U-Mary Helps Bring 'First Swing' Seminar and 'Learn to Golf' Clinic to North Dakota for First Time

Bismarck, ND - Like many sports, golfing has become a part of life for a lot of people. Some tee-off several times a week no matter what their work schedule or what Mother Nature may bring. And, it's not unheard of for fairway fanatics in North Dakota to tour the state's many golf courses in one fell swoop - or swing. After all, not too long ago, according to Golf Digest, North Dakota had more golf courses per capita than any other state. So, with all that in mind, why wouldn't someone want to go golfing in North Dakota whenever the opportunity arose?

Well, for a large group of people with physical disabilities, the want and desire has always been there to golf. What's been missing is the ability to learn or re-learn the game.

Not anymore! Since 1988, the National Amputee Golf Association (NAGA), in conjunction with Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Professional Golf Association (PGA) has been sponsoring the nationwide "First Swing" seminars and "Learn to Golf" clinics annually. Now, for the first time, this great initiative is coming to North Dakota, thanks to the University of Mary, who organized the event, and sponsoring partners: Bismarck Parks & Recreation; Great Plains Rehabilitation Services; Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics; MedEquip One.

The two-day event will be held Friday and Saturday, July 23-24, starting at 8:30 a.m. both days. The Friday session is for golf and health care professionals and physical therapy students who will train at the University of Mary and later at the Fore Seasons Center Golf Dome. Saturday will provide golfing instruction for individuals with disabilities at the Golf Dome.

Helping lead the way in this community and statewide event are approximately 20 current and former University of Mary physical therapy students. They will learn alongside area health care professionals, from PGA recognized NAGA-certified instructors then put this knowledge to use instructing people with physical disabilities on their golf swing.

"The University of Mary program in physical therapy is pleased to collaborate with the National Amputee Golf Association and area health care organizations to bring the area's first ‘First Swing Golf' event to Bismarck," commented Mary Dockter, PT. Ph.D., associate professor and director of clinical education at the University of Mary and coordinator of the event. "This important event allows us to continue our tradition of coordinating unique experiences that serve both the community and enable our PT students to learn while providing service. We are blessed to educate our students in a community that shares our desire to help others."

Professionals will work one-on-one with individuals with physical disabilities to teach them how to hold the golf club in order to overcome challenges with the appropriate grip; how to assume the stance position to include addressing the ball, set-up and balance; the rules of golf and differences presented by various types of disabilities; elements of the swing through standing and sitting; demonstrations of adapted equipment; ADA implications; usage of accessible golf carts; and safety.

Registration deadline is July 9, 2010. Those interested in participating are encouraged to call Mary Dockter, PT. Ph.D., at (701) 355-8045, or print off and fill out the registration form that can be found at http://www.umary.edu/firstswing/.


Friday, July 23
Golf & Health Care Professionals Only

University of Mary, Richard Tschider Center, Room 211

8:30 a.m. - 9 a.m. Registration & continental breakfast
9 a.m. - Noon Lecture on grip, stance, balance, swing, adaptive equipment & ADA
Noon - 1 p.m. Travel to Fore Seasons Center Golf Dome
1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Hands-on instruction at Golf Dome

Saturday, July 24
Fore Seasons Center Golf Dome
2524 North 19th Street, Bismarck

8:30 a.m. - 9 a.m. Registration & continental breakfast
9 a.m. Hands-on professional instruction for participants

What to Bring?
• Golf Clubs (if you have them)
• Comfortable clothes for golfing
• Desire to play golf!

Download a PDF file with additional information