at Darenth Valley GC to contest the 2014 Nationals.
Under good conditions but with fluffy greens Barry Funnell's new putting stroke prevailed and he won with a nett 69 to beat favourite Mark Gibson into second place by four shots.
Barry also won the Nippi Vehicles Southern Open shield for his great round.
Barry suffered a major buggy breakdown on the first hole. However the resourceful golfers from West Kent playing in his team lifted him off his buggy and repaired the electrical fault allowing him to proceed to victory !
Barry will have his Handicap reduced by the Handicap Secretary but should still be in with a good chance of the nett trophy at next month's re-vamped Disabled British Open.
Using a new buggy based on a Paterson Eventer but with upgraded batteries and motors Terry Kirby won his section at the Dutch Open with two good rounds close to his Handicap.
Analysis of the data reveals that he would have had a good result in the higher sections !!!
Terry Kirby won the June 2014 Wheelchair golf event at Haxterpak GC near Paderborn in Germany.His 63 points over two rounds was good enough to take the nett prize.
He was pipped by 3 shots by Urs Bucher to miss out on the gross prize.
The organisers shortened the course on the second day which put TK's game plan out of action and cancelled out his advantage off the tee otherwise he might have done a Mark Gibson and won both prizes.
Image: Mark Gibson European Wheelchair Golf Champion
Once again a good prize table was presented at Tapton Park which was in great condition and under blue skies for this event. However there were more Amputee players than wheelchair golfers for the first time and the John Byrne Trophy was a closer fought event than the Handigolf event.
Here the Tapton Park Ladies Captain Gwyneth Walker presents the prizes to Paul Cunningham who beat Maurice Lee (2nd) and Simon Mugglestone (3rd) for the JB trophy and to Terry Kirby who beat Barry Funnell to reclaim the Nothern Open Trophy.
The able bodied prizes included a stunning 39 point round from Tapton Park Handicap Secretary Janet Bland (below).
Image: Mark Gibson with his 2 trophies on the poium
Mark Gibson a member of The Handigolf Foundation and Spa GC in Northern Ireland won both the Gross and Nett events at the inaugural 36-hole European Wheelchair Golf Championships at Terramar GC, Sitges, Barcelona (8-10th April). Playing off 18 handicap he beat Requereut (shown left) from France by 6 shots for the scratch prize and Brouder (25 hcp.) from the Republic of Ireland by 2 shots.
With a field of 21 players including players from all over Europe Mark had the most difficult journey. With financial support from The R&A and The Handigolf Foundation he drove from Belfast to Rosslaire; got the ferry to Cherbourg and then onwards through France into Spain. His stunning second round, where he played under his CONGU handicap, got him clear of his playing partners, the accomplished French and Dutch players in second and third places after the first round.
Players from GB and NI were the biggest contingent (33%) and those that are members of The Handigolf Foundation received considerable financial support from The R&A.
The GB/NI placings are as follows (gross/nett) Mark Gibson, Belfast (1/1); Ray Lee, Kent (7/8); Barry Funnell, Bedford (9/5); Terry Kirby, Chesterfield (10=/18); Cormac McAdam, Clones (10=/9=); Phil Meadows, Huntingdon (17/13=); Tony Tofield, Bromley (21/21). Hence we have strength in depth and it is great to see that golf's handicap system, when it is applied accurately, lets everyone play off a level golf course !!
Image: Mark Gibson's achievement gains support !!
The event was superbly conceived and organised by Sebas Lorente (far right on the podium picture).The hospitality of the Terramar Golf Club and Hotel Sunway Playagolf was excellent and here the Handigolf members pay tribute to "Sparky" Gibson before joining the other players,caddies and guests at the Gala Dinner before the long drive home.
Official Photo compilation
The official photographs tend to indicate that you need an expensive Paragolf machine to play "wheelchair" golf. However the winner played from a machine he built himself, based on a ride-on mower chassis and many of the top ten in both the gross and net events used much cheaper machines.
All of the Handigolf contingent have had the opportunity to use a Paragolfer but all have gone back to play from other cheaper machines.
A very generous grant from The R & A has helped Handigolf to enter its top 5 players into the European Wheelchair Golf Championships this April.
