PING fitting boosts performances of golfers with a disability

The 2023 PING Open – a G4D (golf for the disabled) event – showcased a mix of cutting edge innovation and industry-leading support for players at Gainsborough.

EDGA represents 39 national governing bodies and aims to encourage 500,000 new golfers with a disability into the game.

EDGA partner and official golf club supplier PING hosted a practice day and 36-hole championship at the Karsten Lakes Course at Thonock Park June 12-14 – offering a complimentary fitting experience to all the players taking part.

All types of impairment were represented in the tournament contested by players from five nations: physical, sensory, intellectual and neurodevelopmental. Sixteen players took advantage of fitting sessions.

The first fitting sessions saw Matthew Jones, who is of short stature, and Matt Gamble, who plays with his left arm, work with PING technician Paul Rymer with Matthew analysing the full bag and Matt working on his irons and wedges.

Jacopo Luce, who has a neurodevelopmental impairment and had travelled from Venice in Italy to play, enjoyed a productive session in the PING Putting Lab with Adam Wainwright, while Ellie Perks, who is of short stature, was fine-tuning her putting game to take her golf handicap into single figures.

Paralysed from the waist down in 2017, Kris Aves plays golf from a powered chair. He was looking for a full-bag fitting to gain an edge in tournament play and said the fitting experience with technician Nick Boulton was “simply brilliant and eye-opening”.

Iain Millar, a former semi-professional rugby player from Hampshire who has a brain and spinal injury, said: “I was hitting the ball longer and straighter, it feels much more controlled. It’s an amazing centre here and makes you feel so optimistic about what you can do with your game.”

PING Europe director of marketing Dave Fanning said: “We were delighted to be able to welcome EDGA players to our fitting centre at Gainsborough to continue our support of EDGA to grow the game. This all combines perfectly with our desire to help all golfers to #PlayYourBest. Similarly, it’s a privilege to make available the Karsten Lakes Course for the PING Open for a second year. All the EDGA players present created a great atmosphere of friendly rivalry in their time at our club.”

There were some fine performances around the Karsten Lakes Course with the stableford victory going to Matthew Jones after impressive point scores of 40 and 41; as the nett title went to Matt Gamble – who shot 73 and 64 off a 12 handicap.

Andrew Gardiner won the overall gross after rounds of 79 and 67, earning him the 2023 PING Open trophy.

Rob Moss, tournament director for the EDGA event, thanked the PING team and staff at Thonock Park for their fantastic support for the event. He added: “It is the people at PING that make this such a special company to work with. Our players were delighted with the help from PING technicians Nick, Paul and Adam, they were tremendous. As EDGA works with the game’s leading bodies to create a supportive, inclusive, and accessible golfing landscape, we could not have a better partner than our friends at PING.”

PING’s three-year commitment to EDGA will also aid recent progress in providing professional coaches and volunteers with the expertise to reach out to more golfers with an impairment internationally.

Previously, PING helped EDGA in the creation of the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD), now in the hands of WAGR, and supported EDGA’s regular podcasts.

EDGA provides advice, guidance and standards to leading golfing bodies, including The IGF, The R&A, and the DP World Tour. EDGA is the knowledge hub on players, the game, and the way in which golfers with disabilities engage in golf and navigate the barriers for entry, thus facilitating a more accessible sport.