Kipp Popert, the World No.2 golfer with a disability, and European Disabled Golfer Association (EDGA) President Tony Bennett have praised the impact of the Golf for the Disabled (G4D) Tour – which is aligned with seven events on the 2022 DP World Tour schedule – ahead of the final two events in the series.
The Golf for the Disabled initiative was first launched at the 2019 Betfred British Masters at Hillside Golf Club with the European Tour group and EDGA committing to holding events on the same golf course during the weeks of DP World Tour events for leading golfers from the gross World Ranking for Golfers with a Disability (WR4GD).
Prior to this year, seven events had already been held, with players from 15 countries on five continents competing, before the DP World Tour launched the newly named G4D Tour in February this year.
The new look G4D Tour, which has already visited five prestigious tournaments this year including the BMW PGA Championship, provides a transformational package of financial, commercial and media support for the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) with seven events across the season.
“The exposure it’s giving disability golf and the players at the top of the game is so important for growing the game from grassroots upwards,” said Popert who claimed his third G4D Tour win of the season at last month’s G4D Tour @ BMW PGA Championship.
“I found out about the DP World Tour and EDGA coming together by watching the TV back in 2019 and seeing an event. I got involved a month and a half later and now I’m sitting in a position where I’m playing regularly on the G4D Tour at tournaments across the world.
“For People of Determination, some of us need a bit of help to get us through tough times and having a Tour that people can aspire to be on is really helpful. We now have a Tour that is for us really powerful.
Tony Bennett added: “The DP World Tour has shone the spotlight on disability golf through the G4D Tour. Without a shadow of a doubt we have the opportunity to be the most inclusive sport of all and I think golf is recognising its responsibility to make sure that players from every walk of life, no matter what race, disabled or not, are able to take part in a sport we all love that offers so many benefits.
The increased interest the G4D Tour has garnered led to a collaboration between the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) and EDGA at last year’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
People of Determination in the UAE are now being given the opportunity to get involved in the game thanks to the creation of the new UAE Determined Golfers programme.
“It was a significant that the EGF became a member of EDGA last year,” said Bennett. “Everywhere in the world has people of determination so we need to be trying to help as many as those countries to play our sport as possible. If they don’t play our sport they are going to play another one.
“I know the EGF are really keen to grow the game for People of Determination and we’ll be visiting them towards the end of October with our Head of Development who will come out to the UAE to work on coach education, so they can make the game as accessible as possible to anyone with an impairment.”
Popert, who is a former WR4GD No.1, has enjoyed a stellar season after picking up trophies at G4D Tour events at the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett, Porsche European Open and BMW PGA Championship.
The Englishman now turns his focus to next week’s G4D Tour @ Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters before the season’s final event at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – somewhere he is hoping to get some winter sun!
“I’m really looking forward to getting out to Dubai again,” said Popert. “It’s getting a bit cold here where I’m based in the UK and since I’ve had the opportunities to travel the world and play golf in the sun I have become a bit of a softie…I don’t like the cold weather!
“I really love the Earth course and I’m hoping to enjoy a great end to the G4D Tour season there.”