They are to be held over 4 days at Sitges Golf Club on the outskirts of Barcelona.
Competition is likely to be tough and so is the travel as the players are all driving there to ensure the buggy transport is under our control.
Mark Gibson has the most complex route by driving from Belfast to Cork and getting the ferry to Brittany and then driving south.
Good luck to all the competitors and let's hope we have some good results to report later.
Tony Tofield (36 pts.) recovered from a nasty fall in a car park on the way to the Masters, held for the first time at Mowsbury Park Bedford, to win the Masters by 5 points from Terry Kirby. Playing in the last group out on this fair but challenging parkland course Tony held is nerve and made par on the last hole to secure the trophy. Playing off his 43 handicap he had a stunning birdie 2 on the first par three to secure 5 points that was the foundation of his good score. His golf game has been in the doldrums for some time but this result could be the springboard for more success. His fellow competitors said his father should push him over a couple of times in the car park before next year's Nationals !!!
Paul Cunningham,the experienced one-arm golfer (15 handicap) won the Chris Brown Memorial Cup with 37 points from the previous holder Keith Dolman (35 pts.).
The Handigolf Foundation thanks Bedford Council and the local professional golf shop for access to the course and prize donations.
Terry Kirby has followed Ian Hayden MBE, Adrian Hall and Mark Gibson in getting below the 28 handicap barrier.
After a stunning 43 points round a difficult course at a Disabled Golf Association event his handicap secretary cut him using the CONGU system to 27.
Terry intends to now join Tapton Park GC Chesterfield and compete on competitive terms with the local affilliated golfers in club events.
Some of this improvement may have come from his links with the PGA where he has recently achieved a "Stage 1 Coach " qualification.
The running of The Handigolf National Championships in the 25th year of golf for "wheelchair golfers" proved quite a memorable event. The very challenging Tapton Park course in Chesterfield was chosen for this landmark event.
Once again other disabled golfers were included in the field along with several able-bodied members of the home course. The weather once again influenced play as the greens were covered with hail in the latter part of proceedings.
Terry Kirby used his home knowledge to win with a great 67 nett followed by Belfast's Mark Gibson (74 nett). Defending champion Phil Meadows came in third. Terry becomes National Champion and Mark the winner of The Northern Open.
The presentation ceremony started with the Handigolf players presenting an engraved decanter and goblet set to the charity founder and Chairman Andy Greasley in appreciation of his long standing work to promote Handigolf and golf for other disability groups. The set is shown above and the engraving includes the logo plus the titles of the four major tournaments that have been competed for over this period; The Nationals, Masters, Northern Open and Southern Open. This stylish momento was gratefully accepted by Andy who acknowledged the contribution of all Handigolfers, present and past, who have demonstrated the complete viability of this method of play.
Mark Gibson receiving the Northern Open trophy
The John Byrne Memorial trophy was awarded for the first time to the leading amputee or Les Autre player. Paul Cunninghan took the award which was introduced by The Handigolf Foundation in appreciation of the support its players received from this amputee golfer throughout this period. John always said that no multi-disability event was valid unless Handigolfers were included. (see obituary below for further details).
The award ceremony concluded with the presentation of the trophy by the Tapton Park Lady Captain Jane Turner to Terry Kirby.
This tournament was supported by a grant from The R&A and donations of prizes and raffle items from the golf Industry noteably Ping and TaylorMade.
The Handigolf Foundation has just heard of the sad death of two of its members who were very supportive in the early years of development and have remained enthusiastic about our form of golf throughout the 25 years of our charity.
John joined Handigolf in its earliest years and arrived as a very accomplished leg amputee player and our foremost contact with BALASA golf. He played off a very competitive 13 handicap that had been established in the Ruislip area and immediately entered all Handigolf events wherever they were. He quickly established a reputation for being well informed on both the golf and disability fronts and was asked to join the Handigolf Committee where his experience was invaluable.
He usually took his wife Carol on Handigolf travels and she would investigate the locality whilst he played the event. This combination worked exceptionally well for our first trip to France playing at Etretat.John's knowedge about electro-mechanical devices was a constant blessing for the Handigolfers with malfunctioning buggies as he often had to make impromptu repairs to keep players in the tournaments.
