I am proud to announce that I have been elected your new President of the Western Amputee Golf Association. I was born and raised in the Philadelphia area and lost my left leg below the knee in 1975 in a motorcycle accident. In 1981, I graduated from Temple University School of Physical Therapy and retired in December, 2021, after a successful 40- year career in PT. I started playing golf in 1968 at the age of 13 and continued playing after losing my leg at the age of 20. I have been a Life Member of the EAGA and NAGA for over 30 years. I also spent many of those years at a private club where I was Golf Chairman, planning and implementing hundreds of competitive golf tournaments. In 2011, I moved to Klamath Falls, OR, to be closer to family. Since that time, I have enjoyed being a WAGA member, playing in the Sac Open at Teal Bend GC several times. I feel my years of experience playing amputee/disabled golf events and planning and implementing competitive golf tournaments has amply prepared me for this position and I look forward to putting WAGA back on the map as the amputee/disabled golf community continues to evolve in these difficult times.
My first order of business was to address our outdated website and I am excited to announce that, thanks to WAGA Board Director Eric Johnson, we are resurrecting the site to better serve our membership, sponsors and competitors. We welcome any and all comments on how we could improve the website to better serve your needs. Our new secure web address is https://wagagolf.org/ . Please use the site as much as possible so that we can rise up the search engine algorithm for those who may search for amputee/disabled golf information here on the west coast. The past several years of inactivity have placed us in the “back of the pack”, so to speak.
The introduction and subsequent evolution of disabled golf began in force following the World Disabled Golf Conference and Open, hosted by the South African Disabled Golf Association and South African Lottery, held in Bela Bela, SA, at the Zebula Golf Estate and Spa in May, 2014, amputee golf as we knew it was changed forever. I was fortunate to attend this historical event. Although the initial goal of this initiative was to put disabled golf into the Paralympics, what it actually did was put all disabilities to the forefront of disabled golf worldwide. This has had an extremely positive effect in that it has opened up golf to many disabled players who had limited opportunities to meet and compete. Unfortunately, the reality is, this has not had a positive effect on amputee golf as we knew it. WAGA was formed over 50 years ago and the National Amputee Golf Association (NAGA) was formed over 70 years ago to provide amputees with opportunities to meet and compete with other amputees. I believe this has had a positive effect on all those that have been a part of this endeavor over the years.
However, amputee golf is now at a crossroad. As an association, do we remain exclusively for amputee golfers or do we become inclusive of all disabled golfers? I would like our membership to decide which direction we should go moving forward. Historically, WAGA has had a strong active membership with ample opportunity for comradery and competition. The past several years has seen those opportunities dwindle with the onset of disabled golf tournaments. In the near future, I will be sending out an email to survey our current members so that we can focus on how our members would like WAGA to function, as an amputee or a disabled golf organization. The Board has recently voted to change the by-laws to include “the loss of use of a major joint” to be inclusive of those individuals who have neurological issues.
For the remainder of 2022 the WAGA Board will be working on rebuilding our Tournament Schedule for 2023 and beyond. With that said, I do have some exciting news. WAGA has entered into an agreement with David’s Chair, a charity based in Medford, Oregon, founded to provide access to a variety of outdoor mobility devices that allow individuals with limited mobility to enjoy outdoor recreational activities, to host the West Coast Disabled Golf Championships at the Rogue Valley Country Club in Medford, scheduled to be held May 15-18, 2023. This will be a 54-hole WR4DG world-ranking event with the goal of attracting the highest-ranked disabled golfers from around the world, in what promises to be the benchmark for all highly competitive disabled golf tournaments. So, mark your calendars now, you won’t want to miss this world-class event.
Please feel free to reach out to me or any of the WAGA Board Directors with your questions or concerns. I am looking forward to working with all of you to take WAGA to the next level and rebuild its image and standing in the world of amputee and/or disabled golf.
Jim Curley, President
Western Amputee Golf Association
Ross Martin – Treasurer/Secretary
ENDING BALANCE 1/1/2022
Chris Wicks – NAGA Trustee[/bs_col]
Ross Martin – Treasurer/Secretary
We have made tournament entry as straightforward as possible. To that end we are now offering online registration for all entrants. Simply fill out the form for the event you would like to attend, hit the send button so that your information gets transmitted to the appropriate tournament director, and then add all of your appropriate fees to your PayPal cart and check out.
No PayPal account? Would you rather pay by check? No problem. Once you hit the send button on the form an email will be directed to the web address you specified. Merely print a copy of that email and enclose it with your check to the mailing address indicated and you are all set.
We look forward to seeing you at one of our future events.