Celebrating 10 years in 2024, Empower Golf was founded by James Gribble with the intention of making golf accessible to people of all abilities.
Now the number one provider of inclusive services for golfers, adaptive equipment and accessible golf facilities across the country, the organisation helps over 5,000 Australians annually living with disabilities to experience and enjoy one of the oldest and most inclusive games in the world.
After experiencing a catastrophic spinal injury on a remote Tiger Fish expedition in Zambia at the age of 29, James turned to his love of fairways and putting greens, utilising a para-golf machine to allow his 6ft 5 frame to address the ball at almost full height.
“I’ve always loved the rollercoaster of playing golf. It’s a bit like life… you’ll never master it! Experiencing how desperately difficult it was to return to one of my passions, I set out to change that for others. Cheekily, I thought if a quadriplegic can play golf, surely almost anyone can,” he said.
With 20% of the Australian population living with a disability, golf is a game for life that feeds the benefits of competition, wellbeing and most importantly, human connection.
“My mental health was a key factor in my return from injury. Golf appeals to me on so many levels, not least of which is the mateship, camaraderie, and the psychological benefits of being outdoors – more poignantly these days, free of devices and distractions.
“Golf is a sport that can be enjoyed for life and making it accessible to people who had not had the opportunity to experience its many benefits became a driving factor in establishing Empower Golf.”
As the only nationally registered NDIS provider of golf services and equipment, Empower Golf runs golf clinics and provides coaching across Australia to support individuals with a disability who are returning to or wanting to improve their golf. Private coaching and caddying are also provided via Australia’s most experienced team of Professional Golf Australia all abilities-accredited coaches.
Additionally, golfers can learn about the ParaGolfer – a purpose-built all-terrain wheelchair that raises the user into a standing position – as well as gripping solutions and other adaptive equipment, which are all designed to provide access to golf, regardless of ability or experience.
Empower Golf is committed to having a ParaGolfer on most courses nationwide, and to welcome regular clients who engage with disability-qualified training coaches through an empowering and inclusive game of golf.
To help raise vital funds to deliver on their mission, Empower Golf is kicking off a major raffle giving participants the chance to win an exciting range of prizes.
“With support from our generous and committed partners Club Car, Walkinshaw Sports, FutureGolf and Callaway, you could win a Club Car Tempo Electric Golf Cart valued at over $12,000 and other amazing prizes, while at the same time helping people of all abilities step up to the tee.”
Empower Golf’s raffle tickets start at $20. For more information on prizes, terms and conditions, and to purchase tickets, visit empowergolf.com.au