His own buggy was a legend as every bit had been replaced with parts salvaged from a variety of sources and adapted with his ingenuity.
John was always keen to help and motivate the early Handigolfers and his advice as both an engineer and disabled golfer was particularly useful for the late Ian Hayden MBE who got down to the lowest club handicap of any Handigolfer. John always said that Handigolfers displayed the widest potentional amongst the range of disabled golf and that no multi-disability event was complete without Handigolfers present.
He always showed a positive approach to the game and his support for all Handigolfers was legendary. Indeed no Handigolf event was complete without John Byrne.
He lost his battle with cancer in the early part of this close-season even though he attended events in 2012. His support and dry sense of humour will be sadly missed for a long time to come.
The Handigolf Committee and players have been unanimous in recommending that the new trophy for the "Amputee and Les Autres" division of the Nationals/Northern Open be named "The John Byrne Memorial Trophy" in respect of the help and inspiration he has been to The Handigolf Foundation.
Image: Elizabeth Chadwick in her heyday
Liz Pook, playing as Elizabeth Chadwick, won the British Open in 1966 and 1967 and so was by far the best golfer to have been associated with Handigolf.
However it was as a disabled person, spending much time in a wheelchair, that she joined Handigolf in the early nineties. Because of her reputation she was given a challenging handicap but still came second at The Handigolf Masters in Milton Keynes in 1998 and therefore won the "Chris Brown Memorial Trophy".
She was extremely supportive of spinal injury charities and Handigolf in particular.Her particular benefit to Handigolf was that she was simply "famous" right to the top of the golf Establishment. This fame was not just for her undoubted skill but also for her sporting attitude during and after competitions.
Her disability slowly worsened and although she gave up playing Handigolf after five seasons she was supportive of our work right up to her sudden death on Dec 6th 2012. Although her death was sudden and unexpected her husband Tony believes that she was at peace with the world and thinking of others, as always, right up to the end.
It has been essential to the progress of Handigolf to have had a player of such skill and integrity supporting our cause at the highest levels of the game.
The R&A has recognised that The Handigolf Foundation has been developing golf for players who need to be seated in a buggy for all their golf shots since 1988.
That makes 2013 the 25th year of The Handigolf Foundation and The R&A have given the charity £5000 to help to make it a special year.
Hence the National Handigolf Championships at Tapton Park in Chesterfield will be enhanced accordingly.
We are also considering an update and big print run of our pamphlet that has been unchanged for over 10 years. Even in the days of the Web we still find these pamphlets the best way to attract new players and to display how Handigolf is played.
Other projects are possible depending upon how England Golf and the International Golf Federation contribute to the development of disabled golf in the next season. Progess was disturbed by the fact that the IGF bid (influenced by EDGA) to get golf into the 2016 Rio Paralympics failed. Hence 2013 will be a pivotal season. The unsuccessful "Bid Booklet" link is shown below.
The R&A have been very supportive to The Handigolf Foundation and have given much assistance to DIRECT projects such as buggy purchase and development over the years. They have produced two editions of the "Rules Modifications for Disabled Players" booklet which is free to interested parties (postage not included).
Failed Bid for Rio Paralympics 2016
A new tournament which will be called "The Bedford Open" has been played for the first time at Mowsbury Park GC and organised by Barry Funnell on the 1st October.
Terry Kirby won the Handigolf section with Barry himself in second place.
For the first time a totally blind golfer played in a Handigolf event and won the non-handigolf section with a stunning 56 Stableford points !! Other golfers have got into the 50point area before as they improve their game but thanks to guide , PGA pro Sam Smith, Billy McAllister, who only took up golf 3 years ago AFTER he went blind, had the round of his life.
It is hoped to add this Bedford event to the annual diary and local sponsors are needed to help out with a trophy etc etc..
As this was the last event of the season Eric Tofield and his handicap committee awarded the "Most Improved Player" cup to Phil Meadows and cut his handicap by two shots !!
Terry Kirby our treasurer had a collection at the Sainsbury's supermarket in Chesterfield. With the generosity and donations from the good folk of Chesterfield he raised a fantastic £270 which will go towards the 25th Handigolf National Championships at Tapton Park GC Chesterfield in 2013.
The Chairman will also be approaching the golf establishment to make significant contributions to this landmark event on this challenging course.
This summer (?) Handigolf were invited to do a demonstration to PGA coaches during the Seniors Championship at Slayley Hall in the North East.
The grizzled old coaches were suitably impressed by the different ways of playing the game and showed much appreciation of the additional barriers and obstacles that Handigolfers have to overcome to play this fascinating game.
Phil Meadows scored a fantastic 39 points off his 40 handicap to pip Terry \Kirby (36 off 32 handicap) to win the Handigolf Masters at Milton Keynes.
The lush fairways and relatively slow greens were to the liking of the Cambridgeshire golfer. The tournament also saw Barry Reed make his debut to competitive golf.
In a slight change of format the Chris Brown Memorial trophy was awarded to the best score from a non-Handigolfer and leg-amputee Keith Dolman scored a brilliant 41 points off 27 handicap to take home the cup.
The final event of the season is on October 1st at Mowsbury Park Bedfordshire
Image: masters winners
Image: Masters winners
Image: masters winners
Barry Funnell who is an established Handigolfer amonst his many interests was selected to carry the Paralympic flame during its passage through Bedford and is seen below alongside the gathered dinitaries on the day.
Roy Brennan from West Sussex has recentyl raised over £2000 for Handigolf. The money was used to purchase a new Paterson Eventer.
The British Disabled Open at the East Sussex National on the August Bank Holiday weekend was a great time for the handover to take place as Terry and two players were competing in the Open. Phil played an introductory round on the course that had been set-up for the event in preparation for next year.
The buggy is to be initially based at Headley Court in Surrey where disabled service personnel are rehabilitated. At present there are a few paraplegic golfers who will benefit from this donation.
The photo shows Roy handing the cheque to Terry Kirby our treasurer. Also shown holding the recently won National trophy is Phil Meadows with his parents behind alongside Zeno Gomez representing Headley Court
Apologies for the poor quality of the photo as the photographer from The Sussex Express did not attend as indicated because there were too many Village Fetes to cover in Sussex that weekend even at 5pm on a Friday night !! However the paper did run a preview without a photo on the 17th of August; did you see it ??
Even if the photo is "iffy" we are most appreciative of the efforts of Mr Brennan which means that we can concentrate on playing golf and spreading the concept of real golf for all abilities and styles of play.
The Handigolf Foundation.
Each year the Handigolf Foundation organise at least four national Golf Tournaments especially for physically handicapped golfers.
Last year (2011) the Northern Handigolf Open was held in Chesterfield at The Tapton Park Golf course, memorable for the views of the town’s twisted church spire.
Here we see two of the entrants waiting to tee off at the downhill first hole.
Image: Tapton Park 1st
This year (2012) the Handigolf Open was held in the south at Shoreham’s Darenth Valley Golf Course. Several handicapped golfers competed for the main medal trophy.
Seen below are from left to right Mark Gibson, from Northern Ireland, Terry Kirby from Chesterfield and Phil Meadows from Cambridgeshire.
Image: Darenth Valley starters
Here Phil meadows tees off at the first hole.
Above we see Tony Tofield of Bromley holing a good put on the first green.
The eventual winner of the trophy this year was Phil Meadows of Cambridgeshire with a net score of 69 seen here being presented with the trophy by the tournament director of the event Eric Tofield.
Image: The 2012 Rostrum
Phil Meadows(Cambs.) won the 2012 National Championships played at Darenth Valley l Golf Course (Kent) with a nett three-under-par 69.
This pipped Chesterfield's Terry Kirby (nett 72) into 2nd place with defending champion Mark Gibson (Belfast) third.
The picture above shows Gibson, Kirby and Meadows from left to right on their buggies. The winner also receives the Southern Open Shield when the Nationals are in the south.
Missing from the event was Bedford's Barry Funnell who is still suffering from a serious hand injurywho was keen to see how his new 4-wheel buggy might have fared on this challenging course.
As usual the event was hosted exceptionally by Darenth Valley, Eric Tofield and West Kent GC members.
The next Handigolf Event is the Handigolf "Masters" on the 10th September 2012 at Wavendon GC Milton Keynes.
The Handigolfers who play close to 28 handicap and better are also entered for The Disabled British Open on August 24th-26th in East Sussex.
However the ever increasing cost of transport and lack of real support from the golf establishment continues to jeopardise the event, especially for Mark Gibson who has to travel from Northern Ireland to compete.
Image: Phil Meadows receives the Nationals and Southern Open from Eric Tofield
Image: The participants at the presentation
A new event on the calendar saw the inaugural East Anglian Open player at the very suitable Lakeside Golf Centre. It is very flat but challenging with long carries, tight fairways and some strategic water.
It is the home club of Phil Meadows and it was The Meadows family who hosted the event.
A great day was had by all with Terry Kirby just pipping Phil Meadows on the 18th to take the title. Tony Tofield came a very creditable third and his father Eric took the able-bodied prize.
It is hoped that this trophy and venue become regular features of the Handigolf diary.
Bethany Acey from Sheffield but the female junior captain at Sandburn GC York did some impressive research to identify The Handigolf Foundation as the recipient of the funds raised at the 2012 Sandburn Junior Captains' Day.
Terry Kirby and Phil Meadows played alongside her on the day and picked up the donation of a great £424 .
Bethany also did a great write-up about the ethos of Handigolf in the build up to the event that reflected our mission perfectly.
So its lots of sincere thanks to Bethany and Sandburn Golf Club for selecting The Handigolf Foundation as their chosen charity.
The money will be put to our next Trio Eventer which can be seen on our "Buggy Types" page or below.
Chesterfield's Tapton Park Golf Club was in great condition for the 2012 Northern Open with good greens and little rain. Terry Kirby held off strong challenges from Phil Meadows and Tony Tofield to retain the title.
A good field was assembled with some guest players from BALASA at this very challenging hilly parkland venue in sight of the famous Crooked Spire Chuch.
Can Kirby make it 3 in a row next year which would also get him the National Championship
Barry Funnell and Terry Kirby, who both play one-handed have advised Patterson Products over the introduction of a new 4-wheel buggy (as recommended by National Champion Mark Gibson).
Shown below are pictures of Barry playing at Wavendon Golf Centre in March 2012 just after its introduction. Handigolf has two of these machines.For more details see "Buggy Types" page.
Phil Meadows has been picked by our Handicap Secretary as the most-improved player of the season after great performances in the Southern Open and the Masters. Well done Phil and let's hope for continued improvements next season.
In a year that saw the death of Ian Hayden MBE the Masters event had particular interest. Ian was the "model" Handigolfer for the sculpture that remains the Masters trophy. Commissioned by Bob Miles from Abingdon for the first Masters the event is now played for annually at Wavendon Golf Club Milton Keynes. The second place player receives the Chris Brown Memorial Cup.
This year Terry Kirby from Chesterfield won the Masters for the third time and Phil Meadows from Cambridgeshie won the Memorial Trophy. For once the event was played in good weather but was not without mishaps as Barry Funnell's Paragolf machine conked out after 14 holes and Tony Tofield's Trio buggy was damaged in transit.
However Handigolf will always be about the handigolfer in partnership with their buggy and so we look forward to the first event next year.
Phil Meadows from Cambridgeshire has returned to Handigolf after a break for career and family commitments to win the Southern Open at Darenth Valley GC. After a good round atthe Nationals in Chesterfield Phil won his second event by a good margin.He is considering venues in East Anglia for an additional tournament next season. Well done Phil on both counts.
Some very sad news. On Saturday May 14th 2011 Ian Hayden MBE, passed away after losing his fight against Hepatitis C and Cirrohsis of the Liver.
His family would be grateful if everyone who knew him could be informed of his passing.They have arranged a service to celebrate him and all that he was.
It will be held on Thursday 2nd June 2011 at 2 pm at St. Helens Church in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. All who knew him are invited by his family to join them to celebrate his life.
Ian was an inspirational sportsman and golfer to other disabled players and experienced able-bodied athletes. Even Kenny Dalglish, the current Liverpool FC manager and low-handicap golfer, was amazed at Ian's commitment and ability when they played together in the first Handigolf event to be held at Hesketh Golf Club in Southport.
He was the "model" golfer used to create our Masters Trophy which was commissioned by Bob Miles. Bob organised many Masters events at Radley College and it is now played for each year in Milton Keynes. This year's event in September will therefore have particular impact.
Ian joined The Handigolf Foundation about a year after it was formed and our credibility was under question. Within weeks he was smashing the ball round championship length courses often driving the ball to the same distance as single-figure players.He got down to a playing handicap of 13 and had the potential to get to single figures. It was only the relentless trauma of his illness that held him back. However he never complained about it and was totally inspirational.
Reproduced below, as a fitting tribute is an article featured in Club Golfer 1990 when Ian was hooked on golf.He is using an ELVA buggy that was quickly replaced by his Batricar buggy that features on The Masters Trophy. Also see that he quickly worked out that the broom-handle putter was the way forward for Handigolfers, a technique still used by event winners today.
Ian Hayden MBE knew how to win with a smile !!
Image: article on the late Ian Hayden MBE
Image: gibson and kirby tussle over the trophy again !
The 2011 Nationals and Northern Open were held at the challenging Tapton Park GC in Chesterfield.The Title was won by Mark Gibson (Belfast) with a stunning nett 68. Terry Kirby (Hull) came second with a nett 78 to win the Northern Open Title and Phil Meadows (Cambs.) returned to competitive golf after a 10 year break and came in third with a nett 79.
Joe O'Reilly (Watford) was doing well until his buggy overheated beyond repair on the very steep 8th fairway Tony Tofield and Keith Robinson (both Kent) struggled under the conditions and came well down the field.
Terry Kirby's team won the team prize with 101 Stableford points (best 3 cards). Paul Hankey, Eric Tofield and John Potter were 1-2-3 respectively in the able bodied section and Derrick Meadows ans Simon Mugglestone took the other disabled prizes.
Overall a great event at this new venue and thanks to Tapton GC for hosting the day so well.
The new buggy,funded by The R&A and made by Eco-Trax of Bicester is now finished and about to start proving trials.
As shown below it is possible to raise the seat and keep it level or tilt it. The Paragolfer always tilts as it is raised which does not suit some players. It also has a locking mechanism to stop the rear wheel scuffing greens and digging into bunkers which can happen on the Paragolfer if driven carelessly. Fixing the jockey wheel straight also helps when loading the machine onto its purpose built trailer.
The trailer was made by Baroni Martin in Yardley Gobion near Milton Keynes and funded by a donation from The Honourable Company of Oxfordshire Golfers which is based at The Oxfordshire golf course near Thame.
The buggy is shown below in its highest position with the full tilt option on the seat setting.For more photos see the Buggy Types page.
The Honourable Company of Oxfordshire Golfers has made another generous donation of £600 to Handigolf. It will be used to complete the specialist trailer needed for the new "Endeavour" buggy made by Eco-Trax and funded by the R&A. We have had great benefits from this very considerate golfing group and an engraved plate will be put onto the trailer in appreciation of their efforts.
Handigolf had three players in the 2nd British Disabled Open played at the East Sussex National Golf Centre on the 20th/21st September. Mark Gibson came 5th= out of 21 players in Category 2 and Terry Kirby came 14th out of 25 in Category 3.Tucker Chance had to withdraw after the first round.Barry Funnell our Masters winner could not get into the event as he entered late and it was over-subscribed.
For full results Google "Disabled British Open".
The organisers intend to introduce pre-qualifying criteria next year that will include a wide-ranging selection procedure. Watch this space.
After another active golfing season Eric Tofield,in his role as Handicap Secretary, has awarded the "Most Improved" trophy to Mark Gibson for his reduced handicap from his golf club in Northern Ireland and his performance in the "Nationals".Well done Mark who has been the first Handigolfer for some time to get below 20 handicap.
Image: Barry,Tucker and Simon receive Masters prizes
Barry Funnell won the 2010 Handigolf Masters played as usual at Wavendon Golf Centre Milton Keynes. He scored 32 Stableford points to pip former winners Tucker Chance and Terry Kirby into second and third spots. Also shown in the photo is Simon Mugglestone who won the "Les Autres" prize with 35 points. The event was played in blustery and showery conditions the day after Terry and Barry played an informal warm up to get Barry fully "hadicapped" for the forthcoming British Disabled Open in Sussex. Terry won the warm-up but as usual the South African way of saving the good shots until they matter prevailed.
Image: Eric Tofield presents Mark Gibson with the trophy
At the new venue of Cobtree Manor near Maidstone Mark Gibson hit a stunning 63 (nett) 84 (gross) to win the title by 4 shots from Terry Kirby 67 (nett). Tony Tofield came in a creditable third in the title chase on this challenging course. Many thanks are in order to the organisers of the event and the Maidstone authority for allowing the event on their course.This was a particularly good result for Mark who had the wing mirror of his motor home smashed off by a passing HGV in Kent just before he arrived !!
Terry Kirby has had a successful shoulder operation and has had to cancel most of his active participation for 3 months on surgeon's advice. Hence the Northern Open has been postponed until next season and The Nationals will take place on July 5th at Cobtreee Manor Kent on July 5th as shown on the Diary page.
The Honourable Company of Oxfordshire Golfers (Hon. Sec. Roger Harmann) have raised two donations for The Handigolf Foundation this year (£750 + £500) this season. They have requested that it is put towards buggy development for the improved play of competitive golf by UK Handigolfers. The Foundation is most grateful for these unexpected donations and is intent on making the most of them.
The ladies section of the above golf club led by Iris Stafford has given The Handigolf Foundation a donation of £200 which came out-of-the-blue. We are most grateful for such donations from within the sport and it will go towards buggy development.This year has been quite expensive in terms of buggy breakdown but they have been used in some new venues paerticularly the British Disabled Open at Old Thorns
After a considerable campaign, the R&A have awarded our charity £5000 for the development of our golf buggy design. The Paragolfer and Powergolfer (both made in Gernmany) are very complex and very expensive. We need to decide how to improve the specification and how to get it designed and made by a British manufacturer for the continued development of UK disabled golf. Watch this space.
The 2009 "Masters" was once again played at the wheelchair-friendly Wavendon Golf Centre in Milton Keynes. For the first time this year the "Chris Brown Memorial" trophy was awarded to the second place player (nett). After a poor start Terry Kirby caught up Tucker Chance and got first place to become holder of the Masters trophy. Tucker held his nerve to grab the "Chris Brown" trophy.
The Handigolf Foundation had four players in the + 18.5 Handicap section of the Disabled Open played at Old Thorns Hants. in August. The full results are shown at http://www.disabledbritishopen.org/ but our best player was Northern Ireland's Mark Gibson who is our current National Champion who came in a very worthy 8th in his section. Well done Mark and let's have more entrants next year.
Mark Gibson travelled over to our National Championships from Belfast and won with a nett 72 playiong off 19 handicap. The Darenth Valley course was as tough as it can be with high winds, dry fairways and spiked-spongy greens. However it was the same for everyone and Mark prevailed on his home-made buggy. Who needs a Paragolfer !!!
The event was organised as ever by Eric and Tony Tofield with their friends from West Kent and other local clubs. The sponsors were local IT people Modular Solutions and Davis Accessible Transport of Sevenoaks. Hence the motorbike !!!
Image: the stand at Beyond Boundaries
Terry Kirby and Andy Greasley spent the two days before the Nationals trying to find new members and funding at this big exhibition at Farnborough airport. Mark Gibson and Eric Tofeld also called in and added their support.It was a good success as we were next the the mobile golf range run by Karen and Vaughan who have played in our events as able-bodied coaches who now coach Greg Airth.
Several promising players had a go so we can expect a few new members for next season.
Shown below is a new proposal for disabled golf handicaps which is most interesting above 28. It only differs from ours in that you come down more slowly but does assume everyone belongs to a golf club.
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